The most common question I am faced with as a vegetarian is “How do you live without meat?!”
And to be honest, it gets quite annoying. Of course I’m used to the original “Being vegetarian is a big MISSED-STEAK(! HAHAHAhahhahaaha)” joke; and yes, I often am commented on for my lifestyle. But it’s still too much effort to sit and explain my morals to each individual meat-eater when they marvel at how I have gone years without bacon – So here is the answer.
Choosing to live without eating meat or other animals may seem like a big, scary, difficult decision. But you don’t have to switch overnight, sometimes it takes months, but soon enough the habit of getting alternate sources of protein kicks in. There are various types of diet surrounding animals, such as pescatarian (eating fish but no meat/poultry) and demi-vegetarian (eating only white meats, and not red); but all in all, it’s whatever is best for you. Sometimes the choice is more to do with healthy eating, and this is more likely the case with demi-vegetarians.
I started off as a pescatarian, and have only recently fully cut fish out of my diet. For the first year, I even still occasionally ate chicken. But I’ve come to a point where I do not feel satisfied that I am living up to my morals any more. I strongly believe that humans should not be breeding animals simply to slaughter them, but I also am starting to realise that we shouldn’t be using animals for our personal gain either.
We were created to coexist with other living creatures on this planet, we were created to care for them – or at least tolerate them. In fact, breeds such as cows, chickens and pigs were never meant to be bred to the extent of population that they are now.
Of course it is on the edge of impossible to make the whole world vegan, but the truth is that most non-vegetarian people could really do with cutting down on a bit of the meat. If I had one (vegan) marshmallow for every time somebody asks me what I eat, I’d easily make a king-size marshmallow bed. In complete honesty, cutting meat out of my diet introduced a wider, more interesting variety of food to me. Whilst my friends were getting their usual beefburger, I was trying quorn, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, nuts (very important for healthy fats), beans, falafel, halloumi and quinoa. All of these are rich in protein, so please stop worrying that I might die from protein-deficiency.
Essentially, being vegetarian is better for me, better for the animals, better for nature and better for the world. In the end, your carbon footprint won’t matter. In the end, nobody will care about how much water you waste. Some day, people will realise that we cannot sustain our Earth by breeding, eating and wasting the amount of lifestock that we do currently.
If any of this interests you in any way, I honestly recommend/urge that you have a look at Skool of Vegan‘s website. It gives you a solid, proper insight into the meat industry and how it affects the world – and also gives lots of helpful advice on vegetarian/vegan lifestyles. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re just one person and can’t make a difference; every new vegetarian decreases the demand for meat, and maybe one day we can live in a cruelty-free society, where murder is not “the norm”.