So I’ve started working on another goal of mine late last week- going vegetarian for 30 days. I’m not being a very strict vegetarian. If a critter had to die to create a dish, I won’t eat it. Everything else is fair game, including dairy and eggs (hens lay sterile eggs in commercial production, so no chicks die if I eat an egg).
I’m on day 5 right now and so far things are going smoothly. I’ve gone up to a week without eating meat before, so I’m not expecting any problems yet. One thing that makes this no-meat diet easy is that I prepare most of my own meals. I don’t eat out often- usually once a week- and it’s to places that I know have some vegetarian items on the menu. The challenge is making sure that I eat a wide variety of veggies, fruit, legumes, nuts and grains to meet all my dietary needs. I did some research into this by reading various books on vegetarian diets that I checked out from the library.
The reason that I want to do this is because I’m concerned about the impact that meat production has on the environment. Raising a herd of cattle for slaughter uses many more resources then just raising plants alone. For example, in the book Diet for a Small Planet, it says that a cow must consume sixteen pounds of vegetation to produce one pound of beef. It would be so much easier on the environment to just eat the veggies themselves.
I’m also curious to see what effect the diet has on my health. While I’m in good health now, I’m wondering if cutting meat from my diet would have any changes in how I feel or how much I weigh. I’m also curious to see if cutting meat out will have a positive effect on my wallet. Finally, this diet will help me be more creative in my cooking since I need to find good alternatives to cooking with meat.
At the end of the 30 days, I don’t expect to switch over to being vegetarian all the time. But I hope this will help me reduce the amount of meat that I eat on a regular basis and move towards a more organic, earth-friendly diet. After all, there’s a big world out there that I want to explore and I want to do my part in taking care of it.