This past summer was filled with refreshing change in the way of jobs, internships, vacations, new experiences with friends…and becoming a vegetarian. The words “vegetarian” and “vegan” often cause a knee jerk reaction in people with responses such as “Wow, I could never cut out chicken nuggets” or “But where do you get your protein?” The choice for me to cut out animal products this summer was one of many different factors, none of which I regret. I can honestly say I have not once missed chicken nuggets or felt nutrition deficient since. Here are the reasons I made the choice and haven’t looked back:
1.) I can look baby pigs and cows in the face now
I have always been an animal lover, and felt like a major hypocrite for having them on my dinner plate every night. It’s not possible to be a fully compassionate human being if this compassion is limited to specific beings. You cannot truly call yourself an animal lover with a dog sitting next to you and a pig on your plate. FYI, pigs have been said to have the same intelligence level as a 3 year old child, and it doesn’t take much scrolling through the internet to see videos of cows laying on people’s laps like dogs. When your morals align with your lifestyle, you feel naturally at peace.
2.) I don’t feel like I need to go into a coma for 3 days after going out to eat
Have you ever had that feeling after a night with your family at Olive Garden that you physically cannot move your body and just need to sleep for the rest of your life? That’s because eating a “big juicy steak” with a side of cheesy mashed potatoes is literally debilitating your body, I mean, you are carrying around dead animal carcass in your stomach. Just sayin’. A balanced plate of beans, greens, and carbs leaves you feeling energized and just “right” inside. Food is supposed to fuel you, not leave you feeling like you’re going to explode if you take a step!
3.) We are literally not made to consume milk
I know, this one is hard to believe. I mean, where else could we possibly get calcium other than milking the utters of another animal and drinking it, right? Although it is commonly believed that those who are lactose intolerant are the minority, they actually make up 2/3 of the population. Having the enzyme lactase to break down lactose and digest it is actually a mutation that developed in humans in ancient settlements that experienced famines and cow milk was their only source of nutrition. I’m almost positive that is no longer the case for the 1/3 of people who consume cow milk on a daily basis. Humans are the only mammals that still consume milk after childhood development, because it is simply unnatural and above all unnecessary. If you really think about it long enough, the fact that we artificially inseminate another animal, take their babies away from them, and drink their milk…you’re lying if you don’t think it’s strange.
4.) It’s cheap! There’s cheaper, healthier alternatives to everything
Before cutting out animal products, I literally envisioned vegetarians and vegans as eating nothing but salad for breakfast lunch and dinner. I couldn’t have been more wrong. If you’re consuming enough calories every day, you are no doubt consuming enough protein. The emphasis our society and media places on protein is a lie created by big companies (shocker) to increase the demand for meat. We do not need nearly as much protein as we consume every day. Beans and tofu are the two main staples for vegetarian protein but it can be achieved literally anywhere, and it is much more efficient than meat. Almond and coconut milk ice cream, veggie burgers, white bean alfredo sauce, Tofurkey deli slices…the list goes on. The only true vitamin supplement you need to take is B12 if you’re cutting out meat, and most meat eaters are deficient of it in the first place, like I was.
Meat and dairy are linked to a plethora of diseases, cancers, and obesity rates in our world today. The more you do your own research, the more you realize how much we are being lied to and manipulated to contribute to the mass suffering of animals worldwide every day. If you’re interested in learning more before you make the switch, two films I recommend are What the Health and Earthlings. This article is in no way meant to bash those who do not choose to live an animal-product free lifestyle, but rather to open your eyes to what you are truly putting in your bodies and minds every day.