Not Eating Meat Changed The Way I Live
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Not Eating Meat Changed The Way I Live

In the last several months, I have come to appreciate things on a level I had never considered before.

Not Eating Meat Changed The Way I Live
Shannon Steffen

It has officially been 114 days since I finally made the ultimate choice that would change my eating habits forever. I thought it would be harder than it is. I thought my cravings would get the best of me. I thought I would cave and order a burger when everyone else was. I was genuinely unsure if this was going to be something I would actually enjoy doing.

Believe it or not, it has exceeded my expectations in every way possible and has slowly turned me into the person I have always wanted to be. I have gone from loving animals to adoring animals, from enjoying the outdoors to yearning for the outdoors, from trying to recycle to needing to recycle. The list of changes could truly go on forever.

In the last several months, I have come to appreciate the following things on a level I had never considered before.

My dog.

And I thought I loved him before…

Since becoming a vegetarian, I have a new respect for all animals. I never considered the fact that eating a pig isn’t really different than eating a dog. It doesn’t matter that one lives on a farm while one might live in a house. In my eyes now, they are both animals with beating hearts and deserve to be loved just the same. When I was still eating meat, I wasn’t phased by the fact that I was consuming several different types of animals on a daily basis. Now, it is the main thing I think of when I don’t reach for chicken at dinner. I am so thankful this choice has helped my heart and mind grow so much for these precious beings.

How I dispose of my trash.

It makes me cringe to think of the habits I used to have when it came to the recycling I didn’t do. I was the girl who would grab a new plastic water bottle every time I was thirsty. Sometimes, this could add up to five or six a day. Now, I couldn’t tell you the last time I drank out of a plastic water bottle. Every time I don’t have my Klean Kanteen in sight, I automatically think it is lost and that tragedy has struck. Not eating meat has made me want to make the best choices I can when it comes to every aspect of helping the environment. I have learned that there are so many easy changes that can be made throughout the day that make our footprints smaller and smaller.

Where I live and where I go.

This lifestyle choice has inspired me to really appreciate the surroundings I am constantly exposed to. Whether it is a sunset, a tree changing colors, or driving through the golden Palouse, I now find myself wanting to be taking in nature as much and often as possible. Since making these changes, I actually look at what is surrounding me rather than just seeing it pass by. I feel like the more time I spend enjoying these sights and activities, the more I want to help preserve it so that generations after me will be able to do the same.

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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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