Going veggie

| On
07:00:00

Vegetarian. 

A word I never thought I would use to describe myself. I grew up in a family of meat eaters and all of my friends eat meat. I did too up until a few months ago, although it was very rare and only ever chicken or mince. I've never particularly liked red meat - steak, ribs, lamb, pork - I didn't like the taste at all and there was just something about having such a vast chunk of meat on my plate that made me feel a little uneasy. I would eat chicken perhaps a few times a month but as the prices got higher and higher I started eating it less and less. 

Since changing my lifestyle and eating healthier I've loved experimenting in the kitchen and creating new and delicious foods. I'd say the second part of last year was when this really took off because I moved from a shared house to my own little flat and having my own kitchen really made a difference. With more space I could easily spend hours in the kitchen every weekend cooking up different things and trying new recipes. I started to explore more veggie options and I loved discovering new ways of cooking vegetables and grains. It didn't take long before I realised how delicious vegetarian food could be and that you really don't need to have meat in your diet. The more and more I looked into it and after watching a few food documentaries (anyone else love watching these?!) the more I realised I didn't want to eat meat. The last time I ate meat was September and I decided in December that I was going to give myself the label and go veggie.


A lot of people who are vegetarians do so because they are animal lovers but for me this wasn't the main reason, although I do love animals and it was definitely a factor in my decision. No, for me the main reason was health related - I simply felt better when I didn't eat meat. I love eating huge plates of vegetables, grains and fruit filled with goodness because it just makes me feel so wonderful. I have more energy, feel less lethargic and just all round better. I've also spent a long time on antibiotics for a health condition but I'm hoping now that I've come off these that I can use diet rather than drugs to fend this off. 

I would also say environmental factors played a role in my decision too. After watching documentaries including Food Inc. and Cowspiracy I was pretty shocked at the sheer amount of resources that go into producing meat for human consumption. I won't go into the facts and figures here but I would say if you're interested then go and do a bit of research because it is so interesting.

And of course the animals. It breaks my heart to think about the awful things that happen to animals during their short lives. Animals that are born purely to be reared for human consumption can be treated so badly and I just can't support that. I think when you eat meat you tend to turn a blind eye to these things, but the more I found out I just knew I couldn't support the meat industry anymore. 

Vegan?

It's only been a month or so since I became vegetarian but I am already considering going vegan or plant-based. I watched a documentary called Forks Over Knives and it just really opened my eyes to the benefits of a vegan diet - I'd really recommend watching it if vegan is something you're considering because it is so interesting. There's also the issue of animals who are used for creating products like milk, eggs and cheese and how unnatural this is and how cruel it can be. There's just something about living solely off plants that really appeals to me. It seems a lot more natural and I would love to see how it makes me feel, if just going veggie has already made me feel so great. 

But, at the moment, I'm not vegan but I am trying to eat a more plant-based diet and have been experimenting with different ways to make my favourite dairy-based foods with plant-based products. If you are vegan I would love to know how you found the transition and if there's any advice you would give to someone considering the change?

I'd just like to finish off by saying that each and every one of us has the right to choose how we eat. Just because I am now a vegetarian doesn't mean I will be trying to convince any of my friends to do so too. I believe we should all eat what makes us feel wonderful, whether that be meat, eggs, fish or a huge plate of vegetables. I just wanted to share my thoughts on the subject and give a little insight into why I decided to change my diet.

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