The Vegetarian Diary: 4 Months Vegetarian

Today marks 4 months since going vegetarian.

I had been saying to Steph ‘I reckon I’ll be vegetarian in the next few years’ for about 2 years now. I’ve never been a big meat eater, we are both trying to improve our health and diet, whilst also trying to do our bit to live more environmentally friendly.

Now I don’t believe you just ‘go veggie’ overnight, it’s a conscious decision that you have got to make to change your habits and lifestyle.

Last year we tried to eat vegetarian for a month, which only lasted a couple of weeks, it was summer, we went to BBQ’s, and just gave up too quickly. But in just those few weeks, we found we were eating so many vegetables in our dinners to bulk it up and by doing so, we each lost a few pounds each in weight in that short about of time, which made us feel great.

Earlier this year we tried it again, we went veggie for a month in January and this time we stuck to it. We really had to think about what to have for dinner when food shopping, planning how we can make use of all the vegetables that we buy, we went from rotating the same meals, to introducing new flavours to our dinners. It was nice to experiment with what we liked and have a bit more variety in our food.

After the month was up, we went back to eating meat. But this time, instead of having mince or chicken with practically every dinner, we decided to try having a couple of vegetarian meals a week, to reduce the amount of meat that we eat and to encourage us to eat plenty of veg.

I personally have never been overly bothered about meat, I ate meat, because that’s what everyone did. I would eat chicken with most meals and then mince with chili and bolognese on a regular basis. Other than that, I would rarely cook myself any other meats, I’ve never been overly fond of pork, beef and lamb but I would eat if a family member served it up. I don’t eat big macs or kebabs, because I just don’t like them, and I would never touch things like veil or venison because morally it never sat right with me.

I stopped eating duck around 5 years ago. Ducks are one of my favourite animals, so every time I ate duck pancakes from the Chinese, or a hoisin duck wrap from Tesco, I just felt guilty and like I was being a hypocrite, how could I eat an animal I love so much? So I stopped. For as long as I can remember I’ve hated eating fish, and I’ve never agreed with fishing. As a kid I used to go around the supermarket with my parents and feel sick walking past the fish counter, seeing all of the eyes staring back at me. Gross!

If I went out to a restaurant, 9 times out of 10 I would order the meat free option, not because I was trying to be a vegetarian, I just preferred the flavours of the veggie dishes. I’ve would never want to order a typical steak dish, as the idea of chewy, bloody meat would repulse me.

Now I’m the type of person that thinks quite matter of fact, and for as long as I can remember I’ve always found it bizarre that culturally us Brits have domesticated some animals and eat others. I could never understand how people could have a pet rabbit at home, or take their kids to the local farm and feed the lambs, then serve up rabbit and lamb for dinner.

When the horse meat epidemic happened a few years back, it was all over the news, people were horrified… I just didn’t get it, so you won’t eat a horse, but you’ll eat the cow that is standing in the same field, surely that is just illogical.

Gordon Ramsey received abuse online a few months ago for going to Peru and eating a guinea pig, which is culturally accepted there. Brits were up in arms about eating a guinea pig, and again I just didn’t get it, why have we decided that a guinea pig or a horse’s life is more valuable than a cow or pigs life?

So, after dealing with thoughts like these for years, it’s silly but the last straw for me was when we got our kitten Maui, who is now 9 months old. Maui’s personality has grown and changed so much in that time. We’ve got this gorgeous cat, that is an animal, he is part of the family. So what’s to say other animals wouldn’t be like this if you domesticated them?

Animals eat other animals to survive. However, as a species, humans are so advanced that we have created meat free, plant based alternatives that provide enough goodness to survive. Surely, we don’t NEED to eat meat anymore?

In my opinion, I feel that we’ve all decided the taste of an animal on our plate, is more important to us than its life and made a habit of that, but that just doesn’t sit right with me. Now I’m not a meat eater hater, but I do believe we should all be reducing our meat intake, reducing the demand for overproduced cattle and go back to buying meat from local farmers.

This world would be far better off if we put the planet before ourselves and the money in our pockets, the amount of grain fed to cattle, that are slaughtered, so we are able to serve it up on our plates for dinner… if that grain was given to third world countries, it would cure world hunger. How crazy is that? Why hasn’t this happened? Because we can’t give up our lamb chops.

I’m loving veggie life. I feel healthier than ever, I’m sleeping better, going to the toilet more regularly (TMI) I’ve tried new foods, ate some delicious meals and found a real love for the green life, and the stabbing pain I used to get in my belly on a regular basis is now gone! Yay!

I’m also trying to reduce my dairy intake… I’m having less milk in my tea, I’ve swapped to vegan margarine (which tastes the same) consciously just trying to make better decisions for my life and the environment. My diet isn’t full of fake meat alternatives, but bulked up with vegetables and pulses, so our grocery shopping is cheaper than ever!

So yeah, now I’m living to my stereotype. I’m a left wing, planet loving, vegetarian, lesbian. Could I be any more predictable?

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