So, you want to become a vegetarian? Are you daunted by the thought or just turned off by the idea in the first place? To tell you the truth, I was an avid meat eater/ anti-vegetarian for years. I was annoyed by the fact that people assumed I was veg just because I did not shave my armpits. Talk about putting people in boxes. The funny thing is, when I finally started to shave my armpits I also became a vegetarian!
Whether or not you are interested in Becoming a veg seriously or are just curious about how us crazies do it, I’ve compiled a few how-to’s to make the transition easier. Depending upon your lifestyle and personal reason for taking the plunge, I hope this will inspire and entice you into the wonderful world of vegetarianism.
- Go to the store.
Okay, duh! But seriously, the closer that you can become with your food source, and the more acquainted you are with what you’re eating, will make all the difference in the world.
- Buy vegetables.
Okay, duh! Really though, choose at least three different green things every trip to the market. Try new and unusual veggies everytime you shop. This way you can get into food by experience and learn what you prefer to eat.
- Get Friendly with the spice rack
If you grew up in a home that rarely used spices then this little task can be especially scary. Some of the coolest hot weather cultures in the world are masters of spice, from my personal favorite Indian, to Thai, Mexican and beyond. Look up recipes from these culinary geniuses online.
- Get cooking, blending, baking.
Invest in a few sauce pans, skillets, soup pots and baking dishes along with a good Blender. This will make your road to vegetarianism so much more accessible by allowing you to be creative with your meals instead of bored (wah,wah).
- Fruit is an awesome way to satisfy those carb cravings
Every week I buy at least one bunch of bananas, one or two bags of frozen fruit and one small container of almond milk. I also buy fresh fruit and cut it up and freeze it myself. It really depends on what is more affordable. I also buy a gallon of apple juice once a month or so. I make smoothies 4-5 days a week with protein powder to help burn calories slowly in my system.
Did you know?
Number of people worldwide who will die as a result of malnutrition this year: 20 million.
Number of people who could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced
their intake of meat by 10%: 100 million.
Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 80.
Percentage of oats grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 95.
How frequently a child dies as a result of malnutrition: every 2.3 seconds.
Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 40,000.
Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 250.
Percentage of U.S. farmland devoted to beef production: 56.
Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce a pound of beef: 16.
More than half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S. is livestock production.
Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of wheat: 25.
Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of California beef: 5,000.
Years the world's known oil reserves would last if every human ate a meat-centered diet:13.
Years they would last if human beings no longer ate meat: 260.
Calories of fossil fuel expended to get 1 calorie of protein from beef: 78.
To get 1 calorie of protein from soybeans: 2.
Primary cause of greenhouse effect: carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels
Fossil fuels needed to produce meat-centered diet vs. a meat-free diet: 3 times more
Percentage of U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75.
Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly related to livestock farming: 85.
Number of acres of U.S. forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million.
Percentage of U.S. antibiotics fed to livestock: 55.
Percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13.
Percentage resistant in 1988: 91.
Response of European Economic Community to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: ban.
Response of U.S. meat and pharmaceutical industries to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: full and complete support.
(These facts reflect only factory farmed beef in the United States. Not meat that is raised naturally on family farms.)
There are many other reasons to support your local famers, but these are my favorite. I love animals and I don’t want to contribute to the unethical way that they are raised in this country. My father raised chickens my whole life. We also had other farm animals at different times. There is a major difference between the meat raised on a small scale family farm and meat that is mass produced.