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15 Things Vegetarians Know To Be True, As Told By Leona Lewis

"We don't all wear hemp."

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When we interviewed Leona Lewis last month, we thought it only appropriate seeing as she's a passionate animal rights activist, to get her thoughts on what it's like being a vegetarian. And here's what she told us...


1. You will be asked countless times why you're a vegetarian, and everyone's answer will be different.


My reason was that I love animals. At around the age of 12 I began to connect the fact that the food on my plate was, for example, a chicken, and I decided I was done with eating meat.

2. Every vegetarian's choices are different, too.


I call myself a vegetarian with vegan tendencies, because I always go between the two. If I do have eggs, I'll have them free range. I make sure I know where the dairy is coming from.

3. The most annoying thing vegetarians hear is, "Where do you get your protein from?"

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It's always the protein. People are obsessed with protein and telling you you aren't consuming enough. At the moment protein bars and shakes are huge, but I don't really see people who are more muscly as a result. There's more protein in brocolli than in chicken, but it's the number one thing people go to.

4. You hear "So how do you actually eat?" more times than you can count.

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And, clearly I eat well! The truth is, there's so much selection out there. My mum and dad are vegan. You'd assume their diet would be very restricted but they eat a whole plethora of things. They cook amazing food. So, coming from that to being vegetarian, there are even more options.

5. And no, we really don't need to eat fish!

I think people assume you have to eat some kind of animal. I don't like the smell of fish. I don't understand how people eat it. I don't like to eat anything that has a face.

6. We also don't just eat side dishes.

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There's plenty we can eat. At home I love making vegetarian spaghetti bolognese. That's my number one choice.

7. Non-vegetarians often tell us meat horror stories at inopportune moments.


Sometimes when I'm going out for dinner and people ask, "Oh, are you vegetarian?" they then like to share the most horrible stories about meat. True horror stories about where it's come from.

8. It feels good that there's less taboo around being vegetarian the more time that goes by.


I feel like when I was 12 and became a vegetarian it was more unusual. Now it feels like a lot more people are vegetarian.

9. Although people do sometimes forget about us.


A lot of my friends aren't vegetarian and I'll go round to their houses for dinner and they'll be like, "Oh sorry! You can have the rice!"

10. Eating out can be hard, too.

Restaurants don't cater enough for us. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done on vegetarian menus. It'd be nice to have more vegetarian restaurants and more of a selection of food.

11. We're sick to death of mushroom risotto.


12. We also don't all wear hemp.

That's probably the biggest misconception about vegetarians.

13. The most challenging part of being vegetarian is having to be organised when you're away from your comfort zone.

For example, when you're travelling. If I'm in remote places it's hard and I have to really look out for what I'm going to eat and be prepared for where I'm going. Most of the time at home, it's fine though.

14. For plenty of us, being vegetarian is as much to do with the environment as it is animals.

Not only are there effects on animals and cruelty, but the mass meat industry contributes to so much environmental damage.

15. And, finally, the one thing we'd like to say to non-vegetarians is try giving up meat for one day a week.


It'd be good to give it up one day a week. There's an initiative called Meat Free Mondays. Giving it up for one day a week is good for your health and the environment.