I made the decision four years ago to go vegetarian and I have never looked back. I constantly get the question, “do you ever miss eating meat and will you ever eat it again?” The response to all of these questions is a simple “absolutely not.”
People choose this lifestyle for all sorts of reasons. For me, my initial reason was for animal rights. Over the past four years, I have educated myself even more and could now give you an entire page list of all the reasons I will never go back to eating meat.
I have always been considered “the animal lover” and the thought that “over the next year, more than 50 billion land animals will be raised and slaughtered for food around the world,” is heartbreaking. Animal rights is something very close to my heart and I personally do not believe that these animals should lose their life just for me to have a chicken sandwich or a cheeseburger from McDonald’s.
There are many health benefits of cutting meat from your diet. Several years ago everyone focused on the positives of eating meat, but now more and more people are educating themselves on all the reasons eating meat is bad for both the environment and themselves.
It has been studied and proven that being vegetarian reduces risks of chronic illnesses, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. With that, it has taken me time to figure out what I need to eat that will keep me healthy all while still avoiding meat.
Being vegetarian definitely has a “stigma” around it that I have noticed first hand. I often receive comments from those around me stating their opinions on my “diet.” They tell me I am not getting proper nutrition, I need “real” protein and that my eating lifestyle is too expensive and not flavorful. Although these comments bother me sometimes, it does not change how I feel and what I eat.
I now have been vegetarian for several years and have learned a lot throughout the process. I know the supplements I need to take, like iron pills everyday and what foods can give me the protein my body needs.
Luckily, being vegetarian has become a much larger trend over the past few years. Now it feels that almost all restaurants I go to have some form of vegetarian options, which is very much appreciated. It has been studied that up to 10 percent of all Americans follow a form of a vegetarian diet.
Another reason I feel strongly about this topic is that eating meat is killing the environment. Livekindly.co shares “Beef production is particularly harmful to the planet; it requires 160 times more land and produces 11 times more greenhouse gases than staple plant-based foods such as potatoes, wheat, and rice.” Besides that, beef production is resulting in a lot of deforestation caused by cattle farmers. Producing just one hamburger takes the same amount of fossil fuels being used as driving a small car 20 miles.
I know there are many people who probably disagree with me on this topic but being vegetarian, I feel like I am doing my part in not only helping my own health but also keeping the environment healthy.