The Benefits and Ease of Becoming a Vegetarian

When people talk to me about becoming a vegetarian, they usually give the excuse that they “love meat too much”, or “couldn’t give it all up”. They don’t consider that taking small steps to being a vegetarian can make it much easier to become one, while still being very beneficial to the environment and you. In fact, taking  a few pounds of meat out of your yearly diet can save an amount of water equivalent to not showering for a year. If you are considering a vegetarian diet, you can start by not eating a certain type of meat for 2 weeks, then leave out another meat until you feel comfortable taking them out of your diet completely. Even if you are not passionate about saving the environment, cutting small amounts of meat can work wonders for your health. You can lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and lose weight faster by cutting certain types of meat out of your diet, while retaining the protein, and vitamins you may think you would lose. Studies show lower incidences of heart disease and even type 2 diabetes in vegetarians. Some people may still be too attached to meat to want to cut it out of their diet, but my personal experience can attest to the ease of even stopping suddenly. Before I became a vegetarian, I would eat meat close to every day, and go to fast food restaurants every weekend. I even looked down on vegetarians, considering them stupid for reasons I cannot even imagine now. Then after watching a video on the slaughtering of animals, I suddenly stopped eating meat. I went from someone who would never consider being a vegetarian to becoming one, all in a couple days. You would be surprised at how easy it is to do, and the options you never realized you had when choosing your meals. Plus, contrary to what most people believe, things like veggie burgers or veggie hot dogs taste great. Becoming a vegetarian is the best thing I’ve ever done, and it could easily be the same for you.

-Henry

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3 responses to “The Benefits and Ease of Becoming a Vegetarian

  1. Shelley Willig

    Hey Henry and Simon,
    I just got this vegetarian cookbook and love it: http://peterberley.com/cookbooks/ I especially like that the recipes are categorized by season so one can use seasonally appropriate veggies.

  2. Zubin Mobedshahi

    I love meat too much to give it up, and believe I’m healthiest as an omnivore. Everyone is entitled to a choice- and I love and respect my veggie friends greatly. My suggestion to people who want healthy meat without antibiotics, hormones, etc, is a weird one to most (especially fuzzy Liberals)… hunt!

    Eating wild meat is better than “organic” or other kinds because that animal lived a natural life, had a relatively painless death (think about that for a second, compared to a slaughter house) eating what it would normally eat without much human interference. It wasn’t given any medication or hormones, had access to sunlight and clean water, and most importantly, it used its muscles to walk around and survive! Wild meat tastes NOTHING like factory meat. It’s much “gamier” meaning it tastes wild and more distinct. Hard to describe.
    The key to making it palatable is to brine it after processing, season or marinate it, and then cook as you like. I prefer bbq over an oak fire grill.

    Also- the US Fish and Game dept takes population surveys on wildlife and then allots the number of tags per season. Most of the money going to preserving wildlife and management in California COMES FROM HUNTERS! and no animal has EVER gone extinct from regulated hunting. As humans killed off many of the apex predators (when was the last time you saw a mountain lion in San Mateo) deer have become overpopulated. Hunters can be misperceived as testosterone-fueled males looking for an adrenaline fix. For a minority, that may be the case. But most hunters care deeply about the environment and enjoy spending time in the wild, and for many reasons.

    Animals like Wild Boar are invasive to California. They were introduced from Russia mid 19th century and have become a vicious pest for those of us who live in the sticks. They spread disease to livestock, destroy native Oak saplings, and destroy peoples’ gardens and crops regularly. They rarely attack humans. They are not native, which is why there is no season for them; you can hunt them year round. Although they are the hardest meat to prepare well, it’s a good environmental feeling to procure your meat from the land AND put a dent in an invasive species. Many studies have said we’d have a healthy environment if we exterminated them. However, with 12 piglets a litter 2-3 times a year- that’ll be near impossible.

    Bottom line- Hunters help maintain the carrying capacity of the land by controlling population and offsetting tens of thousands of pounds of meat that would be factory farmed otherwise.

  3. Thanks for leaving a comment Zubin! I hadn’t ever looked in to hunting and I do admit that I did stereotype hunters as “testosterone-fueled males”. However reading your post, I do absolutely support hunting, after all doing it the way you do seems completely natural, and that is really all that matters. And even that hunting can benefit the environment, that is really cool.

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