This is the beginning of my journey in trying to phase meat out of my diet. I am focusing on health and nourishment while also doing a silent boycott of the industrial farming industry. Keep reading to learn about how I am trying to be less of a burden on the planet, the pros and cons of vegetarianism, how one can slowly and healthily stop eating meat and some great tips for those of you who are wanting to make the jump!
The big question, why?
“But bacon tastes so good!”
“Your body needs meat!”
“You can’t substitute the protein from just eating plants?!”
I have dabbled in vegetarianism before, this is most definitely not my first attempt. It lasted a few years but I stopped because I wasn’t eating to nourish my body and was naive about why I was choosing to cut meat out. I also struggled, as many young girls do, with anemia. But this time I have better motives and I am educated about how to keep my body healthy and happy. Making the jump (wow that makes it sound so scary!) includes doing a lot of your own research. You know your body better than anyone else!
I realised that by simply eating meat you support and give a big ol’ thumbs up to an incredibly cruel industry and are actively contributing to environmental degradation (see videos below). But this recent decision of mine was initiated when I was caught out on a discrepancy in my morals by none other than Thomas King (@ThomasKing96), an Australian role-model for activism.
Thomas and I were debating the perfume industry and how we completely disagree with civet musk extraction for its archaic barbarity and the fact that there are various synthetic alternatives to the musk. Thomas asked me why I found it so shocking, especially for someone who eats [ate] meat, as industrial farming is pretty much the same thing – equally as cruel but on a much greater scale. I denied it outright and came up with some nonsense excuse defending myself but the reality of the situation was crushing me. It was then that I decided to pull my head out of the sand and confront the situation head on.
To start, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of being a vegetarian or someone who wants to eat less meat…(comment below if you can think of any more!)
Pros of vegetarianism
- Save money – meat is expensive
- Many health benefits
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of cancers and heart diseases
- A reduced environmental impact
- Being conscious about what you eat can bring needed structure to your life as it makes you more disciplined (one of my main benefits!)
- Killing less animals (Ohh yes, let that one pull at your heartstrings)
- Oh, and I also found this…57 Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
- No major health risks unless you don’t get your required daily nutrients
- Meat may be expensive but you need to eat a lot of delicious plant-based foods to fill you up
- It may be difficult for you to grab substantial vegetarian convenience food
- People may be threatened by your choices: they may be scared that you are judging their decisions OR they may feel uncomfortable because you raise a valid point
- It means putting in a little more effort than usual…
I’m still trying to determine how I am going to justify eating eggs – the same farming procedures apply to this trade as well…However, I am taking baby steps. I am giving myself until the end of the year to continue to phase meat out of my diet. Since I decided to be more conscious about what I eat I have only had one accidental after-club-2am burger…
For those of you pop culture fans if you decide to make the jump you’ll be making an on trend decision along with some A-lister celebrities:
- Ellen Degeneres
- Peter Dinklage…who has a message for you: Face Your Food
- Miley Cyrus (full vegan) – pays hommage to her pet piggy for helping her make the change
- Jared Leto
- Russell Brand
- Tobey Maguire aka. Spiderman
- Adele (currently trying to be a vegetarian)
…just to name a few
So how do you make the change (the steps):
- Educate yourself
- What nutrients do you need to substitute?
- What type of vegetarian do you want to be?
- Lacto-ovo (most common: still eats eggs, dairy and honey)
- Pescatarian (still eats fish, no but seriously FISH ARE ANIMALS)
- Vegan (absolutely no animal byproducts)
- Find alternative foods
- Make small, everyday conscious decisions
It’s that easy!
For people who are on the cusp about this decision watch these videos and your mind will be made up for you. (This is complete manipulation and I don’t feel one bit guilty!)
- Industrial Farming
- Food Inc. (Trailer)
- 10 Facts That Could Turn You Vegetarian
- The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers
And while we’re at it…no more leather bags please (faux is cheaper anyway!)
Most change is scary but making the decision to reduce your meat consumption (or to stop eating meat completely) is exciting because you can control exactly how it happens! Take your time, be healthy and celebrate the discipline!