Meats I Miss

I’ve been vegetarian (with a hint of pescatarian on special occasions) for the last 2.5 years. From early on and continuing to this day, I’ve been surprised by how rarely I crave meat. It does help a little bit that we eat sushi on occasion; plus, fake meat has come a long way (a Beyond burger is just as appealing to me as a beef burger).

But I do miss meat from time to time, and I happened to be reminded of it multiple times yesterday during a visit to the grocery store and then later on Instagram. So today I thought I’d mention a few meats I miss; I’m curious if fellow vegetarians miss any particular meats.

  • fried chicken: This is probably the meat I crave the most. I really love fried chicken, and there are some great fried chicken restaurants in St. Louis (Grace and Southern, among others). I eat fake chicken nuggets on occasion, and SweetArt makes a very good fried chicken sandwich, but there’s nothing that quite replaces the juiciness of a fried chicken wing.
  • pepperoni: Of all the meats I’ve come close to making an exception for, pepperoni has come the closest. Whenever I order pizza from a place like Union Loafers, I’m incredibly tempted by the crispy, curled edges of pepperoni in the photos. But I resist. Pizza Head makes a pretty good vegetarian substitute, but it’s that slightly overcooked crispiness that fake pepperoni can’t quite replicate.
  • bacon: I didn’t eat all that much bacon before going vegetarian, but when I smell it now, it goes directly to the part of my brain that makes my mouth water.
  • buffalo chicken wings: Fortunately, my favorite part of buffalo chicken wings–the sauce–can be applied to anything (most often fried cauliflower). But whenever a friend makes these in his smoker, I’m very tempted to eat one.

My attempt to eat vegetarian is entirely my choice–I could take a break from it (even temporarily) at any time. Given the right circumstances, I’m open to it. But I have seen significant improvements in my health since making the choice to primarily not eat meat (instead of just eating less meat, which I tried for a while), and that’s been a major motivator for me to continue whenever I get those cravings. We’ll see how that changes and evolves in the future–I try to be open to learning, growing, and adapting.

If you’re currently or have tried to be vegetarian, which meats do/did you miss the most?

5 thoughts on “Meats I Miss”

  1. Mostly whole food plant based eater (so vegan, but less processed food), here- I don’t miss meat at all. Ah, but cheese, it calls to me. Bleu, aged cheddar, parmesan – all missed. I’ll not go back, but I’ve resigned myself to always having that craving.

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  2. I’ve been some form of vegetarian from ages 15-39 (current), and vegan from 27-39. Once the non-dairy ice cream got good enough, and hemp protein became widely available, it was easy. I literally miss nothing—if you want the feeling of missing to subside, then it can. Your brain just needs to live without the food, and with the desire to not be •interested* in missing meat for some years.

    The food industry is exactly the same as the board game industry: too much choice for a human being to deal with without anxiety. My wife and I artificially limiting what we choose to eat makes life much easier—it’s the same as “we don’t buy games that don’t support the 2-player count”.

    That said, I’ll gladly switch to artificial meat and dairy when animals are no longer involved.

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  3. Hey, vegan here. One of the first things I seek out when I visit the States is vegan buffalo wings. There are so many great choices over there. As for bacon, in both South Africa and Scotland I’ve had incredible vegan alternatives. My meat eating folks thought we were cooking actilul bacon 🙂

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