A realistic perspective: vegetarianism/veganism

Vegetarianism. Veganism. These words almost have a taboo surrounding them in society. It is somewhat believed that we vegetarians and vegans are weird or that the food isn’t very nice or that we’re deficient in almost everything.

Let’s clear this taboo up then – vegetarian and vegan food is some of the best tasting food you can eat. You often hear people asking vegetarians whether they miss bacon and the simple answer is no. I don’t miss it whatsoever. I have so much variety in taste, texture and nutrients in my diet that I don’t miss out on anything.

The other thing I’ve heard is that I can’t have enough energy to live due to lack of protein. This is a lie. There are beans, lentils, nuts and seeds – all of which are full of protein. And for the non vegans there are eggs and dairy. Protein is very much part of a vegetarian diet. In fact, I have more energy nowadays. Instead of feeling sluggish and weighed down, I feel light and raring to go.

So, does this mean I’m trying to convince you to become vegetarian? No, of course not. It really isn’t for everyone and I respect that. Just as eating meat really isn’t for me. And guess what? I’m really not that weird. In other ways I may be but not because I am a vegetarian. Every time a joke is made at my expense I am smiling to myself because you are the one that’s missing out.

It was a simple choice for me. I ate meat for 14 years of my life so I know what I’m apparently missing out on. Yet, I’m not missing out. Since becoming vegetarian I’ve whole heartedly believed that there is so much more variety in this diet. I’ve always been told I’m wrong with this. Why? Because people who aren’t vegetarian can eat meat and fish on top of all what I eat. That’s true but it’s not really the case.

Meat eaters normally base their meals around meat. Instead of basing a meal around a piece of meat I can pick from an endless supply of fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. Whilst you’re eating that chicken curry I’ve packed mine full of vegetables that are full of nutrients, texture and colour. You have to think outside of the box with a vegetarian diet whilst with meat and fish you just have to slather it in a nice tasting sauce and you’re sorted. Ultimately, whilst a meat eater eats meat I’m going that one step further.

Vegetables are so versatile. They can be raw, steamed, fried, roasted, boiled, grated, cubed, thinly sliced and so on. The possibilities are endless. And if you don’t like a vegetable one way who’s to say you won’t like it other. I don’t like avocados cooked yet smash them raw on a piece of toast with some lemon juice and chilli and then I’m good to go.

Honestly, I don’t restrict myself by not eating meat. All I have done is opened a new door of opportunities.

So, meat eaters listen close. You don’t need to be vegetarian. However, what about scrapping that bit of meat three or four days a week? Find a vegetable you like and make that the centre of your dish and maybe you’ll see the world of vegetarianism as not a taboo but a world of opportunity.


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