I’ve never had the urge to become a vegetarian, but I respect everyone who adopts this life choice. I have had plenty of people explain to me how hypocritical it is that I love animals, yet knowingly consume meat (my love of pigs directly conflicts with my favorite breakfast). But at least I’m aware of this and really honest with myself; I can’t see myself ever sticking to this diet.
When I was in middle school, everybody I knew went vegetarian for about a month because that was the thing to do – it was just a trend at the time. None of them stuck with it. So, this week, I took a page out of their book…
Although most people choose to be vegetarians because of their views on eating animals who were once living, there are actually some health benefits to the no-meat diet. According to the American Dietetic Association, total vegetarian and vegan diets “may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
In an article published by Harvard Health Publications, vegetarians tend to consume less saturated fat and cholesterol and more vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium and plant chemicals. This means they’re likely to have a lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI. This reduces their risk of many chronic illnesses and other diseases such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Although I am not eating vegetarian long enough to benefit from any of the research listed above, I did want to…
- see how easy (or hard) it would be to eat vegetarian on campus
- find out if I was capable of being vegetarian for the week
The rules were pretty straight forward: NO MEAT.
It was harder than I thought. I caught myself multiple times, about to buy a turkey pesto sandwich at Starbucks or making myself a taco in the caf. I just had stop myself and instead order a tomato mozzarella sandwich (which was only slightly weird because I don’t like tomato, so I was essentially just eating cheese and spinach on bread…) or fill my taco shell with rice and vegetables.
It wasn’t one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but it did make me realize how much meat I consume without even thinking about it, and it definitely made me replace things like turkey, ham, and chicken with vegetables. Not only was it not-horrible, it really did make me eat healthier.