We all know vegetarianism has its benefits—lowing our fat intake, improving our heart health, and eating healthier, less processed foods—but how many of us could make the switch and give up our burgers, chicken, and steaks for fruits, veggies, and whole grains full time?
Although we know what we should be doing, often times our taste buds just won’t let us be great. And while meat isn’t all bad and does offer serious health benefits, eating large quantities of fatty, processed meats is not good for our system, or for our environment.
Over the weekend, I heard an interesting TED talk from Graham Hill, the founder of Life Edited, a blog about living your life without all of the unnecessary stuff. In his talk, Hill mentions that while he knows that eating meat is bad for the environment (because we use a vast amount of resources just to feed and transport animals), and not the best for his health, he just can’t give it up. Instead of simply relegating himself to a carnivorous life, Hill decided to cut back on his meat-eating habits and set out to only eat “things with faces” on the weekend.
Listening to Hill’s speech got me to thinking. While I’ve never had an inclination to be a vegetarian, I have been looking for ways to live healthier and preserve the environment for future generations. Although I may not make the switch being a weekend-only vegetarian, cutting back on meats and having “meatless” meals and days of the week is something I’ll probably do.
But how about you?
Have you considered becoming a vegetarian? Could you be a weekend vegetarian?
It’s an easy way of eating healthier. I eat Vegetarian 3 days out of the week but I don’t eat beef or pork at all. I’m a Veggie lover so it’s kind of easy…..want to push for 5 times a week by the summer : )
Yeah why not. Most of my day is fruit/veggie-laden until dinner. The harder question is can I be vegan or go without bread for over a few days.
@Early Bird: ^^I feel you. I was a vegetarian years ago, and I found myself compensating meat with bread and other carbs. My diet is now low-meat, but carbs will always be my enemy. Sigh.
For me, becoming a vegan has been a gradual process but one that I know is completely right for me. It was easy for me to cut out dairy and meat last year, but fish and eggs were more difficult to remove from my diet. This was especially true when eating out. Since I made the transition, I have replaced the meat and gluten in my diet with much more healthful meals. As long as I take time to make balanced, healthy vegan (and more recently raw vegan meals) I don’t have any cravings for “things with a face” or their by-products.
right now i’m trying a vegan diet, and i must say i really like it. but i really enjoy my hamburgers, meatloaf, salmon and chicken too. i think i like the idea of being a part-time omnivore, only eating meat 2-3 days in the week. i’d save money too. 🙂
Eating animals doesn’t have any health benefits and the only time it is necessary is for survival. Meat doesn’t taste good either. The only way people can stomach eating dead animal flesh is if they drown it in flavor-enhancers and sauces that are loaded with sugar. If it did taste good then humans would eat it raw right off the animal like true carnivorous predators do.
If you eat meat then you are not a vegetarian. Period. People are constantly trying to muddy the definition of vegetarian and vegan with their part-time status of meat-eating. It’s different for those that are transitioning into becoming a vegetarian/vegan because they have made the commitment to be meat-free 100% and taking the steps to get there. It isn’t different for people that want to continue eating meat once in awhile but claim they are vegetarians. They are not and shouldn’t insult the vegetarians who are committed by frontin’ like they are.
@fruitygal: The same silly argument could be made for vegetables and fruits. People cook them, them in sauces, and prepare them in other ways to be more appetizing.
@Ms. Bad Mama Jama:
Please. People cook them because they want to not because they have to. Meat has to be cooked to taste even remotely decent. Fruits and vegetables do not. When they are ripe they can be plucked right off the vine or tree and be eaten. Go try and do the same thing with a dead animal, come back and try and convince me how much you like it(if you don’t break your teeth first from trying to eat it). Let me know how “silly” the argument is then.
@fruitygal: It is a silly argument. If you are trying to encourage people to consider eating as a vegetarian or vegan, that argument does strongly hold up. Everyday people eat raw meat (sushi for example). Meats are eaten every day with little to no seasons or drenched in flavor enhancers…simply grilled or baked.
Fruits and veggies are eaten off the vine, but many are prepared in simple and complex ways to be more palatable. In some situations cooking is what makes them palatable or safe. Several vegan and vegetarian (readily available) food options contain vegetables that have been manipulated in various ways to be more palatable.
If you want to encourage people to try other alternatives or reduce/remove altogher their meat intake, I would think emphasizing how good and ready available options for veggies, fruits, and whole grains would be more impactful.
Er, “part-time” vegetarians have always existed – http://harperdavis.hubpages.com/hub/Going-and-Staying-Vegetarian-What-Kind-of-Vegetarian-Are-You
I chose to be vegan in my spare time. what does it mean? well, for family gatherings or holidays, I will eat along. I found it very owefull to see some friends go crazy looking for a vegan cake for someone on their birthday. I thought I wouldn’t like people to struggle and I will accept their cake. It’s worth all the sacrifice.So I can be vegan really and on weekend when I meet my relatives I can eat meat. Same thing if a friend would cook for me not being aware.. I really think being so militant is not good. I also hated a coworker who would remind us all including the waiter he was vegetarian, it wasn’t enough just reading the menu for veggie alternatives he went on with a speech like he wanted everyone to feel guilty. That’s what I don’t like.
So be grateful you have food and specially remind yourself this is not a competition. You do enough eating vegetarian in your own home or choosing your meal at a restaurant. I think deep inside some want to be purist or endure temptation like we are a vegetarian version of Christ. I enjoyed a lot cooking asian food and skipping meat. It’s just fun and that’s what it is. You have to enjoy what you do. If you don’t cook you can really get depressed and specially start replacing meat for cheese and bread. which is not good at all, in large quantities.
Sorry to curse, but I am not a vegetarian nor vegan. My diet blends well with my lifestyle. I don’t live in a monastery and neither do you.