I did once try to be vegetarian, but that was in high school, and I did not have the funds to property eat vegenetarian full time, so I stopped. I did not try again until just recently, which is when I had more funds to be able to afford such things.
I grew up in poverty, so for me and my family, the idea of not buying meat, or tossing out meat we received from the food bank, or food donations, or refusing a free meal at a church or whatnot because it contained animal products, was not a viable choice that we could have made. Growing up we constantly went to food banks and churches for a significant portion of our food, and even then my family of 9 went without eating, sometimes for more than a day.
So it might be easy to state that you can get vegetarian options in fast food, or buy vegetarian in grocery stores, but to be honest, when you are living paycheck to paycheck and are still going without at times, eating vegetarian is the least of your worries. When you are trying to make sure your rent is paid so you are not kicked to the curb, what you buy is not as important as simply buying. Although I think this is different when you get several hundred dollars in food stamps a month, but for the millions of people who can’t get on foodstamps, telling them that “they can just eat rice and beans” or “they can eat bean burritos, french fries, and veggie burgers” is just cruel and quite frankly a disgusting way to act.
You may think that going vegetarian is so much less expensive as well, but depending on what you buy, it may be way more expensive. And this does not include vitamin/mineral deficiencies, such as a lack of Iron and B-12 because people in poverty either can’t afford supplements, or are not in the right state of mind to plan out meals. especially single parents working a harsh job, or even 2 jobs.
I am 23 right now and can’t even afford to move out, although I am going to move in with my BF in September. I work almost 40 hours a week, getting almost 900-1000 dollars a month, and work my butt off. I have issues with cooking food after work because i am just too tired. Most of the food I eat during work days are from the restaurant I work at. Thankfully they HAVE vegetarian options, but even then, even with spending like, 6$ a day on food when I am out, I am privileged to be able to do this diet at all without trying to do it alongside working two jobs.
I like vegetarianism, but instead of the Vegan community trying to berate people who don’t because of financial reasons, how about the chip in to stop poverty? Because it is stopping poverty that will help more people become vegan.