Why did you become vegetarian? Isn't it hard to be a vegetarian? Where do you get your protein? What do you eat at restaurants? Do you not like meat?
These are a ton of questions that I get asked as a 14 year old vegetarian. So, I am going to try my best to answer these!
First off, I became a vegetarian in August 2020. For a week, my family and I went to a dude ranch. (Pretty much a farm!) When I was there, I met a ton of super cool animals, that really made me second guess my meat-eating habits. I was able to meet baby and mother cows, horses, 2-week-old kittens, pigs, turkeys, chickens, and other super sweet animals. One animal that really touched my heart, was a 3-week-old calf. She wasn't able to go out with the herd of longhorn cows because her mother had accidentally stepped on her, causing her leg to break. This cows name was Glenna.
After meeting and bottle-feeding Glenna, whenever I was about to take a bite of fried chicken or a juicy steak, all I could see was her innocent big brown eyes and the limp she had as she would run to keep with me. I could not take a bite of meat. I made a very impromptu decision to be a vegetarian, at first my friends and family did not believe it would last very long. I mean I'd always been the girl who loved eating meat. Suddenly, I was the girl who wouldn't even get near it.
A few months into being a vegetarian people began to realize I was very serious about it. I began to do research and learn things that I did not know before. I even had my eyes opened to parts of being a meat-eater that I had originally been very blind to!
I learned that cheese can sometimes be made with animal rennet. Which means they make the cheese with a baby cows stomach. Unbelievable! I learned that some gummy bears are made with animal fat and there's anchovies in Caesar salad dressing! I also learned more about the harm that animals go through. I started to care more about habitats that animals are raised in, how animals are mistreated, bred for human's benefit, and I thought more about how humans are the only mammal that drink another mammals milk. CRAZY! These are only a fraction of all the insane statistics and facts I have learned and researched.
Second, it's really not hard at all to be vegetarian! It may be easy to think it would be so hard, but I've realized it's not. I used to think it was crazy how people couldn't just not eat meat, but it's really not hard at all. In fact, the longer I've been a vegetarian, the less appeal meat even has to me. I start to notice more about how bloody it is, and how it's really just an animals carcass.
Third, I am able to get my protein from beans, hummus, nuts, milk, yogurt, cheese (not with animal rennet), and even ICE CREAM! It's really not that hard to find protein, even in foods you would typically eat on a daily basis anyways.
Fourth, I've begun to realize that most restaurants have vegan/vegetarian options. Okay, I know what you're thinking. "Vegan food is so gross!" But have you really tried it? I mean come on, some fries are vegan. There are so many things you eat daily, that are already vegan! Also, vegan cookies are actually super yummy. I even had some friends who usually call vegan food "gross" try them and they even thought they were good. Plus, if you're not interested in plant-based meats, you don't have to eat them! Personally, I don't even eat plant-based meats.
Lastly, I did used to enjoy meat. In fact, when I became a vegetarian it wasn't because I didn't like meat, it was because I realized I didn't want to be a part of animals being killed. However, the longer I am a vegetarian, the more I just don't want meat. Like I mentioned earlier, I don't even eat plant-based meats, meat just is no longer appetizing to me!
Anyways, I hope you were able to learn a bit from this blog, and also realize why some people become vegetarian/vegan. Maybe some day that will be you too. Even eating less meat can be better for the environment. Do your part for the community.
Small actions, big impacts.
Written by: Emi Gunning