I Am A Little More Than A Half-Ass Vegetarian

I Am A Little More Than A Half-Ass Vegetarian

For 2 out of 3 meals, I don't eat meat.
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It all started when I started taking environmental science as one of my first college courses. We learned about all sorts of things involving the environment, ecosystems, and so on, but it was the environmental impact of everyday decisions we make that stuck with me.

Hearing about the environmental impact of all of our current structures within the food industry made me uncomfortable. There were so many things that could be done differently that would extend the life of our planet and the quality of our ecosystems worldwide.

Ever since then I always carry reusable bags, I turn out the light, I take shorter showers, I do the small things that helped contribute to a healthier planet.

This year I decided that I would only have meat once a day.

I am not going to sit here and convince you that meat production, especially beef, has many negative environmental impacts. There are plenty of documentaries and published research articles that can explain to you in great detail why a plant-based diet is better for the environment.

I will say that if you think about it in terms of water needed to produce these items, it might begin to give you a scope as to why the impact of these items is so large.

Our planet is currently in a water crisis. We do not have enough fresh water on the planet to sustain our use forever (again, a quick google scholar search will give you more background and facts). But if you use water to grow the grain and corn to feed the livestock, they eat those products, they need to drink, their facilities need to be cleaned, the facilities they are slaughtered and processing in use water, then the final product that you purchase needed a lot of water to create.

I know a lot of people simply don't have the option to give up meat. I am a college student and I am at the mercy of whatever the dining hall is serving that day unless I am going to cook for myself. That is when I decided that if I could not eliminate my consumption of animal products, then I would at least reduce them. I mean, if we were in a car speeding toward a cliff without any breaks, you would probably take your foot off the gas, right?

In the beginning, I decided to track my food to ensure I was getting all the nutrients that I needed, and you would be surprised how easy it is. I was getting everything I needed and I didn't feel like I was eating like a rabbit.

I am not perfect every day, like holidays or when I am in a place where options are extremely limited, but I feel good that I am making the effort.

I'm sure I am getting a lot of reactions to my decision. Some of you are probably thinking that my efforts are null, and my personal consumption is not going to change the path of our deeply rooted dependancy and abuse of non-renewable and finite resources. To this I say, you're right. My own actions alone will not save our planet, but I know a lot of people who have chosen the same eating habits as I do, and collectively our actions will make a difference.

Cover Image Credit: Jill111

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To The Girl Who Doesn't Party In College

They are rare, I know.
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I know what you all are thinking, she is just writing the article to brag on herself or to show the world the kind of person she is. No, I am writing this article to the girl out there who feels as if she is alone.

Not being a part of the party season is not the most popular thing to do on a college campus.

Most people spend their days thinking about what they will do at night. Life pretty much revolves around the next party. But for people like me, it isn't spent thinking about alcohol or the next party I'm going to attend. And that can get pretty lonely.

It is not like I sit and wallow in my sadness or ever feel like my friends leave me out because I don't drink. I have great friends that support every decision I make.

But, some are not that lucky.

Some girls don't have the support system like me and I am here to tell you to never compromise the person you want to be just because you don't fit in. If you don't want to party, don't give in just because your friends are pressuring you into. Not to sound cliche, but find new friends because they are not your real ones.

Choosing to stay true to you will pay off in the end, and you won't regret it. I promise.

I don't know why you choose to not attend the party scene, but I would be hindering my calling if I didn't tell you why I don't. I know this guy, and his name is Jesus. He is my best friend and the person I talk to about everything. It is because of Him that I decided to not party, to set an example for the people around me.

But, I am also not 21. So I don't think, by any means, that me having a margarita when I turn 21 is hurting my reputation or my testimony.

I firmly believe that alcohol isn't a sin when consumed in the right ways. I also don't ever see myself as a partier, 21 or not. Partying is a way of conforming and a way of becoming what this fallen world deems acceptable.

So to the girl who fails to be the typical college partier, I commend you. I look up to you. I respect you. I want you to know how rare you are. You choosing to not party and rise above the college standard is something you will never regret. I don't believe that my college years are boring because of the way I decide to live my life. I wish that I could befriend each and every girl relating to this article.

So, when those Friday nights get boring, remember that you are not alone. You are rising above the standard.

Sincerely,

The girl who doesn't party in college

Cover Image Credit: Krisztian Hadi / Flickr

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More Burgers, More Food to Talk About

February of last year I wrote my very first post about Little Bad Wolf's highly underrated burger in Chicago. Give that one a read, my detail is comical – no joke.

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Since that tasty treat at Little Bad Wolf, there are others to share the spotlight and applaud! Here are my recent and ever-growing list of burgers to try when you are in the Chicago city limits.

Easter came early last year, April 1, and you bet I took full advantage to get a burger right after that day. I set my sights on Southport Corridor Brewery's burger. Listed at a reasonable $14, your plate presents itself with a double-steak patty, mustard herb mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, Detroit pickles, and a sesame bun! Pair that sandwich with a tasty beer on their rotating menu, and its lights out. Beer, burgers, and oh, did I mention their vinyl selection? Make it a top stop the next time you are in the area.

A few months later, enjoying a week away with the boys, we stopped at a local establishment in Richmond, IL called the Richmond Brathaus. They have a Hawaiian-take on what they title, the Maui Wowee, and boy was I floored from that creation. Swiss cheese, sautéed onions, cherry wood smoked bacon, grilled pineapple and cherry chipotle BBQ combine for what is an excellent sandwich – but to top it off, I got the "Haus fries," which contain chili and cheese – savory heaven. If you are just over the border in Wisconsin, map search "Richmond BratHaus," I guarantee you are going to like what you eat.

My last burger of 2018 was at a newer establishment in the West Loop from the West Coast (California), known as Ballast Point Brewery. The Ballast Point beers speak for themselves, from their "sculpin" line to specialty barrel aged, and rose-influenced beers. They are always top quality. On a cold winter night, there was nothing I wanted more than a delicious burger from this establishment. After a thorough look at the menu, my eyes kept wandering back to the West Coast Griddle Burger, which had American cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and "wonder" sauce on a brioche bun. They also offer you the option of three in-house sauces as dipping options for your fries. Do it. Even if it is not for the burger, go to the place, especially in the summer for their rooftop!

After four months, my journey for the best burgers in Chicago continues. I continually check Google for listings and names, making sure I am still on the best path. If you have any suggestions, feel free to shoot me a comment or message – recommendations are always welcomed by this guy. Until next time, keep eating, good eats!

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