Veganism is, without a doubt, a challenging practice. Even the strictest vegan would admit that some non-vegan food tastes delicious. Like everything worth doing, maintaining a vegan lifestyle takes work and a lot of discipline.
Texas vegans don’t have it easy, that’s for sure. While larger Texan areas have plenty of vegan restaurants and establishment, you’ll still find yourself tested on a daily basis if you choose to forgo meat completely. The following are 3 top challenges of being a vegan in Texas, in no particular order.
- Resisting Mexican food: Mexican cuisine consists of some of the most delicious meals one can taste. The spices alone take the palate on a wild ride, to speak nothing of the actual dishes. The majority of Mexican food is prepared with meat at the center, with chicken being the most popular. Now, being a vegan doesn’t mean you no longer get to enjoy those delicious chimichangas, or that you can no longer order a large serving of tacos when you get a bout of nighttime hunger – most of these foods are available in vegan edition. However, many find that it just doesn’t taste the same when vegetables replace meat, even with the chef’s best efforts. Furthermore, vegan food will often be prepared on the same surfaces and using the same instruments that were used to chop and grill meat. This means that your vegan burrito could be dipped in burger oil – a scary notion for some. If you’re going vegan, you might have to significantly cut back on Mexican food (unless you’re fortunate enough to have a Mexican cook under your roof, that is).
- Most food establishments are meat-based: Texans love their meat, probably more than most. Food establishments in Texas, ranging from small fast food joints to large restaurants, will almost always be meat-based. The majority of dishes will involve some type of meat, and you won’t be able to get much variety if you’re used to eating out. What’s worse is that meat is the specialty of most chefs, and their best dishes will tend to involve meat – even good chefs might struggle to make the vegan items on the menu as appealing as their burgers, steaks or ribs.
- Texans love a good barbecue: Out of all the ways to prepare meat in Texas, BBQ wins the popularity contest. People in Texas love to eat meat, but they love nothing more than a good barbecue. Barbecuing often becomes a social event or even a competition – Lone Star Carpet Care, a local cleaning company, sponsors a BBQ cook-off every year that lets meat-lovers test their grilling skills and enjoy their favorite food in good company. As a vegan, you won’t have much to do at these types of events, and you might end up feeling as if you’re missing out. Indeed, the social factor is what makes it hardest for many – passing up on that family BBQ and knowing everyone there is having a good time weighs down heavily on a lot of vegans, even those who are dead-set on their beliefs.