Why I Became a Vegetarian

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source: jon friedman

Written by Jamie Bible. Media by Jon Friedman.


Source: Medical News Today

I wish that I had a better story behind the original reason for my lifestyle change. In all honesty, I decided to become a vegetarian because I had experienced the reality of the Freshman Fifteen. My first year at college, it was so easy to buy ramen in ungodly-sized quantities and eat a pack of the creamy chicken at 2 a.m. while powering through an all-nighter of gen eds.

I was overjoyed to meet so many new people, and agreed to late night Steak n Shake or Denny’s runs where I would “social eat” (graze on an unhealthy amount of calories, even though I wasn’t hungry, just because everyone wanted to hang out at some fluorescently-lit grease-bucket of a restaurant). Unlike in high school, where I was able to eat a lot of calories and then work it off in one of my after-school sports, I was now completely inactive (save for the trek up three flights of Burritt stairs each day to go to bed). This being said, I gained almost 13 pounds in my freshman year alone.

I decided that if I was going to start living a life of significantly less physical activity, I needed to make a lifestyle change rather than try another diet that only works temporarily. I was tired of feeling gross and eating cheap foods. I looked at my diet and realized that besides chicken, seafood, and the occasional cheeseburger, I ate very little meat. I decided that over the summer I was going to test out vegetarianism.

Before embarking on this journey, I thought of myself as someone who would never be able to give up meat, that by the end of summer, I would be practically begging to eat a Big Mac. My original goal was to just try vegetarianism for a couple months and then limit meat intake after the summer. Almost a complete two years later, I have not had meat in my diet since eating a chicken caesar salad from Kahuna’s on May 16, 2016.

I have no desire to go back to eating meat. The first couple of weeks were hard as I realized how many of my main entrees were meat-based, and I was practically just eating cheese and bread in truckloads. I remember having several odd dreams about eating bologna sandwiches (I know, out of all of the meats I was missing out on, and my subconscious chose bologna). However, it didn’t take much longer than a month to fully adjust to my no-meat diet, as I started subbing in veggie and faux-meat substitutes.

The longer I was a vegetarian, the more I respected and identified with the lifestyle. I think taking Plants and People my freshman fall semester taught me to respect the world and nature in a different way. I have a greater appreciation for the intricacies that God created in each petiole and apex in every leaf of a plant, every one being crafted differently than the last. And I know that a God that is that meticulous and perfect in creating even a single leaf of a plant has also uniquely created animals. The more that I learn about the abuse, neglect, and overcrowding in the meat industry, the more my heart hurts to think that an animal with a real life is forced to live in pitiful conditions for a short time and meet a horrific death, all just so that for one meal, someone can enjoy fried chicken.

Source: Vegetarian Nation

I have always had a predilection toward animals, and after spending three months not eating them, the idea of eating meat again made me feel nauseous – I was perfectly content with a Boca burger or a veggie pizza. I found that the longer I went without meat, the less tempting it was for me. I have no problem with other people eating meat, I just personally feel no desire to eat it.

Overall, I think this was the right choice for me, but I understand that it may not be the right choice for everyone else. I am not interested in “converting” others to vegetarianism, but I will gladly tell people all of the benefits I have experienced since switching my diet permanently. However, if you are interested in giving vegetarianism a try, or simply limiting the amount of meat you eat each week, you may be surprised by what you find. 

1 COMMENT

  1. Due to some health things as you age, my diet has drastically changed. While I’m not a vegetarian, I eat white chicken & turkey, I have drastically changed my diet. I would like to share some information that may be helpful to young people later in life. Those of you in your 50s may want to keep it in my currently… This pyramid is an excellent guideline. However, some very important things to remember…

    1. Avoid Soy and all products containing products. Soy produces estrogen which can lead to several forms of estrogen based breast cancer in both men and women. In stead, opt for olive oil based food. Easily found now.

    2. Peas are a starch and will convert to sugar. They are nutritionally useless.

    3. Replace iceberg lettuce with spinach. The darker the leaf, the better the nutrician value.

    Stay healthy my friends…

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