Good morning everyone! Today I wanted to discuss a topic that I’m passionate about: being a vegetarian. A few days ago, I actually discovered that this month is ‘Veganuary’ where you can pledge to go vegan for the month (the site has a lot of information about going vegan if you’re interested). Although going vegan interests me and I do eat mostly vegan when I cook for myself, I’m still just a vegetarian for now. Who knows, that may change in the future.
I wanted to go vegetarian when I was a freshman in high school, but unfortunately my parents didn’t think I was serious and were against it. I tried not to eat meat when I had the chance, but when my mom cooked I couldn’t really change the menu. When I got to college, however, they couldn’t hold me back so I stopped eating meat. I’ve been a vegetarian for three years now, and I really love it!
I don’t think that I could go back to eating meat at all. While, yes, sometimes it’s frustrating when friends want to go to a restaurant that doesn’t really have vegetarian options or when you have to look into certain foods, it’s really worth it in the end. The only type of meat I really miss is Chik-fil-a chicken nuggets, but there are plenty of substitute vegetarian meals for any favorite foods that feature meat.
I’m sure most people have heard of these before, but I wanted to list three of the main reasons people switch to vegetarianism with a brief description of each one. All three influenced me when I decided to switch.
Save the animals
While local farmers are likely to take better care of their animals, industrialized farming (which is where most of the meat people eat come from) does not. Animals like cows, chickens, pigs, and more get mistreated, caged, and abused while they are prepared for slaughter. There’s plenty of videos and descriptions on the topic, so feel free to look further into it; I’ll spare you the details here.
Obviously not all vegetarian meals/snacks are healthy, but without meat, you’ll hopefully eat more veggies and fruits. If you do the research, you’re likely to find lots of recipes that use vegetables and fruits in interesting (yet tasty) ways. There are plenty of bloggers and YouTubers who focus on sharing meat-less meals, so I would start looking there (one of my favorites is Liv B’s videos). I find that being a vegetarian also keeps me more aware of what I need in my diet, which is essential to keeping healthy. There are also less vegetarian options at fast food places, so you might be more convinced to stay away from places that don’t have healthy options.
Protect the environment
I’m all for sustainability, and being meat-free helps the environment. There has to be land, food, and water to raise the animals; this can take up more resources than necessary (and can lead to deforestation). Also, all of the waste from the animals can cause pollution, and farm animals can emit certain gases like methane that can be harmful for the environment.
I hope you enjoyed the post! I wanted to disclaim that while I think vegetarianism is great and wonderful, I’m not someone who will freak out at people for eating meat. That’s your decision, not mine. I hate when people harp on my food choices, so I really don’t complain about anyone else’s. Even going meat-less once a week can help.
Before I end this post, I wanted to give a shout out to the blog Aly’s Journal where I learned about Veganuary. She’s been posting some vegan posts for the months, so feel free to check those out if you’re interested! Also, if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask! I’m not an expert, but I have been one for a while so I can probably help!