My quest to become a vegetarian didn’t end after I almost accidentally kickstarted the zombie apocalypse. Which, by the way, is a terrible idea for a kickstarter. Please nobody make that. I can already see the stretch goals involving turning someone you don’t like into patient zero and I’m just not having it. Also, Hollywood, this is my idea. You’re never allowed to turn this into a movie starring an awkward indie rising star. I own the rights and am denying you. Unless it’s Aubrey Plaza. If it’s Aubrey Plaza we can negotiate but I want at least 10%.
In order to peer pressure myself into actually becoming a vegetarian, a coworker and I made a pact to quit meat together. Which is also a terrible idea, by the way. Never make any kind of pact with anyone because one person is not going to follow through while the other is going to knock it out of the park, and then that’s gonna lead your coworker to look at you with disappointment in her eyes as you’re sitting in the break room while she has her falafel avocado wrap out and you’re shoveling meatball pizza into your stupid meat-eating face.
Luckily, you know that saying, “Love wins”? Well, that’s not necessarily true. But a similar one that goes, “Anxiety wins” is totally accurate. And my anxiety started flaring up whenever I would go into the kitchen to cook anything that took longer than 10 minutes or made any noise at all, which meant almost all meat-based dishes were out of the question. And it was around this time that I actually had a unique experience in the grocery store where I woke up from my shopping blackout in the vegan aisle and was able to grab some stuff before the Phoenix Force within took over again and loaded three tubs of pistachio ice cream into my basket. Before I knew it I was cooking exclusively vegetarian meals at home. And by “cooking vegetarian meals” I do mean eating raw vegetables and cold sandwiches, thank you very much.
Over time I also discovered Gardein (which has not sponsored this post, by the way. Probably half because they care about protecting their brand from being linked to me and the powerful primordial phoenix entity contained within me that comes out when I need it the most, and half because they’re saving up all their money for apocalypse kickstarters. I mean I have no proof, I’m just using context clues.) Once I started cooking with Gardein I felt like my meat eating days were fully over. Except for the fact that I’m an idiot and can never fully commit to anything, and any time I’d go out for lunch or order delivery I’d forget about the whole vegetarian thing and accidentally order buffalo wings, or sushi, or 17 chicken tacos.
And that’s the story of how I became what I call an “occasionaltarian.” Which this website’s dictionary defines as someone who is only occasionally a vegetarian, such as when they’re at home and their anxiety prevents them from cooking any meat-based dishes because they are irrationally afraid of other human beings while in their own apartment. To be fair, though, that fear of other humans thing is gonna be super useful once the zombie apocalypse finally reaches its kickstarter goal. I think it only needs like 12 more backers so, you know, something to consider when those tax returns come out.
Ryan C. Robert is the writer of multiple comedy blogs, most of which are satirical and self-deprecating. He writes about his life in his personal essay series "Before Color," parodies cooking blogs in "Trish's Dishes" and posts writing prompts every single day.