The Best Things About Being Vegetarian

mactuan12

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I'm thinking about what was so great in your first few months of vegetarianism, when you were getting into your stride. Over time we lose our initial enthusiasm and have a tendency to focus on the annoyances, so sometimes it's good to remember why we LOVE being veggie.

For me:

1. Trying new foods. Sometimes because it was the only option in a restaurant, and sometimes because I was looking for replacements for the stuff I used to eat. It opened up a whole new world of cuisine.

2. Feeling so clean and pure once I stopped eating dead animals. I really identify with "my body is not a graveyard" now.

3. FINALLY having a clear conscience. I could never reconcile my love for animals and my love for meat, so I just ignored it, but it niggled at me all the time. Once I went veggie it was like being liberated!

4. Meeting new people and becoming part of new online communities. I've made some very close friends from veggie communities.

5. Learning to love vegetables. Before they were just the side dish, the thing that accompanied the meat. Now you could put a plate of plain vegetables in front of me and I'd be happy. I feel so good and healthy looking at a plate of vibrant colours and thinking of all the vitamins and minerals there.

chris
 

Tom L.

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My experience was largely the same, except maybe for 2 and 5.

About 2: it still seems weird to me that I love animals enough to shun foods I had always enjoyed the first 16-20 years of my life, but don't feel complete horror if I walk past the meat counter in the supermarket, and would probably still enjoy eating meat if I allowed myself to eat it. I would feel horror, as well as anger, if I actually saw an animal slaughtered in front of me. I think I became desensitized about seeing meat in a supermarket or sitting at the same table as meat eaters for a number of reasons: partly to protect my peace of mind; partly because most of the people I care about are meat eaters and I don't think they're evil, even though I think the way most animals are treated by most humans IS evil; and partly because I think nature itself can be as violent as humans.

About 5: It's kind of paradoxical, but my love of food made it easier for me to go vegetarian! When I gave up meat, and then fish, and then (years later) started cutting way back on milk and egg, there were still a lot of nutritious foods I enjoyed: ALL grains and legumes (oat, wheat, soyfoods, kidney beans, pintos, great northerns, garbanzos, rice, corn, rye, lentils, barley... sunflower kernels, sesame seeds, and peanuts of course... and so many vegetables and fruits that I'd be sitting here for about 10 minutes typing furiously before I could list them all. This week I went to the local farmer's market, where they have different, locally-grown varieties of foods such as apples that I can never find in the supermarket. I've actually started a list of different varieties of foods I try, with notes on how I liked them. Eating can be not only necessary and fun, but a bit of an adventure.
 
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