Terence Gerchberg was the “veggie half” of the Amazing Race couple Terence and Sarah this past season. During a challenge, Terence, a vegetarian for 15 years, tried to eat sheep butt to further the couple in the competition. It was the most delicious meal he ever had. Ha, just kidding. It was nasty, he barfed, they fell behind and were eliminated during that episode. He agreed to talk to Vegetarian Star about his experience on the show as well as his personal experience with vegetariansim.
On the eating challenge where he had to eat sheep butt
I wish more than anything I would have said this: “I will not compromise my beliefs.” And turned around and walked out. I didn’t say that. Am I mad at myself for that? I’m mad at many things. They probably wouldn’t have even conveyed that because they definitely portrayed me as being a bit of a little whiner on the show. I’m really not that big of a complainer. Being a competitive person, for a million dollars, would you have tried to eat sheep’s butt?
I could not chew it. I was gagging. It was literally repulsive. And Sarah was like, “Eat the potatoes.” It wasn’t potatoes. It was chunks of ass. It was fat from the [sheep] ass. It was seriously the most repulsive thing I’ve ever in my entire life tried to eat. What bothered me about the whole process was in front of us, there was like a cow’s head or lamb’s head and they were peeling the meat off of the head and eating it in front of us.
And if you look at the video, I’m throwing it up outside. (Take a look at the video after the jump below.)
Were you aware during the time you were chosen or anywhere in the process before you had the eating challenge that there were different types of eating challenges? Did you ask ahead of time if you would have to eat cow testicles or something disgusting like that?
We’ve [he and Sarah] watched previous episodes, so in previous episodes there was a meat eating challenge. They knew from my application, it clearly says, she’s kosher and it clearly says that I’ve never in my life hid the fact that I’m a vegetarian. I clearly and proudly state that I’m a vegetarian at all times. I’m the vegetarian that asks, “Ok, is your veggie burger cooked on the same grill as your meat? I don’t do that. Like, is there beef stock?” I take pride in it-I know about the gelatin. Certain cheeses are vegetarian. I really am an educated vegetarian. I’m competing at a fairly competitive level (Terence runs marathons) without eating any meat. There’s so much that the world has to offer in terms of grains. Every once in awhile I do have some dairy and eggs, but as a whole I can practically be vegan. I take complete pride and it’s something that I’ve never shied away from. So they did know it. They asked, “What would you do if you had to eat meat?” I said, “You’re asking me a tough question;-I don’t want to compromise my beliefs.”
Watch video where Terence throws up sheep butt, and read the rest of the interview after the jump
How did you find out about the auditions for the Amazing Race and what made you and Sarah, obviously besides the money, decide to go for it?
We were traveling…she told me she had a friend’s wedding in Moscow. We decided to take the trip together. I got the Visas and before you knew it, we went to Moscow-like literally in less than a week’s notice. And that’s like a pretty major trip. And everybody was like, “Oh, my god, the way you guys travel is kind of like the Amazing Race. You should apply for it.”
On reasons for turning vegetarian
The initial reason was my sister did it. When I was eating meat I always felt sluggish. And I felt so much more energized and the food I was putting in my body, my body really liked. And then when I was in college, my English teacher would be like, “Write about whatever you want.” And I was like, “I’ll write about vegetarianism.” And the more I read about it, the more it coincided with my beliefs.
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