This month marks one year since I decided to become a vegetarian and I can easily say it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Growing up I lived in a meat and veg house with your stereotypical meals such as lamb chops and veg or salad, shepard’s pie, spaghetti bolognese and casseroles, just to name a few. I didn’t know any different, so when I moved out of home I resorted back to the classics as it was easy and comfortable. Although I cut my red meat consumption down quite a lot I still ate chicken on a semi-regular basis.
Fast forward to May last year, I was cooking a slow cooked pulled pork soup and decided enough was enough. Growing up I didn’t eat a lot of pork so this was ‘adventurous’ cooking for me, and as I was cutting the skin off the pork belly I felt sick to my stomach. I have never liked touching raw meat but this was just too much. I finished it but said to Matt ‘nope, no more, I refuse to cook meat, if you want to eat meat you can but I’m not longer doing it.’
I had one slip up, maybe a week later when we had walked to get sushi and tuna sushi was my usual go to, but since then I haven’t touched meat.
Initially it was a choice because I have never really been a huge fan of meat, but the longer I was a vegetarian the more I saw the ethical, health and environmental side of things and that’s what really concreted my choice.
For example, did you know that 51% of global greenhouse emissions are attributed to livestock or that 70% of grain grown in the U.S is to feed livestock. You can find more environmental facts about meat here.
Health wise, eating meat increases your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes and processed meats have been linked to cancer. And if you’re a male, watch out, eating meat means you are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction!
I could sit here for hours going through how bad eating meat is for your body, the environment and the animals but that isn’t the point of the post, the point is to tell you the benefits I have noticed since I stopped eating meat
1. I am far less bloated than I used to be. I never realised how bloated meat would make me until I stopped!
2. I have more energy despite having a chronic illness. Before being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (more on that in another post) I noticed I had so much energy after I stopped eating meat.
3. I’ve tried more food. Before becoming vegetarian I HATED mushrooms, olives, spicy food, Indian food. Whilst I still am not a huge mushroom fan I can tolerate them a lot more. I thought going vegetarian food would be boring but I feel like the complete opposite. I have tried so many different kinds of food because sometimes the options are limited.
4. It’s cheaper. Meat is so damn expensive. We cut down our grocery shop cost by so much once we stopped eating meat, even more if you shop at a fruit and veg store as opposed to buying fruit and veg from Coles or Woolworths.
5. The cookbooks! We have bought so many good cookbooks over the past year I can’t cook everything fast enough.
6. The feeling I get when I know I am not contributing to an industry that is not doing any favours for the world.
Those are just a few of the benefits I have noticed, and like I said, I could go on but I will leave it there. The point of this post isn’t to make meat eaters feel bad, it is just to share my experiences over the last year of being vegetarian. Even if meat eaters cut down their consumption of meat to only a couple of nights a week it would have such a positive effect on the world and your global foot print.
If you would like to read more facts about eating meat and the effect it has on your body, the environment and the animals then visit these links:
How do you feel about eating meat? Do you have any questions? Any vegetarian recipes you might like to share? Feel free to let me know by leaving a comment or heading to my contact page.
Thanks for stopping by!