Even though I have always been an avid meat eater for my whole life I always wanted to become vegetarian but I always thought it would be hard to follow. My main concern is that as a very slim girl I thought that by being vegetarian will lose even more weight so I set as a limit to eat meat until I turned 30. However, having vegetarian and vegan friends they put my concerns into other perspective and my silly little thoughts to rest. As an animal lover and animal rights advocate is pretty contradictive to continue eating meat. People choose to become vegetarian for various reasons,health,animal cruelty, religion etc. My main reasons are animal cruelty and of course health. I always been aware of how animals are being treated before and during slaughter but I guess I just let it pass me by or maybe I wasn't brave enough to face the truth. Few weeks back I came across a video by PETA, where it documents what really happens behind the scenes at the food industry, and honestly I felt embarrassed to be a human.
The people would treat animals so cruel and barbaric, it was truly disturbing and inhumane by any means. Even the thought that my little Romeo(my dog) could go through that, brings tears to my eyes and makes me mad. I am aware that our ancestors were eating animals to survive but that was thousands of years ago and they were not torturing the animals the way they do today. Now we have much more resources and we definitely don't need meat to survive. I kept asking myself how could this be happening in 21st century in westernized countries like UK and USA? Also health reasons we all know that animals are fed steroids and other chemicals that makes them grow bigger, and many of these chemicals are carcinogenic, we basically putting all these malicious chemicals in our bodies whether we are conscious of it or not. So last week I decided to become vegetarian for a week to see how I do.
On Sunday morning I went grocery shopping, I have to admit that my initial thoughts were i need pasta lots of pasta. However being at the grocery shop my options were not limited to pasta or salads. Even though I did ended up buying lots of pasta.
I had a very hectic week in-front of me so I had to be prepared. I called my dear friend James who has been vegan for 5 years for some advice.
He sent me a list with easy to do recipes full of protein and all the necessary nutrients, so I was pretty much ready to kick it.
The experiment started on Monday morning, I had a delicious fruit salad with whipped cream it was very fresh and gave me lots of energy, for lunch I packed pasta with vegetables but I left my lunch box at home so I thought I was going to buy something from the cafeteria, however the only thing available for vegetarians was salad and chips, I kinda started to feel the frustration of vegetarians at work. Having only chips and salad I spent most of my day feeling hungry, my colleagues will throw comments like "well you should have had that delicious chicken" or "why don't you get a tuna sandwich from Pret, since you are vegetarian?!" Yeah people think that fish is part of the veg diet. Fish is meat too you know is different kind of meat but still meat it was once alive, I don't even know how many times I had to say that, I got the same comments in regards to sushi. "Hey, there is a Yo sushi just around the corner why don't you buy a little pack since you can't meat or fish" Face-palm at this point.(Sorry if you read this still love ya boo,but get some vegeducation,hihi)
Throughout the week I found myself craving for a burger or bacon (yup, I love bacon), but I always had to snap out of it.I was seconds away from walking into KFC and stuff my face with chicken or walked into a burger place and get a burger with extra bacon rashers. But, in my defense, I've been a meat eater for more than 20 years so even though I am aware of the nature of the food industry, I still wanted to have meat. The reason for it is that,I wasn't raised that or programmed that way, and I definitely need time to process and get used to it. However,I am proud to say that even though the temptation was big (I live next to KFC)I made it through the week, and still haven't had anything meat related.
The biggest issue that I faced was the lack of vegetarian dishes in the menu. I work in central London, so I naturally thought that finding veg dishes will be easy but it definitely wasn't. The struggle was real. Most of the restaurants would have chips salads or pasta with only tomato sauce. Something that is pretty ridiculous, London is one of the biggest cities in the world why don’t restaurants add more options to the menu needless to say that vegan options were even more limited. Also big sandwich chains that are in every corner the only veg option they had was wrap with houmous and cucumber.
If you want to be a vegetarian for a week the only advice I will give is to be prepared make sure you make food at home and also research the area you work to see if there any good vegetarian restaurants around.
Being vegetarian was definitely not easy but wasn't hard either, considering that there is a biggest purpose for it. On the other hand, nothing new is easy and we need time to get used to it and adapt to it. As for me I will extend this challenge to a 30 days now.
Are you vegetarian? What are the struggles you faced when you first started?