I have been a vegetarian for six whole months (yay!), and I get that that isn’t a long time, but hey, we all start somewhere, right? That’s what I want to talk about today. A few people have mentioned to me over the past few weeks that they are considering becoming a vegetarian (most of them don’t eat a whole lot of meat anyway. I ate a lot so it was a pretty weird transition, but if I can do it, so can anyone :)) and I’m always too excited to word may response properly, so I thought I would write it here, so that if anyone needed that last bit of encouragement to quit meat, they could get it!
Just do it
I know, I know, it’s not that easy. Except, it kinda is! I decided one evening after talking to my best friend whilst waiting for Busted to come on stage (they were amazing btw). I was so into the idea, it seemed silly to wait, and besides, what would I have been waiting for?! None of the meat in our house went to waste, as Steven ate it, and a few weeks later, when he decided to come to the dark side too, we gave the meat left int he house to his family. It seemed like a waste to just throw it out after all that, especially when people are starving in the world!
Don’t feel like you have to announce it right away
I am a social media over-sharer. I can barely have a thought (or an impressive bowel movement) without heading to twitter. I blog about everything. But even I decided to keep my vegetarianism off social media for a while. I wanted to succeed in going veggie because I wanted to, not because I didn’t want to have to explain to my followers that I had “failed”. I didn’t want to make a big deal about it, and then not be able to stick to it, so I left it for a while.
Be prepared for douchebags
Even if you’re not a preachy vegetarian, people who eat meat will expect you to be and so will often be total d-bags about it. Some people will ask questions because they’re interested – those people are wonderful to speak to. Some will think you are stupid, even if you present them with facts. Ignore these people and walk away. People say to me and Steven a lot “Are you jealous that you can’t eat this?” and it’s such an odd thing to say. It’s not that we can’t eat it. We just don’t want to. It’s like me waving a leaf at you and saying the same thing. You could eat it, but you don’t want to, so you probably don’t feel like you’re missing out. (If you do eat leaves then that’s fine too. You do you Pikachu!).
You’ll have to answer a lot of questions
Mostly “why?”. A lot of people assume mine is just a lifestyle choice or for health reasons, but really, it’s the animal welfare and environment issues just as much. I still get a little tongue-tied when people want me to explain because I am anxious about confrontation but I get there in the end.
It’s okay to slip up
Animal bits are in everything! It’s easy to slip up and grab a Haribo at a party and not realise until afterwards. It doesn’t make you a bad person or mean you should give up – we live and learn. It works the other way too however, there are lots of veggie things that you wouldn’t expect! For example, chicken pot noodles are vegetarian – yay!
Eating out can be hard
Your choices are certainly limited but in some cases, they’re pretty amazing. I don’t really like veggie burgers, but I love the falafel equivalent or a quorn burger. I don’t like baked cheese or mushrooms as much as everyone assumes and veggie chicken makes me a bit sick. However, a veggie lasagna, pasta or curry dish is always a winner and I don’t feel at all like I’m missing out. Places like Toby Carvery either offer a veggie bake instead of the meat, or for a few quid less you can forgo the meat and stock up with potatoes, because, let’s face it, that’s the only important part of a roast!
So there are my top tips! Despite being someone who ate steak at least once a week just a few months ago, I really have found it much easier than expected. And I really have zero will power. I am suffering less with IBS and Steven says he has much more energy which is great. Some people have been jerks, but most people don’t care what we eat as long as it’s not from their plate!