Siyris wrote:I would not advise saying you have an allergy if you don't actually have an allergy. Say that you don't eat meat and deal with the looks you get. Allergies are taken super seriously here though and lying about it is not a wise course of action.
I have to politely disagree. One friend of mine lived in Japan (not as a JET) for years and avoids pork for religious reasons. She didn't just get looks--her request was consistently disregarded over and over. I've also experienced this. I've even been flat-out lied to. (Lied to not including the mindset that little chunks/broth don't count.)
Likewise, after fourteen years, meat pretty much affects me as though it were an allergy anyway. When I say I have a meat allergy, I'm saying that meat makes me sick. This isn't a lie. I don't like to eat fish/eggs/dairy, but I can bring myself to do it when required by the culture of country I've chosen to visit. This is not the case with non-sea meat.
But, I would much prefer to be upfront, particularly with the BoE, particularly if it gets me more veggies and less or no eggs/dairy/fish.
ESID, so we'll see.
I'm actually allergic to cows (and dogs, cats, horses, pigs, etc., anything with fur) so I think I might have a mild beef allergy... I haven't eaten beef since elementary school, but I am wary to saying I have an allergy when it's all speculation. I will probably try to start eating fish in Japan, but I don't feel comfortable eating anything more than that. I stayed with a host family for a month in Saitama, and I told them I was vegetarian but my host mom was convinced that I just didn't like American meat, and that she could win me over with Japanese meat. It was a struggle. She told me the first say I arrived that, "By the time you go home, you will love meat". Didn't happen XD
And yes, they might "trick" you, but not in a mean way. They also think pork is vegetarian. At least there are no "well where do you get your protein?" questions, but I do think they look at vegetarians as "picky eaters" sometimes, as opposed to left-wing, tree-hugging liberals
With JET, you don't live with a host family, so you can control what you eat at home. What I am worried about is going to enkais, or maybe having to eat the school lunch. I might say I am allergic to four-legged animals (which is true), or maybe I am Buddhist (which is kind of true), or maybe just take the opportunity to teach them about American culture, and explain that being vegetarian is seen as healthier, better for the environment, and kind towards animals.
My Japanese teacher is vegetarian, actually. He brings bento to school, but I think I remember him saying that when he goes back to Japan he eats fish. I think I'll ask him, from a slightly Americanized Japanese standpoint, how to best go about being vegetarian in Japan as a foreigner.