As I said last week, I’m going vegetarian for Lent. Vegetarianism has always been interesting to me, and only recently have I considered the possibility that I could become vegetarian.
When I first decided to participate in Lent, I had absolutely no idea what vegetarianism was all about. I though that it was basically eating salad for every meal. Since then, I’ve come to learn a lot about the vegetarian lifestyle.
There is a lot of faulty information regarding vegetarianism. I’ve heard from friends, family members, and other acquaintances that the vegetarian diet is unhealthy. This usually takes the form of a couple different phrases: “You can’t get enough protein” or “There’s certain things that you need (like nutrients) that can only be found in meat” are the most common. I disagree. I think that if you eat a balanced, healthy vegetarian diet, then you will have everything you need. I think that the sheer number of people who are vegetarian today prove that you can live without meat.
Why Become Vegetarian?
I’m deciding to go vegetarian because it’s always been something that fascinates me. As someone who at one point lived on microwave chicken (literally, like 3 meals a day), vegetarianism has a somewhat mystical quality to it. How could someone eat only vegetables?
When I began to really approach personal development seriously (around the time I started this website), I began thinking of the notion of actually trying out vegetarianism. What I learned excites me.
Vegetarianism has numerous health benefits. Those who are vegetarian are 24% less likely to develop heart disease. As one study suggests, health conscious individuals who eat fruit regularly (a cornerstone of vegetarianism) “reduced mortality from ischaemic heart disease, [and] cerebrovascular disease”.
I am going vegetarian purely for the health benefits. Some other benefits that vegetarians/vegans tout are:
- Ethical: Vegans believe that eating meat is morally wrong. They argue that raising farm animals for consumption is mean to the animals and in turn unethical.
- Tastes: Some people prefer the taste of vegetarian foods / dislike meat
- Environmental: Whether it’s because cows produce too much methane, or that grain fields used to feed bovine deplete the topsoil, many vegetarians and vegans believe that eating meat causes harm to the envioronment.
I lied, there is one more reason that I’m going vegetarian: I want to experience something new. There is a lot of vegetarian recipes that sound very interesting to me, and I want an excuse to try them out.
I strongly believe in trying something out for yourself, and this is a perfect example. I don’t know if I’m going to become vegetarian for life, or quit on day 40. I will have to wait and see how I personally react to my vegetarian experiment.
For those of you that are interested in learning more, I strongly recommend reading the Vegetarian Starter Kit. It has a ton of great information.