Not Your Typical Vegetarian Promo

Okay, don’t laugh, but what pushed me to change my diet is my competitiveness with my brother. He started dating a vegetarian and then became one himself, so naturally I couldn’t let him be better at something than me, and tried it out myself.

If I’m being honest, my brother wasn’t the only reason for this change. I had been thinking about trying to go vegetarian for a while, and he just pushed me to finally do it. My interest didn’t have much to do with saving the planet or the animals really, which is kind of sad. My biggest reason was because of the chemicals and antibiotics they put in non-organic meat – the only meat that's affordable on a student budget.

The strange thing is that after over a year of being vegetarian, thinking about cooking animals and eating them seems horrible. That's strange because it never bothered me before, but once I stopped eating it, the thought of killing animals started to make me sad. I was watching a movie where they had a pig on a farm and roasted it, and I was genuinely almost bawling my eyes out on the Megabus to Montreal. So if you think vegetarians are crazy and too sensitive, it’s not that we want to annoy everyone with how we feel. Honestly, when you stop eating meat, it becomes 100% less appetizing.

Looking back on it, helping the environment should have been my top reason for converting. I don’t know how true the information that’s being tossed around the internet is, but if being vegetarian and vegan is at all close to as good as they say for the environment, then why not? Has no one heard that we have about 12 years before the environment’s downfall will be irreversible? If eating less meat has a hand in saving the planet, then shouldn’t everyone be trying to make some sort of effort if they can? I’m not saying you have to cut off all meat right this second or ever, but if everyone could go one day a week without meat, it would be better than nothing. This isn’t even me asking that everyone become animal lovers, although that would be nice, but I am simply asking you to love yourself and your future kids - because we won’t live if the planet is dying.

I’m not your normal vegetarian, and you don’t have to be one. I feel bad when I go to others’ houses and they didn’t know I was vegetarian, so I just eat what they made for dinner, even if it’s meat. Does it make me a bad vegetarian? I don’t think there is such a thing, because vegetarianism - no matter what level - is doing some good.

A lot of people ask me about how I stand the weird “tastes.” I want to laugh at this, because the only reason foods like veggie burgers and almond milk taste strange is not because they taste bad, but because we have been eating similar animal-based foods for much longer. It’s like trying something for the first time: it might taste strange, but you get used to it. Almond milk now tastes normal to me and regular milk has the strange flavour; it’s all dependent.

If you are thinking of becoming vegetarian, don’t think of it as a one-definition term. As long as you try your best to limit meat then you are already doing amazing. I am not ashamed of the times I eat meat when I don’t have another option, and I’m not ashamed for liking almond milk. I am proud that I am doing what I can to minimize my impact on the environment. I am no saint, though: I sometimes forget reusable bags and don’t bring my mug for my tea - but no one is saying you have to be perfect.