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From Frugivore — As my gradual transition from carnivore to pescatarian to vegetarian has happened rather quickly this year, it has been a challenge to keep seafood out of my diet in “meaty” situations. Frankly, I’m the only non-meat eating date, friend, daughter, or sister in my close circle. When I’m eating in a restaurant or food court that only offers salad as a vegetarian option, I truly feel discouraged from sticking to a vegetarian-only lifestyle. I love delicious food and hate for my diet to cause my palette suffering.

But sometimes, a little persistence and searching can go a long way in finding a scrumptious vegetarian meal. Recently, I was walking around a popular food market in Philadelphia that’s saturated with soul food and sweets. Just as I was about to succumb to another salad, I saw a packed food stand that catered specifically to vegetarians. As I waited in line for a vegetarian philly cheesesteak, there were multiple conversations occurring between strangers. Some were simply happy to find a vegetarian spot in a market full of meat-serving stations; others shared their journeys toward becoming vegetarian. When I thought about it, I realized that my decision to go vegetarian didn’t arise purely out of nutrition, it also was the community and its strength in promoting health as a lifestyle. It’s always good to find other vegetarians in the least expected places.

Vegetarians: what motivates you to keep strong in meat-dominated eating spaces? Weigh in.

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