Steak. A steak burrito. Half a steak burrito before realizing it was steak.
Dave and I took Django on a walk through West Park after work then stopped at El Burro in the central Northside to get burritos to take home. I ordered what I always do: vegan chorizo.
It was a late dinner and we were both starved, so I unwrapped the burrito marked “vegan” and dug right into mine. As I was eating it, I thought it tasted different. It looked like seitan, so I wondered if they switched to seitan instead of the TVP-based chorizo they usually have. I asked Dave to taste it, and he said, “No, that’s definitely not meat. It tastes funny.” So I continued to eat it. Not once did I ever consider that I might be eating meat.
Dave, meanwhile, was curious about his burrito. He asked me what I ordered for him, and I reminded him he ordered his own. “Oh!” he remembered. “I ordered steak.” We just looked at each other. I made him try another bite of my supposed seitan, and he confirmed–it was steak!
I about died. I am not one of those people who eat meat every now and again (it always amazes me when I hear about vegetarians or even vegans who tuck right into turkey at Thanksgiving dinner). If there were some type of apocalypse that damaged all plant life and the only way to survive was to eat meat, I don’t think I could do it. I like animals more than I like most people, so eating animals is as horrific to me as eating humans.
“How did you eat half of it and not realize?!” Dave asked.
“I haven’t eaten meat in 12 years! I don’t know what it tastes like anymore!” I cried. “You eat meat every day. How could you not know it wasn’t meat?!” He claimed he didn’t realize his first taste was steak because it was small.
I was very upset and immediately felt sick, but I’m sure that was mental. I considered making myself vomit, but that would have just made the whole situation worse. I felt very sad. I googled “I accidentally ate meat” and found lots of posts from people who didn’t know ramen noodles have chicken broth, Caesar salad dressing has anchovies, and Morningstar products aren’t vegan. That didn’t make me feel any better. I ate half a steak burrito.
Dave, meanwhile, was having a field day. He kept asking me things like whether I wanted to go out to dinner at Hyde Park (a steak restaurant) next week and wanted to know if I wanted to finish the steak burrito or trade.
OY! Huge lesson learned. It’s been so long since I’ve eaten meat that I guess I’ve gotten lax with not checking before eating. I’ll definitely cut into things before eating them now!