I'm A Vegetarian, And I Have Good Reason To Be

I'm A Vegetarian, And I Have Good Reason To Be

It took me months to decide to commit to not eating meat before learning about the effect the beef and dairy industry has on the environment.

The summer before my senior year of high school, I started dating this guy. He and his twin were (and still are) vegetarians, and they had been for years. Seeing them be vegetarians with minimal hassle while still living in Louisiana (where we're from) was eye-opening for me.

I realized that being a vegetarian didn't have to be hard.

I didn't stop eating meat then and there, though. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, mostly because I didn't want to relive my freshman year of high school when everyone stopped eating meat for a day after watching "Food, Inc." but then caved in when they realized that it would take effort. I didn't want it to just be a phase. Because of "Food, Inc." I knew that a lot of livestock lived in inhumane conditions, weren't getting the proper nutrition, and were unhappy. But that wasn't enough for me until I learned something in my environmental science class during my senior year.

I learned that the majority of the methane in the Earth's atmosphere is put there by cows. Methane is one of the most influential greenhouse gas, and the methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is contributing to climate change. I decided that for a way for me to mitigate the effect that I had on the environment would be to not eat meat. And so my vegetarianism began.

It took me months to decide to commit to not eating meat before learning about the effect the beef and dairy industry has on the environment.

Even after seeing my boyfriend live as a successful vegetarian, I was hesitant to make such a drastic lifestyle change. I did not start making the switch to vegetarianism until winter, probably a month or so after I learned about the impact that the meat industry has on the environment. I was hesitant to tell people because I didn't want them to think that it was just because of my boyfriend. I didn't want my parents to judge me or to make their lives harder.

But I eventually became a full-blown pescatarian. I ate seafood but not any other kind of meat. That was a pretty easy thing to do. In July, I stopped eating seafood and was completely meatless. It's been eight months that I've identified as a vegetarian, and I'm surprised by the changes I've experienced since then.

Meat is no longer appetizing to me and I'm pretty serious about encouraging other people to eat less meat, particularly red meat.

I'm not trying to get everyone to stop eating meat or to shame you or belittle you or make you feel bad about how you choose to eat. I also want to note that being a vegetarian isn't about depriving yourself. If I wanted to eat meat, I would. If you want to eat meat, eat meat! Being a vegetarian isn't possible for everyone. Humans are omnivores, we need protein (although our diets should be mostly plant based). But if you want to do something to help the environment, one thing that you could do is something like a "Meatless Monday," where you don't eat meat on Mondays. It may seem small, but a little step can go a long way.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia McKnight

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How To Play 'New Girl's' True American Drinking Game

"It's 75% drinking, 20% Candy Land, and the floor is molten lava."

I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches "New Girl" knows about True American. This crazy, nonsense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in season one, episode 20.

The game, as described by "New Girl" character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.

The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True

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Here's how to play:

Step #1: Prepare the "castle"

First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.

The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.

Step #2: Set up spaces

Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.

Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.

Step #3: Pick teams

Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1 to 5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.

Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.

Step #4: Begin

Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.

The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.

Step #5: Make moves

The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.

Mini-game No. 1: The player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.

Mini-game No. 2: The player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.

Mini-game No. 3: The player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places, or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.

For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).

Step #6: "Play on, playa."

Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.

The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.


You are now able to impress all of your "New Girl"-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly, and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: i.amz.mshcdn.com

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...


In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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