Explorations in Vegetarianism

A carnivore exploring the other side.

Eating Veggies and Reading about Animals

So I’ve been on this exploration of vegetarianism for about a solid week now. After my last post I had to do a little preparation and wrap my head around the idea of being more intentionally about no eating meat and eating more vegetables. But for the past week I’ve been very intentionally about looking at what’s in the food I’m eating and finding other things to eat when I feel the need for a protein snack – I may be developing a slight peanut butter addiction in exchange for meat – and it’s going well. I don’t feel that I’m deprived really in any way.

However, I did take some advice from some friends and colleagues who said that if I was worried about being a burden on my family and friends, who are all pretty serious carnivores, I shouldn’t get caught up on eating meat and not putting that burden on them, should they make dinner or want to go out to eat somewhere with slim picking for the veggies options. But I’ve found that this week when I choose to do that and just order or eat something with meat because I didn’t want to burden others, I just felt bad about it because the meat didn’t really add anything to my meal – I just didn’t want to make a big deal about asking the restaurant to leave the meat off.

So I’m going to count this week as a learning meat. I’ve got to learn that people aren’t offended anymore when you change your order from what’s on the menu. I’ve always been the person that doesn’t want to make it harder on people cooking me food, but really asking someone to leave something off isn’t that hard. So I’m just going to have to do it and stop feeling bad about it.

On another note, if anyone happens to be interested in reading more about animal treatment in the United States and has some free time on their hands to sit down and read an engaging book for a bit, I highly recommend Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I read it this past summer and at the time I didn’t think that it had a very big impact on me, but look at me now. And it’s definitely been a book that’s stuck with me. So if you’re looking for a good read and why you should eat veggies and let the animals be free, this is one for you.


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More to come sonn about my venture into vegetarianism.

No meat for 30 days?

In my continued, albeit drawn out, research about vegetarianism, I’ve been considering what the best way to transition to no meat is. Cold turkey? Gradually? I’ve also had to consider how my boyfriend and family will feel about this since it will affect them too, since I tend to enjoy sharing meals with them. I found this video that suggests setting a goal of no meat for 30 days and then seeing if you even miss it after that time.

How to Become Vegan 

So this seems like it might be the way to go. What do you think? Is 30 days long enough to not really crave the taste of meat anymore or is it just too long to start out with?

Also I’m in the market for a great cookbook for Vegan Baking. If anyone has one that they love, I’d enjoy hearing your recommendation!

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The Perks of Being a Vegetarian

In beginning this process of exploring vegetarianism, I was curious about the actual health benefits of eating within the bounds of a vegetarian lifestyle. Was it really that much better for my health or am I purely protecting those soft and fuzzy creatures that deserve to be born for a purpose other than to be eaten?

As I started to consider the possibility of not eating meat anymore, I was first interested in learning about the health benefits of becoming a vegetarian. What healthy benefits will this lifestyle provide?

Sabah Karimi commented in her blog about 17 Benefits of Being a Vegetarian, that there are numerous health benefits associated, such as lowering the risk of lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and diabetes, and increasing a person’s life span. These seem like fantastic benefits that are easily achieved by merely stopping my consumption of meat. They seem a little lofty, personally. Can meat really have that much affect on our bodies?  I needed to do a little more research to be completely convinced about the health benefits.

So I looked for a little advice from the experts, the medical experts that is. I found an article by Randall White and Erica Frank, both MDs, who explain a bit more in their article Health Effects and Prevalence of Vegetarianism. They found that vegetarian diets are low in cholesterol and saturated fat, but vegetarians struggle to maintain levels of iron and zinc and some essential vitamins, like B12. So not completely convincing that this is a good way to good for balanced nutrition, but wait there is more!

Karimi was onto something in her blog and Franks and White agree that, after some complicated medical studies of course, vegetarians are at lower risk for colon cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes due to factors like a higher fiber intake. And due to a just generally healthier lifestyle than carnivores and well as different eating habits, vegetarians tend to live longer. So Karimi was definitely heating the nail on the head with her benefits.

Now that I know there is something to being healthier by not eating meat, knowing how I tend to get with getting my willpower up, I’m suspecting that I’m going to need more reasons than just wanting to be healthier. I always want to be healthier, but rarely that’s enough to make me actually do it. So here’s to finding another source of motivation. Looks like I’ll be doing some more research!

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