05 October 2013

Me, the Vegetarian...ish

As of August 13th, I have started taking my first steps to become a semi-vegetarian... yay?

I say 'semi' because I don't think I can entirely cut out meat, as some white meat in your diet (chicken, turkey) I think will be quite beneficial to me still (I am quite slim), as are the oils from fish, so I think I will still stick with those for the time being. But I do at least vow to attempt to cut out red meat entirely, and drastically cut back on my intake of dairy as well.

It's been nearly 2 months now actually, and I have had practically no red meat at all. My only lapses have been for a few chicken parmigiana meals that had ham on them, and one time I was given a free pizza that had meat on it, but I certainly wasn't going to throw away perfectly good food. Other than that, it has been 2 months without steaks, lamb, cheese burgers... any red meat really :D

So, why the choice?

I have always been very into nutrition and healthy eating, and lately I've been doing a lot of reading, and watched a few great documentaries, and have found that there is evidence to support a correlation between the consumption of red meats and certain diseases. This is particularly apparent when you look at a Western diet, and then the amount of deaths each year from diseases such as diabetes, prostate cancer, health diseases, colon cancer (and so on) in the Western world, compared to that of an Eastern diet and the rates of deaths from similar diseases in the Eastern world.

The amount of deaths in the Western world for certain diseases far outweight any from a less red meat based diet.

Now, I am by no means saying that the evidence is 'fact'... I am merely saying that there is a suggestion of sorts. Regardless, health is only one reason for this choice. The second reason relates to the environment, and the third relates to the treatment of agricultural animals (cows especially), with these two reasons being of my primary concern.

For instance; it takes approximately 10 times the fossil fuels to produce a tonne of red meat than it does to produce plant based food, livestock is a major contributor to the amount of greenhouse damaging gases released every year, and to raise them all takes huge expanses of land as well. I am quite fond of the environment... I would like my future kids to have the chance to be fond of it also.

And the treatment of animals argument? Well... it isn't to much of a secret on how poorly they are kept. Sigh.

Anyways, it isn't hurting anyone by me making a choice like this, so it is a win-win all round! Eventually I hope to cut out pretty much all meat, but it will be a slow process while I prepare myself with the knowledge to still have a nutritious diet. Meat does have a lot of great nutrients for you, and while you can get everything you need from a plant-based diet, it can be dangerous to attempt if you don't do it correctly.

Two great documentaries I've watched recently, if anyone was interested, were:
- Forks over Knives
- King Corn

Are any of my readers vegetarian? I've love to hear on how you got started, and of any tips that are worth sharing too.


Risha said...

I'm a pescetarian- I eat seafood, but no other meat. Mine wasn't a choice on ethical or environmental lines- I don't process meat very well, so I was advised to limit/cut it out. I was never really big on meat so it wasn't a great loss or anything, I'm glad I can still do seafood because I love it so very much.
I'm Indian, so being vegetarian isn't very difficult- or strange- for me. It's always interesting to be surrounded by people who don't quite understand it.
Good luck! I know it can be hard :)

p.s. unrelated, but august 13 is my birthday! :)

Azz said...

Cool a pescetarian hey? Hmm, I might be interested in doing that, will have to do some research.

"It's always interesting to be surrounded by people who don't quite understand it." Ha, yes, I know what you mean! In my short 2 months, my friends have been giving me the weirdest looks and asking tonnes of questions about it all, almost as if I have gone insane and they are worried about me haha.

Consider this my birthday present to you :P Somehow...

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