Health & Wellness

Why Vegetarians From the ’60s Are So Much Tougher Than You

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So you think it’s hard being a vegetarian sometimes, huh?

I’m not saying it doesn’t take will power and commitment to go plant-based these days, but we need to give a shout out to the veggie forefathers of America.

The children of the counterculture revolution that paved the way from trail mix to gourmet vegan restaurants. Yes, the kids that were into meditation, yoga and all those hippy-dippy vibes.

Not so long ago, being a vegetarian was not so well received. Most people believed (and some still do today) that it was impossible to survive without meat in your diet. Meat was considered the best source of protein; beans and rice were out of the question. Isn’t it odd that the animals that humans eat survive solely off of plants?

But, we won’t get into that right now.

In the ‘60s, vegetarian restaurants and communes could be considered one and the same. They were both for crazy people.

It wasn’t until the early ’70s, when Frances Moore Lappé released her book, Diet for the Small Planet, that people started to understand the effects of meat production and how detrimental it was to the environment. This book was revolutionary, selling over three million copies, offering not only environmental concerns, but tons of meat-free recipes.

But, we are talking about how vegetarians during the 1960s are tougher than you, this book didn’t come out until 1971. The mass population had not quite caught on or cared to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.

Here are 14 reasons why vegetarians in the ‘60s had it so much harder than you: 

  1. Finding a health food store was like playing “Where´s Waldo?”
  2. Cashew milk didn’t come in a box.  It was a DIY project involving muslin and muscle power.
  3. They didn’t know chocolate was a superfood and ate carob instead.
  4. They put brewer’s yeast in their smoothies. You try it sometime.
  5. There was no such thing as pre-washed lettuce making the expression, “I’m going to have a quick salad” nonexistent.
  6. The only cruelty-free deodorant was no deodorant.
  7. There was no vegan road trip app. Just trail mix. Miles and miles of trail mix.
  8. They ate tons of gluten and lived to tell about it. Read that again. They LIVED to tell about it.
  9. People didn’t ask you if you wanted tofu on that. They asked if you were a pinko commie.
  10. They couldn’t share recipes online. “Looks like it’s nut-loaf again tonight, honey.” Maybe we can spice it up with some seasonal fruit!
  11. Coconut yogurt? What coconut yogurt?
  12. A five-star vegan restaurant seemed about as plausible as a phone you could take pictures of your food with.
  13. They had no Instagram followers to applaud them for going vegan.
  14. The only veggie food truck was them eating hummus in a van.

Vegetarians from the 1960s, we applaud you. We support you. We are amazing you stuck to your beliefs, but by golly, we sure are thankful for Beyond Burgers and the fact that fast-food chains across the world are catching on to how great the vegetarianism truly can be!

Sherry De Alba

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