I’m Black. And A Vegetarian. And You Should Be Too. » VSB

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I’m Black. And A Vegetarian. And You Should Be Too.

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What is Black Vegetarianism?

I am a blegitarian vacketerian a Black person who does not eat meat and this piece is dedicated to the wonders and (insert outdated slang reference for fantastic)ness of Black vegetarianism. You can read this entire piece or the first sentence of each paragraph and move to the comments sections. It’s your choice.

Black vegetarianism reduces pain and extends life. It’s as if you become a mutant in the Marvel Universe (Storm, Black Panther, Misty Knight, and Luke Cage in one person). When compared to those who eat meat, vegetarians/vegans have lower: risks for heart disease, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, rates of hypertension, rates of type 2 diabetes, overall cancer rates, risks for obesity and stroke. According to the CDC, the leading causes of death for Black folks are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Only the cool POC believe in improving their quality of life by cutting out the meat. Think of it as low cost insurance with no mysterious bill after you have already paid the copay.

Black vegetarianism is moderation. There is no need to start fast. You could participate in Meatless Mondays, go “vegan before 6,” or eat at least a few vegetarian meals per week. Hell, you could even have a non-meat potluck as an excuse to be nosy and find out what other people like so that you can judge them after they leave. I would also recommend visiting a vegetarian friendly restaurant. Ethiopian food FTW!

Black vegetarianism is flavorful. A common complaint by those who aren’t vegetarian is the “blandness” and “boredom” associated with eating non meat based items. As if meat has a ton of flavor without seasonings. This is a short list of great tasting soul food dishes I have eaten without any animal products:

Red or black beans and rice
Okra gumbo
Sweet potato pie
Cornbread
Jambalaya
Hush puppies
Maque choux (look it up)

There are so many options that you have probably already eaten great dishes that will taste the same with slight modifications. Also, you probably don’t eat as much meat as you think.

Black vegetarianism is a hater destroyer. Haters are the bane of every vegetarian’s existence. The primary question is always about protein intake. People can be ignant sometimes. It’s as if lentils, seeds, nuts, beans, and soy products don’t exist. Those sunflower seeds you poured into your hand, shook for a second, poured into your mouth, chewed, and swallowed back in the day count as a protein source, but you should get them unsalted today because you’re grown now and you know that hypertension is a thing.

Black vegetarianism isn’t bougie. Cut out the meat to help the Earth, prevent animal cruelty, save money, stay healthy, and not be bougie. (Editor’s note: Or be bougie.) There is a correlation between prosperity and meat consumption, which means vegetarianism is straight up proletariat. Join the cause, find some recipes, and gets to cooking.

Vontilla Steven

Vontilla Steven has a day job and many writing side hustles: wrote and performed a one-person show, co-created a sketch comedy show, and wrote a screenplay that did well in a national competition. He is based in New York and is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana. He doesn’t eat meat and that poses a problem when he visits his hometown. He loves to cook, lift and drop weights, and run the Stairs of Doom in Washington Heights.

  • K Lust

    Black pescatarian here. Yes, yes, and yes. I have been told that I am bougie because of this, and other things.(education, posture etc meow meow) But when you mix this lifestyle with regular exercise (for me: barre method, cardio, weight training), your body def thanks you.

    • pls

      this i can do. I don’t know if humans are supposed to not be eating any meats at all. or did we pick that up from 2520?

      • Lol, no.

        You think dowries for cattle was just for the milk and fur?

    • MeridianBurst

      This sounds so pleasant. I suddenly wanna go hiking or something.

    • Careful she bites

      Hey sister!! Fellow black pescatarian here. Best decision I ever made!

      • K Lust

        Hell yeah!

      • celinad6

        My people! Pescatarians unite! :-)

  • miss t-lee

    Maque choux is awesome, btw. A homegirl from Houma made me some once.
    I do a few meatless meals a week, but that’s the best it’s gonna get.

    • “I do a few meatless meals a week, but that’s the best it’s gonna get.”

      *Nah

      *Except for salads. I’ll go full on blitzkrieg on a good salad.

      • miss t-lee

        I’ll f*ck up a salad anyday of the week.

