When I first experimented with veganism, something happened that shocked me.
Two weeks into my challenge, I found it pretty easy going, eating most of my meals at home. Excessive flatulence the only real side-effect. So I thought it was time to try something harder, eating out.
A little weary, I turned to a familiar beacon of florescent light, a Subway restaurant. Surely this would be a safe place. But what transpired on that day left me scared. I remember it as if it were yesterday.
I’m standing in the queue, more nervous than I ought to be. Not because of where I am, but because I can’t remember for the life of me what the vegetarian sub is called. And I don’t want to sound like an amateur.
I could ask Meatball Sub as he walks past, licking his lips. Or maybe Double Bacon, who is holding up the line. But I doubt they know. Or care. Those lucky bastards.
Scanning the distant menu, I see many old friends. Italian. Teriyaki. But not my current conquest. Was it Veggorama? Veggie Stack? My mind is blank. It must be the low blood sugar.
Ah, there it is, Veggie DELIGHT. Relieved, I start singing.
‘Sky rockets in flight… afternoon delight’.
But enough of that, it’s time to focus. My turn to order.
“Hi, what can I get you?”
“A footlong multigrain thanks.”
“Sure. What are you having on it?”
“Um, Veggie Delight please.”
“You want cheese?”
So far, all I have is a piece of bread and it’s quickly passed to the next Sandwich Artist.
Perusing the various ingredients, I ready myself for action. But before I can place my order, she asks a question I hadn’t prepared for.
“Do you want me to change my gloves?”
Why is she asking me this? Caught off-guard, I politely wave away her request.
“So what do you want on it?”
I rattle off a long list of plant-based foods and to my surprise she remembers all of them. Kudos Subway Training Department.
Then she asks if I want avocado, perhaps worried about my protein intake. I accept.
A few final decisions and my sandwich is all wrapped up and ready to go. Time to pay.
What?? $10.65!! For a few veggies in bread? You have to be kidding me.
Don’t they know I just saved an animal’s life? Where’s the appreciation?
I thought this place was all about healthy eating. I’ve seen the ads. So why am I being punished for trying to reduce my cholesterol intake? Heart disease is a killer, you know. They should be showering me with praise and discounts.
It really bugs me that healthy food is always so expensive, and it’s not just here. Fresh produce can cost an absolute fortune. It’s no wonder families have to resort to cheap processed food. If obesity is such an expensive problem, why doesn’t the government subsidise good food?
And why does this delightful sub even have a name? You can get salad on any sub you order. I should have just ordered the cheaper ‘sub-of-the-day’ (ham) and asked for no pig.
I thought about leaving in protest. But shaking with disbelief and malnourishment, I hand over my credit card. I feel completely violated and abused—like they’d just bent me over the counter and given me a surprise rectal exam.
Well, at least now I know why they have to change their gloves.