I grew up eating a lot of red meat in my family. As a Cubana, it was not unusual for all of our meals to consist of the basics: rice, beans, fried sweet plantains, and some kind of carn. Of course, sometimes there was pollo or lechon or pescado, but mostly bistec. As I grew up, however, I began to explore my options. I started eating salad and, slowly, decided to drop a lot of my meat consumption to become a flexitarian (a flexible vegetarian, meaning I only ate meat a few days a week). Eventually, though, I took it a step further and became a vegetarian. And that’s where the weirdness with my family began.
There’s no doubt about the fact that many Latinx families come with a lot of meat in their diets. We grow up on the stuff, whether you’re from Cuba or Mexico or Argentina or Colombia. Meat is a staple and, in fact, meat is the basis of our diet. My family always focused on eating meat, so when I went vegetarian, they simply weren’t sure what to do with me. It made for a lot of awkward conversations and many, many months of weird dinners… But, eventually, they came around. Still, I learned a thing or two about what it is like to be a Latina and a vegetarian, so here are 20 things that happen when you stop eating meat in a Latinx family.
Still, I learned a thing or two about what it is like to be a Latina and a vegetarian, so here are 20 things that happen when you stop eating meat in a Latinx family.