For the year of 2019, I decided to go meatless. I already know what you are thinking. Pretty soon I’ll be marching the street, with ragged jeans, my Peta sign in one hand and my megaphone in the other screaming, “stop murdering animals.”
Don’t worry, I will try not to engage in those behaviors
I never thought I would go meatless. The first thing I learned how to cook was a T-bone steak with eggs, sunny-side-up.
Although I was raised on meat, vegetables and fruits were always at the dinner table. My dad prioritized healthy meals and healthy activity.
My siblings and I were athletes so healthy food was always in reach. Our snacks were nuts and dried fruit, shredded wheat, and saltine crackers. We weren’t allowed to eat sweets or processed foods and fast food was a rarity.
Going meatless for good
Vegetarianism is in my blood. My dad was a vegetarian in his twenties, he had already introduced me to plant milk and tofu. When my sister gave was 12, she gave up red meat. My dad convinced me, if I gave up pork I would run faster. So I gave up pork and I ran faster.
During high school, I became obsessed with chicken and turkey: turkey burgers, turkey bacon, and turkey sausage became a thing. Thank God for the turkey inventions! Giving up beef and pork was easy, but pepperoni gave me trouble.
When I got to college, pork and beef became a distant memory. I ate a variety of foods, I had friends who were vegetarian. I began to add more vegan and vegetarian meals in my diet, but still, I didn’t have the urge to give up chicken.
What Changed my mind
My decision to go meatless wasn’t a quick one. It was a long process. I have heard vegans say, “Chicken is a dirty animal.” I have watched the documentary What the Health and Forks over Knives the films and even that didn’t make me consider it.
I didn’t think becoming a vegetarian or a vegan was for me until my friends adopted the meatless diet. My social media and everything around me was buzzing with plant-based images.
It was funny, I had been health conscious my entire life and all of sudden “healthy” things became a popular trend. And I felt the trend was going overboard.
Is meat healthy for you or not?
Meat is not HEALTHY. This is the glorious debate…
When people told me meat wasn’t healthy, I felt jaded. Unlike them, I didn’t grow up eating processed meat, I didn’t eat chicken wings and ribs all the time; meat at my house was always lean and there were hardly seconds. . I was healthy, but was I really? Not by a vegan’s standard.
This vegan way of thinking has shifted consumers and the health and fitness world, so much so, I began to feel like I am not healthy. And if I continue to eat meat, I am contributing to climate change and global warming. Personally, I think other things contribute to climate change more than consuming meat, but then I started to feel bad for what I was consuming.
Don’t feel ashamed of your food choices
Honestly, I don’t think meat is bad for you, I don’t think dairy is either. And I will always continue to think that way. But lately, the pressure to stop eating meat has hit me hard. I usually don’t give in to peer pressure, but healthy is my world and I want to be as healthy as I can be. Even if that means going meatless for a long time.
I decided to go vegetarian because I wanted to see what health benefits I can gain from going meatless. So this will be my new journey for the new year. Here is going veg for 2019!
Post Updated 3/3/2021