My New Year's resolution for 2017 was to be more green. It had all the components of a good new years resolution and a bad goal. Was it specific? Not in the slightest. Measurable? No, not really. Attainable? Yeah I guess so. Timely? Seeing that we're reaching the point of no return I'd say yes.
So with this vague idea of what I wanted to do in mind I began research and one thing that popped up time and time again as to give up meat. It turns out animal products put out a huge carbon foot print, use a ton of water, take up valuable land, all for low returns as far as energy go. This all sounded great but I really like meat. Couldn't I just make sure the lights were turned off for a similar effect?
It turns out that answer is no. But one day as I was watching a Ted Talk on youtube (a common pastime) in the suggestion column was one titled "Why I'm a week day vegetarian" which I clicked on. A short term, 5 day commitment? I could still enjoy meat on weekends or special occasions? This I could do. I did more reading and more reading and more reading. So I decided to become a week day vegetarian for one month, just one month, to see how it goes.
The week was not terrible (though I did get Chick-fil-A once before I remembered I was not suppose to be eating meat) but overall not bad. I mostly just subsisted my main protein for some beans or some cheese. However, when Friday rolled around the first thing I ate that evening was a burger and fries. I also never liked breakfast sausage but for some reason I really dug into it at Sunday brunch. Maybe I missed meat more then I realized.
I did notice I would not feel full as long and needed more of the protein source to fill me up. Maybe I will get use to that as time goes on. Maybe that never goes away. If it does not I will not continue this endevour.
So I cheated this week. There was pizza at my internship and I had a slice of pepperoni. But it was delicious and I have zero regrets. It's not about completely changing my lifestyle or only letting myself eat certain foods. It's about lowering my overall consumption of meat to be more eco friendly. So one slice of pizza midweek is fine because meat is delicious and what my biology craves, especially if it was a bad week.
I actually made it through this week somehow. By the time Friday rolled around I was not craving meat as much as I thought be. I ate some because I was tired of the veggie options which has protein on campus, but was fine overall. Now I did go get Dim Sum this weekend and went ham on those pork buns. I also got wings on Saturday night and those were amazing. But I did not get a sudden craving and need for meat midweek.
I think I made sure my meals had more protein this week, and plenty of iron. While I have never had a problem with iron I am a menstruating female who needs plenty of it in my diet. I also took my snack breaks then weeks past, plus my snack breaks had protein in them. I feel like half this battle for weekday vegetarianism is just learning to eat properly without meat. Then the weekends it can be party time.
So this is the week I finally did it. I tried tofu. I found a recipe online, found a way to prepare it properly, and well, it was tofu. That's pretty much all I had to say about it.
Tofu aside I found myself getting really tired of the same option on campus. I have to hand it to the full time vegetarians on a college campus. As a meat eater I get tired of the same options and turns out veggie have even less. Especially, if you do not eat mushrooms. By the time Friday was over I was so happy to go back to my meat eating ways.
All in all this was a pretty good experience (minus the tofu). While I will not go full veggie anytime soon I am more conscious about how much meat I do eat, and will be switching out more veggie options when possible. I made my resolution to be more green, not to completely change my life. Plus, if I do this I can help save the world because this world is the only one with chicken nuggets.