There's been a lot in the news lately about being vegetarian or vegan. It seems that there's a lot more people jumping on the bandwagon and giving up meat. The trend of healthier living shows no signs of slowing down due to people wanting to help the environment and improve their health.
You might be looking into what it's like being a vegetarian or you might have no interest in giving up meat, but just want to have a nosy at what life could be like on the other side...
Either way, I'm probably one of the best people to get this information from because I've been a vegetarian for.....wait for it......ALL.MY.LIFE.
*The images posted through this blog are some of the vegetarian meals and meat-alternatives I've eaten over the past few months. I'll do a blog soon on some recipes.*
My Mum decided to become a vegetarian when she was 13 years old (I believe it was due to the nature of animals being killed) and made the choice to bring me and my two sisters up veggie also. One of my sisters has since made the decision to eat meat, mainly because she went travelling in New Zealand and there wasn't really any other option. My Mum always said we could make our minds up when we were 16. This time came and went for me, and I decided to stay vegetarian. The thought of eating meat just doesn't appeal to me, so why change.
I've had all the comments, including "It can't be good for you!", "What an earth do you eat?" and "Don't you miss meat?". Guess what? After 28 years, I'm still alive and healthy, so it can't be that bad - It really irritates me when people ask this. And having never eaten meat, I don't know what I'm missing. In terms of what I eat, have you been to a supermarket lately? There's pretty much a vegetarian alternative to everything. It's almost becoming a "trend". The options are definitely better now than they were five years ago.
Sadly, there has been the odd occasion when I've accidentally eaten meat. I'll elaborate. I had a pink Barbie lunch box in Primary School, the exact same one as a girl in my class. I opened my lunchbox that lunchtime to find chocolate, pop and everything my Mum usually didn't put in there. I was tucking into what I thought was a Quorn chicken slice sandwich when this girl (rather moodily) came over to my table and said that I had her lunch box. Oh no. She only knew because she didn't like anything that was in mine. Ha ha. Turns out I was munching through a REAL chicken slice sandwich. I've had a few other situations similar to this much to my stomach's un-amusement.
I don't have anything against meat or meat-eaters (each to their own). My decision to stay veggie is down to almost being scared of eating meat. It sounds ridiculous I know, but the thought of eating it makes me feel physically sick. I'm quite happy as I am thank you.
My husband is a big meat-eater, but is more than willing to eat the vegetarian meals I cook at home. I even tricked him once by saying a Quorn burger was a chicken one. He believed me too, until I told him the truth. I don't mind handling and cooking meat though, so I do treat him now and again. It just works out an expensive food shop when you have to buy items to make a veggie curry AND a chicken curry. The same goes for George. I'm not bringing him up vegetarian, he can make this choice himself when he's older. But due to what I cook at home, his diet is primarily vegetarian.
I can understand that when you've been eating meat all of your life so far, you might worry about what you're going to eat as a vegetarian. But believe me, there really is a veggie alternative to everything; spaghetti bolognese, lasagna, curry, burgers, the list is endless. I am 99% sure there is a veggie alternative to your fave dish. Whether it's vegetables or meat-substitutes such as Quorn, you're not going to go hungry. Believe me!
I even went through pregnancy being a vegetarian (and my Mum went through three!), so that proves that with the right nutrients, being vegetarian can even grow babies healthily. The biggest issue for veggies is getting enough protein and iron. If you like (or are willing to at least give them a go) lentils, plant-protein, beans, broccoli, spinach and some nuts and seeds, then you won't have any issues.
There are so many benefits and reasons for becoming a veggie. From doing your bit for the environment and potentially preventing cancer (although many things "cause" cancer these days), everyone has their reason.
I hope this gave you an insight into the life of a life-long vegetarian. It's natural for me and personally I wouldn't have it any other way. Even if the smell of bacon nearly converts me!
If you would like to ask me any questions or are looking for more advice, you can pop me an email.