It’s now been a little over a year since I’ve given up meat and today happens to be World Vegetarian Day! Now, some may not consider me a vegetarian because I still eat seafood…so, I guess I’m really a pescatarian. No matter the title you wanna slap on me, I’ve learned a bunch this past year. If you’re considering giving up eating your four-legged friends, please keep on reading!
- It’s really NOT that hard. I used to say I could never give up meat because…bacon. And I hear that from plenty of other people too. I gave up ALL meat cold turkey (yes, including cold turkey) and it worked for me, but there are NO set rules! Take a break from steak and see how you feel. Of course, I have cravings now and again but I’ve found yummy alternatives to keep hankerings at bay!
- Water is FILLING. I know it’s random, but hear me out! When I first gave up meat, I found I was doing a lot of snacking (chips, chocolate, anything unhealthy, etc.) to keep full. Then, I figured that wasn’t the BEST idea so, I drank more water. Since giving up meat, I drink SIGNIFICANTLY more water now than I ever did before.
- There are SO many alternatives. I used to find fake meat as appealing as 3-week-old egg salad. BUT, guys. There are serious alternatives that TRULY have the texture and taste of chicken and beef and pork…it’s insane. I never believed people who told me this beforehand, but now I’m hoping y’all believe ME. One of my favorites is Gardein, but if you’re not into soy then I recommend Quorn.
- You can STILL eat out. I never want to be that person when going out to eat with friends…like, oh but Jackie doesn’t eat meat so we CAN’T go to XX. When I went on the 2nd Annual Taco Tour last year, my friend was like, oh, but what are you going to eat?! Surprise! There are tons of taco spots that offer not only fish tacos but yummy veggie tacos too! I never would’ve opted for a veggie taco over chicken or pork prior to giving up meat, but now I find I actually PREFER them!
- It’s easy to turn a blind eye. When I first gave up meat, I had so many chicken nugget dreams. Like, literal dreams of me just going to Wendy’s and ordering/eating chicken nuggets. And it would’ve been so easy to say, ‘eh, well they’re already dead at this point…” and go and grab some the very next day. But then I’d think about all the animals who suffer for our convenience and I continued to educate myself instead. While I gave up eating meat for ethical reasons, I’ve found I eat WAY LESS fast food too. Yay for health benefits!
Coming from a girl who loved her Italian combos and filet mignons, striking up a vegetarian lifestyle isn’t impossible. Start out with a Meatless Monday tradition and take it from there. LEARN about where your food is coming from and how animals are treated. Is there really such thing as humane slaughtering? (Hint: probably not.)
Spread kindness and cheer, xo