Eating meat? I love meat! Well, maybe because I love food in general. However, I did occasionally think about turning vegetarian. Why you ask? Well the most obvious reason was for health reasons, I’ve always been overweight and I thought being vegetarian could help me lose and maintain the pounds off. But since cooking was such a big part of my daily activities, and eating was the most enjoyable part of that, this trajectory went downhill. I got up to two weeks without meat and got back on the band wagon without turning back.
I tried again a few months ago with a new improved motivation which was health and the environment. Since I tried to go green in my lifestyle, being a vegetarian would fit perfectly with that advocacy. Being that the meat we raise to eat is the MAIN CONTRIBUTOR for global warming. (I’ll probably discuss this in another article, since this needs more researched parts in it). So I took up the mantle again thinking I could do it for planet earth and low and behold, I flew right into flames two weeks after again ( I guess two weeks was my maximum capacity).
But after some research and viewing a couple of movies about the industrialization of food industralization and animal cruelty (the movies are Earthlings, Food Inc and Fast Food Nation), I was finally committed to become and stay a vegetarian. I realized I had a choice to be a vegetarian and it’s not such a huge burden on my part to be one. It was not as limiting as it thought and I was not the only who would benefit from it. I wanted to become a more responsible “earthling” (douche as it may sound) and not eating meat would be taking a step towards that goal. So I ventured into becoming a vegetarian.
It’s been almost a month since I started not eating meat. Although I have not been completely vegetarian, it’s been a good ride from the start until now. I’m still transitioning from eating little white meat into a completely plant based diet since I have eaten a couple of white meat meals during my transition. But I don’t think that derails me from my ultimate purpose. I think for me it’s a step by step process where I eat less meat then completely abstain from meat then afterwards, completely abstain from dairy products then switch to an all organic vegan diet. It’s a bit daunting not only to my tummy but also to my wallet since going organic is a bit costly but I think all these sacrifices will be worth it.
I have also found some difficulties in terms of trying to find the right combination of food to make sure that I was eating enough protein and taking up enough iron. But since my new diet, I really have not felt weak and have actually felt better physically. I have also never gone sick or felt uneasy since I’ve withdrawn from red meat. But the upside for this it is that I have become more sensitive in monitoring the right amount of everything in my body. And although I haven’t perfected the balanced meal structure for now, I’m still working on a weekly menu to make sure that I get what I need and that I become stronger and healthier in the process.
Do I miss eating meat? Absolutely! I still think about the occasional burger and the fried chicken. On my walk home my mouth still waters when I smell the long line of barbeque stands that I need to pass by. But in my mind, I know that being able to discipline myself is a good step not only for my good health but also with my going green lifestyle. I know becoming a vegetarian is tricky business and the path doesn’t seem all that satisfying. Plus, you have to be ready to face all the criticism and accusations of being a self-righteous (good thing I’ve already had practice in that area by being an atheist) that will be thrown in your way. There will be a few who will laugh in your face telling you what you’re doing is idiotic and there are some who will outright tell you that animals are there to be consumed. But that’s really teeny tiny compared to what you will accomplish with what you are doing.
To those who are also interested in becoming vegetarian but don’t have the right amount of push to set you off, do some research and watch the films I’ve mentioned above. That might be enough fuel to the flame. Also, if you think that you want to become a vegetarian but the transition seems to be impractical or a bit too monumental? You have to keep in mind that you don’t need to rush it. Like all habits, some things are not meant to be adapted in one swift motion. You can always do it gradually to build up not only the stomach for it, but to conviction and the right understanding to do it. Lastly, I say good luck and great job for taking that step! 🙂