        Yeah Wu, maybe once a week I don’t do any meat, but trust I could never leave the brisket alone.

        • Honestly, I work our hard as ish so that I can have a cheat day on Saturday.

          • miss t-lee

            I ain’t mad at cha mayne. It’s vital.

        • Baemie St. Patrick

          I live in a BBQ capital. I can’t go to World Famous Gates BBQ and ask for a “tofu on bun to go, heavy on the sauce”. Depending on the location, I might get shot.

          • miss t-lee

            Ain’t not tofu on the menu here in Texas. Don’t even try it…lol

            • kid video

              That’s stuff is made in New York City.

              • miss t-lee

                NEW YORK CITY?!?!?!

                hee hee!

                • Now you have me thinking of that Pace Salsa commercial. I always loved it because they say New York City in a way that marks a tourist usually for death prior to like 1996. LOL Then again, considering the chicanery you call bagels, pizza and pretty much any food that isn’t American, I think we’re equal.

                  • miss t-lee

                    Have a seat Todd. No need to try to come through and throw down the new yawk city gauntlet.
                    Of course it was a nod to the Pace commercial, why? Becuz after 25 years it’s still hilarious.
                    FYI, I don’t eat bagels so y’all can keep that.

          • MrsT

            Lol. If not shot, definitely laughed out of the building. That is NOT the response they’re looking for when they ask “Hi! May I help you?!”

            • Baemie St. Patrick

              nah…it’s “MEHLPYUH?!”

              Like daaaannngg Ms. Bertha let me walk IN first.

          • afronica

            I had forgotten about BBQ. *dreams in Sims sauce*

            • Baemie St. Patrick

              lol are you from Arkansas?!

              • afronica

                Puh-leaze don’t tell me you from home???? Yessss, Little Rock born and raised.

                • Baemie St. Patrick

                  I live in Kansas City now but I do consider Little Rock home. Born in Baptist hospital, cut my teeth in North Little Rock (where my granny still lives) and did some time in the burbs of Southwest, when it was still the burbs lol

                  • afronica

                    Hello, fellow Petit Jean gal! Yay! *throws diamond-shaped glitter*

                    • Baemie St. Patrick

                      Hey boo hey!!!!

                      Are you still in Little Rock? I’ll promise you a kidney if you send me some golden flake hot chips lol

                    • afronica

                      Left LR yearzzz ago and can’t really see going back to live there. Golden Flake hot chips, hunh? For me, it’s all the kindsa BBQ, especially Sims and Craig’s up in Devalls Bluff (with a slice of their egg custard pie on the side). Plus Barq’s and a Nehi peach to drink. Whooo!

                    • Baemie St. Patrick

                      I thought about it years ago, but nah. I can’t do it before I turn 60. Once the parental units retire, I know they’re going back home. If they were unable to care for themselves that would be the only reason I would go back. But I live for the hot chips, Dodge’s chicken and fried pies (don’t judge me), Mexico Chiquito cheese dip, salsa, and fruit punch. There’s a place in the Ozarks that sells Peach Nehi by the case and my mom’s coworker goes often in the summer, so we keep a case or 4 around lol

                    • miss t-lee

                      never been to LR, but this sounds pretty good.

          • In Asheville NC there are actually spots that put tempeh in a smoker and will slice it up for you so…

      • MeridianBurst

        Any time someone mentions being a vegetarian and trying it out, I always immediately think of the assortment of salads I could make. A nice, hearty salad is delicious.

    • Baemie St. Patrick

      I looked it up and it looked like a fancier version of fried corn. iFux with that. I will add this to the list of things to try.

      • miss t-lee

        It’s really good. You should!

    • pls

      first time i tried to tell bay I wasn’t putting any meat in the dinner i was preparing #bruh

      • miss t-lee

        Oh, I’m sure that went over well…lol

      • MrsT

        I tried to suggest a meatless Monday to MrT, he said “why would we do that?”

        • afronica

          “We ain’t poor. We got money!”

          • miss t-lee

            bwahahahah

  • Nicholas Peters

    Nick likes his testosterone. Even though I eat more vegetables than meat, there is nothing like a stake made from organic grass fed beef (which I think his healthier than pesticide ridden vegetables).

