How to become a vegetarian...(8 Posts)
I have found myself really considering vegetarianism more and more often lately. I love meat but am becoming more aware of how animals are treated in the food industry. It's something I'm really struggling with ethically. I live with a house full of meat lovers. Obviously, being a meat lover myself, I don't want my decision to cut meat from my diet to impact them. On the other hand I know I'll really struggle not to eat meat myself if everyone else is eating it. So how do I tackle this?
If it is going to be so difficult - maybe you shouldn't do it? Or at least not all at once...
How about cutting back, and sticking to a small quantity of high quality meat that you know where it's come from, and know it's well treated? Over time you may find you can cut back a bit more as you get used to eating less of it, and so it's more a sustainable change for you.
I cut out meat for similar reasons, but I didn't eat much of it in the first place so it was quite easy. The most difficult bit is eating out/on the go - our society does not like vegetarians very much... Also I think meat & veg is an easy meal to put together - a tasty vegetarian meal tends to involve more work, so again becomes an obstacle if you really wanted meat in the first place.
May I recommend Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, if you're looking for some reading on the topic - I found it illuminating and helpful when I was considering this.
Are you looking to definitely cut meat from your diet totally, or just reduce the household meat consumption (iyswim)? If you're not that set on actually becoming vegetarian could you perhaps persuade the rest of the household to do a couple of meat free days a week with you (thus reducing total meat in the household without actually becoming vegetarian/having to cook several meals).
Or perhaps you could find meals where it's easy to adapt the same meal for a meat eating an meat free diet- I remember seeing a cook book called something like 'mainly vegetarian' once that had ideas on just that.
I should disclose I'm a long term veggie and now have an all veggie household. DH was not veggie when we met (quite the opposite) so only used to eat meat if he cooked or if we went out. DH looked in to the pros and cons (health/animal welfare, environment etc) for himself when we were deciding whether DC should eat meat and since then has become veggie too. I've never tried to force him to take on my views so understand what you mean about not wanting your decision to impact them, but my experience is that my decision probably made DH think about this more than he would have otherwise.
I'd love to cut meat out completely eventually. I wonder if I'd be better off doing as LordEarnsworth said - to do it gradually. We already have a couple of days minus meat. When it's not there, I don't really miss it but know DP would hate not having meat. I'll give that a read thanks Lord.
Chunkymum1 I like the idea of adapting meals to suit both omnivores and vegetarians. I find your post reassuring - thank you.
As of recently We only eat meat once a week and it's a good compromise. Still eat fish and eggs though. Qourn chicken pieces are great as is Qourn mince. Can't find a nice veggie sausage though. Find we are eating a lot healthier as it's making me more adventurous in my use of vegetables and fish. I was stuck in a meat and 2 veg rut before.
I was a 'chickenarian' for a couple of years before going fully veggie. Doesn't matter how you do it really if the end goal is the same.
I agree that getting the household to have a couple of meat free days a week or even just a meat free Monday might be a good start.
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has a great recipe book called Veg Every Day which is packed with easy veggie meals for exactly this situation. There'll be heaps of copies in your local library.
I went veggie gradually over a number of years, cutting out a different animal/meat each time. I've now been veggie for about 25 years!
How about increasing to 3-4 veggie days a week for the whole family? That would make it far easier for catering. The meaties could always add a pork chop, chicken breast etc, if they really couldn't cope without! Then increase the number of days you eat a vegetarian meal as you discover which substitutes and alternatives work for you (eg cook a veggie risotto/chilli/curry/spag bol etc and a meatie one).
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