While living a plant-based lifestyle is the best possible thing you could do for both the environment and your health, it can be a difficult transition for some, especially when you love food.
Being a college student living in a big city means there are endless restaurants close by to awaken my inner foodie, but my options are definitely limited since I am now slowly transitioning into a fully plant-based diet, starting with pescetarianism. I have absolutely no regrets about this decision yet sometimes these thoughts creep into the back of my mind, and I am sure new pescatarians, vegetarians, and even vegans could all relate at some point.
1. Is this really worth it?
Your friends order bomb looking nachos (with beef) as the dinner appetizer, and as you sit watching them enjoy themselves you begin to wonder:
"Is this all even worth it?"
"Would having meat one more time really have any effect on my health?"
"I'm just one person, how much of an impact could just me cutting out meat have on the world's water and carbon dioxide footprint?"
Fact: it does have that much of an impact, and it is worth it.
2. Some meat really doesn't taste that bad.
In fact, it tasted good. I can't even lie. I was never a meat enthusiast so the transition wasn't that difficult for me, but sometimes I go to certain restaurants and remember a life-changing chicken dish, tacos, or even the jambalaya from Reading Terminal Market and shed an invisible tear. Some things, like tacos, just aren't the same in veggie form.
3. Wondering if you are actually getting all of the nutrients you need.
While vegetarians and vegans are the first people to defend their lifestyles and debunk the "protein only comes from meat" theory when you first start out it is easy to wonder if you are truly getting all of the protein and other important nutrients you need from plants. It's always a good idea to do research or talk to your doctor or a nutritionist if you aren't sure.
4. Eating salad all the time doesn't make me happy!!!
While a large portion of my new diet may consist of salad due to my school's limited edible vegetarian options, the truth is that no one likes only eating salad every single day. Like any diet, a meatless lifestyle requires variety or else it will very quickly become unenjoyable.
5. Almost forgetting about your lifestyle change after a night out.
If it's been a long night and you aren't in the best mindset (if you know what I mean), it could be so easy to forgo your morals just once and join your friends on their McDonalds stop on the way home. You won't though because you're better than that. And better than McDonald's.
6. Finding the meat/dairy substitute aisle makes you unreasonably happy.
Just because we are no longer meat or dairy fans doesn't mean we don't love normal food. Everyone gotta eat!
7. Discovering bomb vegetarian/vegan restaurants is a full-time job.
Again, everyone gotta eat. While most restaurants are beginning to accommodate for changing diets, it can still be disappointing to go to an amazing restaurant and be stuck ordering off the sides menu. Finding vegetarian or vegan restaurants that can compete with your usual spots can be a full-time job, but is totally worth it once you find one that both you and your carnivore friends can enjoy.