  • Amazonian Midget

    Becoming a vegetarian is easily one of the best decisions I’ve made. In the last year, I’ve only been sick once (despite the amount of sick folks I’ve been around), I’ve lost weight, and developed a passion for cooking.

    • pls

      see by the time i get home from work i don’t even feel like cooking. this has effected my diet sooooooooo negatively since i left college. i used to get right in the dining halls!

      • Amazonian Midget

        Those dining halls are all bad. lol They just call your name…all tempting and whatnot.

  • Baemie St. Patrick

    You do this for those of us who won’t, like myself. I commend you though.

    I have no desire to give up lemon pepper wings fried hard, shrimp and grits, or turkey neckbones anytime soon.

    • what kinda meat lovers grits you making over there boo?

      • Baemie St. Patrick

        whatever kind of grits you li-….. eerrrrruuhhh……

        well I mean, I do crumble bacon on my shrimp and grits?

  • kid video

    I could see myself doing the whole vegetarian thing but I’m only 160 lbs and not eating meat isn’t gonna help me maintain/gain my weight.

    I’m tryin’ to get brolic round here.

    • LTO

      Just FYI, Dominick Thompson, Torre Washington, and Kenneth Williams are all VEGAN athletes who compete…they don’t look like they are starving to me. ;)

      If you have a minute, Google/research vegan athletes and you might be pleasantly surprised with what you find. Have an awesome day!

      • Nicholas Peters

        Prince Fielder?

        • TeeChantel

          I can’t with you.

          • Nicholas Peters

            I’m just trying to have an honest discussion

        • camilleblu

          so wrong, lol.

          • Nicholas Peters

            I’m sorry to kill the #thirstfest but I mean you have to show both sides of the coin…

            • Rachmo

              Gotta see both sides.

      • afronica

        good lawd a mercy

        • camilleblu

          say it again for the folks in the cheap seats…

        • helllllllllooooo

      • LMNOP

        If those guys had vegan cooking shows I would watch the expletive out of them.

  • Rachmo

    I love meat too much but I totally salute you and your choices!

    • KKay

      Now I want some fried okra with a side of okra, corn, and tomatoes.

    • *insert meat innuendo*

  • Marc Side Eye Fisher

    Living in the bay area, there are lots of vegetarian and vegan options. I enjoy giving up meat once in awhile. It gives your body a nice break from all the meat we consume.

    • MeridianBurst

      Mhm. I do a juicing detox every couple months for about a week or so. It’s so revitalizing.

      • Marc Side Eye Fisher

        I do that also

    • K Lust

      Souley Vegan!!

    • You also live in an area where, thanks to idiotic government policy, we’ve irrigated the desert to grow veggies 12 months out of the year. Not everyone lives next to a Fed-created greenhouse district.

    • Von

      I am spoiled by the restaurant options in NYC.

  • dadumdee

    Way to get this out there before cook out season bruh. You fuck around and try to post this after May 31st and get straight ignored.

  • MeridianBurst

    Wait a sec. Who exactly is supposed to be getting in the kitchen here?? I don’t eem like chef-ing anymore.

    Gets to cooking he says. Tuh!

    Vegetarianism isn’t my thing and it will probably never be my thing, but I absolutely love clean eating. If I can’t get produce from a farmer’s market than I get it fresh and organic from the grocery store. I try to use meats that are “fresh” aka farmed locally/never frozen. I use bakery breads, deli cheeses, even the ingredients, seasonings, and stuff I use are fresh and/or organic as well as majority of the things I drink. I either make it myself or buy it organic.

    I’m at least willing to do a day a week with no meat or some kind of recipe sampling of vegan foods. I haven’t really tried much of it but I’m open minded if it tastes good. Besides, I’m pretty sure a lot of it is stuff I usually eat just without any meat in it so, that can’t be too bad. Also, I’m not really sure if the lifestyle is inherently a racial thing. No one race has a monopoly on health or is the poster child for clean eating. Any race can have it be a subset of their culture so everyone can do it if that’s what they choose to do.

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