How To Cut Meat Out Of Your Diet
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How To Cut Meat Out Of Your Diet

Benefits and ideas of how to be successfully vegetarian.

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How To Cut Meat Out Of Your Diet
huffingtonpost

In an effort to be a better you, sometimes you have to experiment with things you've never done before. Vegetarianism is a great way to do that, because it will effect almost every facet of your life. Not only can you become healthier, but this diet keeps other living things in mind and it's a great way to help the environment. I know for many people, the idea of cutting meat out of their diet immediately slightly terrifies them (think no tacos, hamburgers, bacon...), but we can all find the right diet for us that includes at least some vegetarian practices.

One huge tip for success is to do things gradually. Try to be completely vegetarian one day out of the week, then three days a week, then maybe a full week. This will give you a taste of the lifestyle without completely overwhelming you (especially if you typically eat a lot of meat). In addition to easing into it, knowing meat alternatives and numerous vegetarian meals will also make the transition easier (see a great article by a fellow Odyssey writer and vegetarian: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/5-ways-to-make-being-vegetarian-easier).

Becoming a vegetarian is going to take effort and planning in order to achieve its intended purposes, but in an effort to motivate people to try something new, let's quickly look at the benefits!

Health

Many people have concerns that they will have nutritional deficiencies by cutting meat out of their diets, but if done correctly, vegetarianism can be just as healthy as a diet including meat. If you are a vegetarian who eats dairy products and eggs, daily protein intake should not be an issue, and if you are vegan (no products derived from animals at all) you can get your needed levels of protein from beans, lentils, and soy products. In addition to vegetarians being able to get all their nutrients, studies have shown that vegetarians also have lower instances of cancer, heart disease, as well as type 2 diabetes.

Environment

Climate change is something that is hopefully on everyone's mind. A huge contribution many of us fail to make our planet healthier is looking at what we eat. In just one month of not eating meat, you can keep 134 lbs. of CO2 out of the atmosphere, and over a thousand pounds per year. Growing vegetables in general also uses substantially less water than "growing" an animal. When we eat meat we are also consuming all the water that the animal consumed as well. Vegetarians also help sea life by avoiding the consumption of seafood which leads to biodiversity and the chance for species to recuperate and thrive (read more about environmental impacts: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/18/vegetarianism-save-planet-environment).

Animals

A huge reason that many people avoid meat or cut it out all together is the fact that they want to respect other living creatures. There are many questionable practices when it comes to how animals are taken care of while being prepared for consumption and how they are slaughtered. According to the vegetarian calculator, when you do not eat meat for just one month you are saving 17 animals. When you decide to not eat meat, you are making a vote with your dollar that less animals need to be bred to satisfy demands (read more about the impact on animals: http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2015/03/12/392479865/does-being-vegan-really-help-animals).

There are numerous combinations and variations that a person can choose to live a healthy life and help better the things that are morally important to them. Research and experimentation will be your best friend if you want to try going vegetarian. Be patient with yourself and try to remember why you want to look at making changes to your lifestyle and there is almost no way you won't be successful!

Additional resources:

http://vegetariancalculator.com

http://www.nomeatathlete.com/relax/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian

http://www.vrg.org

http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g1186/vegetarian-recipes-0309/

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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