I’m a shite vegetarian. I’m actually not even sure if I can call myself a vegetarian – ‘tarian might be more appropriate, considering the vast majority of what I eat is frozen meat substitutes anyway (Rest in Power, Linda McCartney, you’re the only reason I’m not clinically malnourished). Basically, I am, in terms of vegetarianism, what Piers Morgan is to television presenting: uninformed, unsuccessful and well, we’re both pudgy fuckers. I’ve technically been a vegetarian for about three years now, one of those years being a “rest” year. This came as a result of Leaving Cert stress and a simply irresistible chicken curry from my local petrol station (which, to be honest, tasted as good coming up as it did going down). I’ve even made some ill-fated attempts at veganism, which usually end in me eating an entire block of Easi-Singles cheddar and damning more cows to lives of forced reproduction than I would have originally.
But, as they say, God loves a trier, and now back on the veggie wagon, I’ve realised that not all of us can be Instagram food bloggers, what with all their vegan, gluten-free cilantro this-and-that. Personally, my favourite foods are anything that can be prepared in under five minutes and come wrapped in plastic from some factory in Ipswich. And I’ve come to know that there are others like me. Lazy fuckers, who love our fluffy friends dearly. So, if you fit that description, I present to you: The Shite Vegetarian’s Guide. (Disclaimer: if you would like to transition to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle I would suggest consulting a nutritionist in case I inadvertently give you scurvy or some shit).
Ah, soy. The staple of any plant-based diet. So full of protein, so versatile. Tofu, soy milk, soy sauce – amazing. Nevermind that Alpro Unsweetened tastes like your gran’s breastmilk, or that scrambled tofu has the texture of reconstituted vomit. These products are now your bread and butter. If bread and butter consisted of fermented soybeans. Yum. (Bonus Tip: Find a surprise bit of tofu hidden at the end of your carton of gone-off soy milk. Magic.)
Fail to Prepare? Sure look, be grand.
Any good plant-based eater will tell you that preparation is key. However, these are also the people that have their lives well enough together that they can actually plan their meals in advance. No, no, me and you – we live our lives in the fast lane. We don’t have time for batch-cooking and Tupperware containers. So, fail to prepare? Soup. It’s piss cheap in the Main Rest and having eaten it almost everyday for like three weeks straight one time, I can tell you you definitely won’t get sick of it. Sort of.
Apparently, nearly a third of vegetarians eat meat while drunk. You are definitely not one of them. And if anyone tries to tell you you bought a twenty pack of chicken nuggets while off your tits last Thursday, you can tell them, like, shut up, that’s not even true. Luckily, McDonald’s does actually offer veggie burgers, and they’re surprisingly good. Definitely worth the twenty minute wait while all your friends are sat there going to town on some double cheeseburgers. To be fair though, sometimes Drunk You and Sober You have different agendas. One wants to save the planet, the other just wants a Big Mac. Compromise? Steal food from your friends. You don’t have to support the meat industry, gain food and lose friends, all at the same time. Everybody wins.
And with that, veggie friends, I hope I’ve given you some realistic advice. Remember – nobody’s perfect. We all slip up sometimes, and well, if you do have to cheat a bit, go for the chicken nuggets – the petrol station curry isn’t worth the karma that comes with it.