So, I’ve become a vegetarian. Initially, it was an easy decision because I like vegetables, fruits, nuts and *some* seeds. But I’ve been finding more difficult as I’ve gone along. However, I’m hoping that this is just a short stage.
In preparation, I’ve read heaps of articles about vegetarianism including recipe ideas, the health benefits and the ethical and environmental implications of meat production. Reading all these things has actually taken a bit of a mental toll on me. Once you know the truth about what really goes on, I think it is hard to argue in favour of eating meat. It’s also hard not to become angry or depressed about the situation. But, I feel good about trying to do my part to help end it.
The main reason I’ve decided to do this for the animals. It literally makes me cry when I think about factory farming practices and I’ve decided that I cannot be a part of it any longer. There are heaps of videos and documentaries around that show these things, but I can’t get through a couple of minutes without bursting into tears. There’s also the health benefits I should get, and I’m helping the environment. [Fun fact – greenhouse gas emissions from livestock raised for meat production add up to more than all the world’s transportation vehicles combined].
In saying that, it is hard to make the change. It’s harder than any activist group/person might acknowledge. When you have eaten meat for your entire life, it is difficult to give it up and come up with alternatives. For me specifically, it is hard to cook meat daily for my family, then not have any myself – the temptation is real. But then I remind myself why I decided to do this – for the animals – and it really helps me to stay focused and reach for that salad. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find days difficult and you shouldn’t feel guilty about having cravings. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Having a solid reason behind your decision will help you when you struggle. That advice is true for any big decision, not just vegetarianism.
If you are considering becoming vegetarian, or vegan which is even kinder to animals, then good on you for wanting to make the change. I have a couple of key tips which I have discovered so far that I’ll share below:
1 – Collect recipes/know your nutrition.
This is what I’m struggling with now, and wish that I had done before. But, there are thousands of recipes out there, you just need to find ones that will work for you. P.S – you can get enough iron & protein from a plant-based diet
2 – Fuck the haters
If anyone decides to give you a hard time about your decision, just ignore it. As hard as it is, ignore them. You are doing the best you can to help yourself and the planet, be proud of that.
I haven’t written this post to push my beliefs on you. I just want to spread awareness about something I am passionate about. I hope that this post has at least made you think about the different diet options that exist, and made the idea of vegetarianism not such an unreachable ideal. I am just a regular person living a regular life. With some research and planning it is possible. It is my hope that one day everyone will become vegetarian/vegan, so we can create a kinder world that appreciates, respects and values all living creatures on this planet.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandi