I did end up going to KFC to try their vegan chicken burger – it was pretty tasty! To be honest, given the descriptions of KFC’s legendary 11 spice coating I’ve received from other people, I was a little disappointed that the batter covering the Quorn chicken just tasted kind of salty. I’ve never eaten KFC before, so I was hoping for something a bit tastier. However, it was all in all a decent sandwich, and since my partner visits KFC fairly often, it’ll be nice to have an actual option to eat there (previously I’d only be able to get rice).
I’ve never eaten meat in my life other than fish. My parents were vegetarian when I was born (they’ve since given it up), and raised me the same. When I was old enough to make my own decisions on food, I was given the choice to include meat in my diet, but given that I a) loved animals and b) was a fussy eater, the idea of adding a whole new category to my diet didn’t appeal to me at that point, so I refused. My brother got the same choice, and he chose to start eating meat at a young age. So it wasn’t like my parents were ‘forcing’ it on us.
As I was already in the habit of avoiding meat, and hadn’t ever tasted it before, I just continued for health reasons as I got older. When I tell people that I’ve never had any meat, they say things like “how do you do that?” but I’d wager that I have it easier than all the vegetarians who have previously eaten meat – I don’t know what I’m missing, and I’ve never had to give anything up.
Growing up, it used to be far harder to find a decent vegetarian option in restaurants. The dishes available were usually either a salad, some kind of roasted vegetable concoction, or a bean burger. Vegetarians were treated much as vegans are now. My parents like to tell the story of when they were in a Parisian baguette shop. Upon realising that all of the menu options contained meat, they asked for something with no meat – expecting a cheese salad, or something along those lines. They were presented with a dry baguette (no butter), with three Babybel cheeses lines up in it. No salad or condiments.
When I was in my teens, I started eating fish as I felt I needed to get more protein in my diet. That’s the only meat I eat, so I’m pescatarian (which comes with its own prejudices, but I won’t get into that). Personally, I don’t feel like I’m in a position to fully vegan at this point. It requires careful diet monitoring to ensure one gets all the required nutrients, and I don’t think I have a good enough grasp of that stuff to venture into that myself.
Of course, I’m making one of the many excuses people use to avoid going vegan. I admire people that are able to go vegan, and I think it’s an extremely worthwhile thing to do. However, I recognise that for many, it’s just not viable at this time. I instead advocate for everyone eating fewer animal products per week, and not being afraid to eat vegan and vegetarian food.