Nearly all my life I have been a meat eater, I was brought up eating meat and would have it everyday and enjoyed eating every kind of meat.
I loved bacon, beef & lamb roasts, burgers and all things meat related, I would always go straight to the hog roasts at fairs and moan that I didn’t get enough meat on my plate at the carvery.
I always said that I would never be a vegetarian as I loved eating meat and back then I was under the impression that your body needs meat to give it the nutrients it needed.
How wrong I was!
Turning vegetarian all happened very gradually for me until one day I realised I just couldn’t eat meat anymore.
It all started when we become more aware of the health issues of eating meat to often and the effects it can have on your body. We were hearing more and more about the link with meat and cancer.
The NHS website recommends that people cut down on red and processed meat as their is likely a link between these and bowel cancer.
We also started to realise that meat is not what it used to be. The animal welfare these days is awful, meat is being mass produced on such a large scale that the animals can never be looked after as they should be and free to spend their days roaming around the fields. Not to mention the quality of the meat we are eating due to the way the animals are kept and all the antibiotics and special feeds they are given.
Healthline.com warns of the issue of both antibiotics and pollution ending up in our meat and the damaging effects it can have on our health.
After we had looked into it more we decided that we would cut down on our meat consumption and have at least one day a week where we had no meat. This is where we started meat free Mondays.
We carried on with meat free Mondays for a while and found that it wasn’t that hard to have meat free days. Dino then watched a video about meat which showed them cutting pus and cysts off of it and then just selling the rest of the meat as normal.
After watching this he was completely put off eating meat and he started to go longer without eating any meat until eventually he had completely given up. At this time I was still eating meat (I didn’t see this video if I had I probably would have given up eating meat sooner) the rest of the week but I did start cutting down a bit more. It took me a good few months after Dino to cut out meat from all my meals but after doing it a while and finding good vegetarian meals and substitutes it was easy to maintain.
We both started to see and feel the benefits of not eating meat, both of us had more energy, felt less bloated and after a big meal we didn’t end up in a food comer.
I had been vegetarian for 3 months when we went on a holiday to France, none of us spoke French so we had to rely on pointing and hoping for the best while there. However food was a big issue as not a single restaurant we found had any vegetarian dishes unless we wanted to eat chocolate pancakes for the whole week.
They also didn’t understand a lot of English and we didn’t speak French so we couldn’t ask for anything off the menu. Towards the end of the week I was so hungry I caved in and ordered a burger. However when I eat it I just didn’t enjoy it, the burger it’s self was a decent burger and before I would have thought it was delicious but after not eating meat for so long it just tasted wrong. I also found afterwards my tummy ached and I felt so bloated.
This was the last time I ever eat meat and I have been a vegetarian for 8 months now I have not looked back nor craved meat. When I first started to give up I would see meat and still want to eat it but now I have no desire for it and I don’t even like looking at it.
I have to admit that I do eat fish now and again but no meat and I feel so much better for it, both health wise and morally.
If you are looking for inspiration for non meat meals take a look at my recipe for my hearty homemade vegetarian shepherds pie, potato and leek soup and my homemade pizza that you can add whatever toppings you want. We like mushroom, spinach and mozzarella on our homemade pizzas.
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