I get a lot of criticism from meat-lovers when it comes to being a vegetarian, even though it is being accepted more and more as the nation progresses through the 21st century.
Their argument is merely a question: “How can you not eat meat?” in which I respond with, “How can you?”
Then they go into their crazy conspiracies and recite all the myths in the book about how being a vegetarian is not healthy. The most common one is how I am not going to get enough nutrients or proteins that my body needs. Their argument is that I will get the essentials I need from meat.
However, where does a cow get its nutrients?
If you think about it, meat-eaters are only getting nutrients from cows because they are digesting their nutrients, and cows and other animals get their nutrients from the same thing vegetarians do — greens!
Here is why I love being a vegetarian and how it helped me:
Most importantly, it eliminated the guilt factor for me. I always had a love for animals. I whimper when I come across a dead deer or raccoon on the side of the road. I cringe thinking about the living conditions that slaughterhouses keep their living, breathing animals in.
It kills me to know that they mass produce animals just for human consumption. Thinking about pigs and chickens in tiny cages, not even having enough room to turn around, catching diseases and not ever getting cured makes me sick.
All this guilt kept building and building every time I picked up a hamburger and I kept pushing the feeling down because I didn’t want to change my eating habits; I mean, it did taste good.
However, I couldn’t swallow it anymore, so I thought I’d give vegetarianism a try, and it turns out, cutting meat out of my diet wasn’t as hard as I was anticipating it to be. It was actually pretty simple, and I felt tons better knowing I wasn’t contributing to the corrupt, inhumane system anymore.
It also made me a much healthier eater. I must be conscious now of what I am putting into my body. Turning to vegetarianism forced me to put more greens into my diet which is what keeps the body healthy. When I was a meat-eater, I never ate greens. Why would I when there were quick and easy chicken nuggets in the freezer?
Also, when a body puts more healthy items into it, the body gets more out of it. Becoming a vegetarian made me less tired throughout the day. I never realized how much of an impact healthy eating had on my sleeping patterns. I used to live on naps. I couldn’t get through my crazy, packed day without one. However, now, I feel great. I can get through my normal schedule of school and work, plus have extra energy to hit the gym. It’s amazing what the power of greens can do.
Vegetarianism also encouraged me to get creative in the kitchen and try new things.
When I first started out as a vegetarian, as I’m sure many vegetarians can relate, I didn’t know what to eat. I felt extremely restricted and lived off of mac and cheese, pizza rolls, pizza, and every unhealthy thing in the book that didn’t involve meat. That started to get boring, though, and I was feeling sluggish and tired from filling my body with garbage. So, I did some research and found tons of amazing recipes that are healthy and delicious! They added flavor and color into my diet.
Cutting meat out of a diet lowers the risk of getting food poisoning as well because you’re not at risk of ingesting raw or undercooked meat, so that’s a plus.
Another plus is, truthfully, I saved money ever since going vegetarian. Being vegetarian restricts me to eating at home which is a good thing because I had to learn to avoid fast food. I had to break my body out of the habit of craving that late night Taco Bell run or that quick and easy Wendy’s order before work. By doing that, my money stays in my pocket.
Lastly, I would like to address the meat-lovers. We, as vegetarians, do not hate you. We’re not judging you. We’re not criticizing you for eating meat. Eat what you want.
The only request I do have is to stop badgering us about how we choose to live and what we choose to put into our bodies.
It is not affecting you or harming you in any way, so what I like to eat shouldn’t matter to you as what you choose to eat doesn’t matter to me.