Kim, Vegetarian for 5 years
Most of my friends know I don’t eat meat, I don’t hide it, but I don’t make them feel uncomfortable either. They will make a veggie dish or I’ll bring a veggie dish if I have time to make one. If I go to a party where I don’t really know anyone, I’ll usually eat dinner beforehand in case there are no veggie options, which has happened before.
Most wedding events are amazing and I end up getting looks from people because I get a huge plate of roasted veggies and pasta in a marinara sauce or eggplant parm instead of the standard issue chicken or sirloin. And I usually get served first, which can be somewhat awkward.
If I go to a restaurant, I ask if their are any ‘vegetarian friendly’ items. Sometimes people have no idea that soups aren’t vegetarian because they’re made with chicken or beef stock, i.e. French Onion Soup (which I have now mastered with mock beef bullion). If I don’t say anything I’ll most likely end up with something that has meat in it. I once got breakfast at an awesome joint in Somerville, the hash browns were riddled with bacon.…upon comment, the waitress said that she was really sorry, the person plating food just felt like adding it.