Vegetarian Teen Interview: Josie

Country: United States

At what age did you become vegetarian? 15

Why did you become vegetarian?

I love all animals and at about 14 I discovered the process meat takes to reach human consumption. Needless to say I found it repulsive, inhumane, and cruel. My vegetarianism began as my little secret until I was eventually caught by my parents and had to come clean.

Were your parents supportive of your vegetarianism? What concerns did they have about it? How are your parents involved in your vegetarianism? Do they buy vegetarian food for you? Do they cook for you? Or do you have to buy your own food or cook for yourself?

I guess I’d consider my parents fairly supportive. My dad was the most hesitant about accepting my decision to become a vegetarian but he’s slowly gotten used to the idea. My parents were concerned mainly because “my body is still developing” and thought the sense of meat in my diet would affect my development. They don’t necessarily buy vegetarian food they just buy things without meat which I like because I don’t want veggie burgers. They still cook for me although  they have accepted my decision I still check my food for meat because they used to try to trick me into eating meat.

How do your friends react to your vegetarianism? Are they supportive? Did vegetarianism change your social life? Have you ever been teased about it?

My friends don’t really care although some people I don’t know as well think it’s weird. I don’t blame them for being so closed to the idea because I don’t know anyone else who’s a vegetarian in my community so I’m going through this fairly alone and it just proves that I wanted to do this because I chose to. I was teased a fair amount of times in the beginning but I think people got used to it. I actually didn’t tell that many people but my friends and family think it’s odd because I’m Mexican and naturally, Mexicans easy allot of meat.

What do you do to make sure you stay healthy on a vegetarian diet? Do you take any supplements? Do you count your food servings?

Because I don’t necessarily know what I’m doing (nutrition-wise) due the fact that I don’t know any vegetarians makes it hard. But recently I have found some recipes online and try to stay healthy regardless of my lack of knowledge.

What’s a typical breakfast for you? A typical lunch? A typical snack? A typical dinner?

Because I’m in high school sometimes I’ll eat breakfast but most of the time I’m running late so I won’t. When I do eat breakfast I eat some eggs, potatoes, or a raisin bagel with peanut butter. For snacks I eat Sun Chips (when and if they are available to me) but for the most part I don’t have a chance to snack. For lunch I eat whatever the school provides ( usually pizza, a small salad, and some fruit) but sometimes I skip lunch to do homework or just because I’m not hungry. Well dinner is one I’m hesitant to eat because I do sports usually all year around so I get home late and I think it’s unhealthy to eat and then lay down right after so I skip that sometimes to but I for dinner I eat rice, a salad, potatoes, or a sandwich (made of bread, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, and tomato).

Do you have any advice for other vegetarian teens?

Stick with it. No matter how difficult it makes your life because if you want to do something there’s no one standing in your way but you. If anyone tried to make fun if you just brush it off like it’s nothing because it actually is nothing. No matter what people say your doing something extraordinary that most people couldn’t do even if they wanted to. Stay strong and march on.

What do you do for fun? What are your after school activities? What are your favorite subjects in school?

I do sports like track, cheer-leading, and soccer. When I have spare time I go on jogs or read. I LOVE to read just as much as I love track ! My favorite subjects are currently science, math, and writing. I also like history but it’s hard for me to remember things because of my memory loss but I’m doing my best. Next year I’m going to take a class online to learn Arabic and I’m going to college for a degree in psychology and medicine to become a Psychiatrist for the criminally insane and also be able to prescribe medicine for them.