On The Vegetarian Transtition

Since embarking on my journey to vegetarianism three weeks ago I can’t count how many times I’ve garnered some form of criticism over my decision to change my diet. First it was my Grandmother who laughed at me (not really negative, but cute; she supports my being “on the vegetables” even though it’s clearly not for her) then it was from my boyfriend who took great exception the to the fact that there would be no more meat in my house. Then it was from various friends who asked “why?” between guffaws, as though it made no sense to them at all. Then there were the strange looks from people behind the counter at places like Taco Bell, and other food establishments who found it almost alien that I would actually want to cut meat from my diet. Essentially over the last three weeks I’ve encountered enough nay-sayers and critics to make anyone want to scream bloody murder (pun intended).

I did not make my decision to change my diet for the sake of animals. I love meat. I had a dream about a roast beef sandwich last week, just sitting there on a whole wheat bun tempting me, begging me to eat it. I did not make my decision for concern of the environment; the environment is so screwed up that one persons changes to their diet will not make a single bit of impact whatsoever. I did not make my decision out of disdain for commercial meat production, regardless of my level of disdain for commercialized food production I still eat commercially available foods. I certainly didn’t make this decision for the fun of it, because it has not been easy or fun scrutinizing labels to make sure I get my daily value of protein, and I certainly don’t find any fun in enduring the criticism of the countless high and mighty meat-eaters who choose to levy their “superior” understanding of the food chain on me. I understand the food chain, I simply choose to exclude myself from it.
The fact is that I made the decision to so drastically alter my diet for four reasons:
  1. This will make for some fascinating food blogs, and recipes.
  2. This will be something different and interesting to try.
  3. I will be able to help my friend (who is making the same changes to her diet) by being available to her for support and encouragement.
  4. I will practically be forced to eat more fresh foods, and consume fewer preservatives and commercially processed material.

The fact is that all four of these items have come to full fruition and I feel fantastic! I am not hungry, nor do I feel like I am missing anything in my diet. I have developed some truly fantastic recipes. I am challenged and inspired every day to find something new and interesting to eat (I find great value in this.) I am supportive and understanding of everyone who makes diet-altering decisions. My intake of fresh foods has increased ten-fold, and that can only have a positive outcome. Yet, still there have been unintended consequences as a result of my transition to vegetarianism.

  1. Weight loss. Actually, this is unnecessary for me, I need not lose any more weight. The fact that cutting meat from my diet has yielded weight loss helps me to advise others that feel like they need to lose weight on one of the many virtues of a meat-free diet.
  2. Reduced gastric irritability. I used to get sick a lot after eating anything. I mean anything. Since cutting meat from my diet, I have yet to throw up a meal, or have diarrhea (forgive my vulgarity) as a result of eating.
  3. Increased interest in eating. I used to be a one-meal-a-day guy. Lately I find myself eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and at least two more meals or large snacks in-between meals. This is good for the metabolism, and helps me to feel nourished and energetic throughout the day.
  4. I feel fantastic! I have more energy and vitality than I ever did before. Every day I wake up thinking about how easy this is, and it makes me wonder, “how easy would it be to give up other vices in my life?”

So you see, a vegetarian lifestyle has many benefits. There is endless research that supports this statement, on top of what is evident in my own findings. At the start of my journey I said I would begin re-acclimating myself to meat about three weeks before Thanksgiving. While it will be hard for me to dismiss Emily’s turkey and turn away from the ham that will be served on that most special of Holidays, I think it may be the right thing for me to do so. Cutting meat from my diet has been most beneficial to me. Besides, I will always have Anne-Lowes stuffing, and plenty of other delicious meat-less things to partake of.

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Posted on October 7, 2009, in Rants and Raves and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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