It’s World Vegetarian Day! Pass the Broccoli

eating broccoli

I have never really liked meat. The idea of a bloody (or even well-done) steak with neatly criss-crossed grill marks on my plate has never been appealing to me, and I have basically limited my carnivorous intake to the occasional chicken breast. My boyfriend is a vegetarian, and I can go for long stretches of time without eating any meat at all. So why am I not a vegetarian, too, already?

Here are the reasons I’ve come up with (while sitting over a bowl of my mom’s famous beef stew):

– It still doesn’t seem to be quite accepted. If you’re invited to dinner at someone’s house or invited to a wedding or some other bash, it’s assumed that you eat meat. If you don’t, you either have to make everyone feel bad by arranging for a special plate or you have to forage for roots and berries among the side dishes.

– Some of my favorite dishes from childhood have meat in them. Sure, I don’t eat them now, but when I go home and my mom makes them, it’s sweet (and they’re still delicious). Knowing I couldn’t eat those anymore would kind of depress me. Wait, who am I kidding? It would totally depress me.

– One of my goals is to travel around the world, and I don’t want to have to limit myself in any way when I do that. Especially when it comes to eating local fare that may or may not come from an animal.

– BACON. Need I say more?

Okay, but lately I’ve been giving these things more serious thought. World Vegetarian Day – which is happening right now! – is arriving at a perfect time for me, because I’m finally considering just making the plunge and going full veg. After all, none of my reasons from above are really relevant on an everyday basis, and here’s something else: fake meat is surprisingly good. Yeah, that’s right. I said it. That Morningstar bacon will never come from a real hog and will always look and taste just a little bit off, but honestly, it’s pretty damn good. Good enough for me to give up the real stuff.

Plus, protein is everywhere. I didn’t realize I ate so much protein on an everyday basis until I started tracking my food with The Daily Plate and saw that I usually get about 250% to 300% of my daily protein requirement – all without eating meat. These foods are just bursting with protein and I happen to eat them (in large quantities) on a daily basis:

Eggs
Milk
Soy milk
Cottage cheese
Regular cheese
Yogurt
Peanut butter
Nuts
Lentils

I don’t need some artery clogging meat to survive. I can live meat-free and still get everything I need. So here it is: October 1, 2009 just might be the onset of my own personal journey toward vegetarianism.

PETA, call me! I wanna do one of those naked ads!

What do you vegetarians think? Is it easy? What made you decide? Why should I do it?

The Doctor Is In: Exercising…Down There
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