Wednesday, 5 July 2017

I Meat Cheated...And That's OK

I started 2017 filled with all of the usual hopes, dreams and ambitions associated with the start of the new year. I will lose 3 stone, I will get a £10k pay rise, I will buy my first house, I will learn to play a musical instrument, I will learn the basics of a new language, I will practise yoga every night, I will visit a new country, the list goes on.

On my list this year was cutting down the amount of meat I consumed. Towards the end of 2016 I had already started to make some small changes. I would occasionally choose the veggie option when eating out and I had introduced more veggie options into my evening meal rota. Small changes but I felt good for doing them.

When I discovered that my friend had decided to go meat free for January I thought it would be a great opportunity to tick one goal off the new year resolution list. Wouldn’t that make a nice change? So January came and went and I managed to resist the juicy temptation of meat all month. Surprisingly it was a lot easier than I thought it would be!

As it was easier than expected, I thought carrying it on as long as possible seemed like the right thing to do. So why do I want to be a vegetarian in the first place? 

Well I don’t disagree with actually eating meat. I think it is the circle of life and quite a natural thing to do. What I do disagree with is how the meat is reared before it is turned into food. I don’t want to go into the horrid details in this post, although I recommend you do a quick search yourself if you haven’t already as it might help change your mind, but it truly is horrendous.

That being said it’s not the easiest thing to give up. I miss so many of my favourite meals like bacon butties, burgers and burritos. They’re so hard to resist when everyone around you is happily tucking into them! I have also seen too many restaurant menus with just goats cheese salad as an option (bleugh). And why does my local Tesco just have a falafel wrap in the whole meal deal selection?!

I have come to accept that there will be times when I will ‘meat cheat’. This is a phrase I have inherited from my sister, who has been a vegetarian for several years now. She meat cheated a few times during the initial years but it is now mostly restricted to the Christmas meal.

I managed to stay meat free all the way up until my holiday to Europe. I knew this was going to be tricky before I went and I mentally prepared myself for a meat cheat. I even knew precisely what I would be eating for the first meat cheat. In Berlin there is a burger restaurant called Burgermeister that apparently makes the best burger in Europe.

What’s a girl to do? I absolutely love burgers and I miss them. Vegetarian burgers are fine enough but they don’t quite hit the same spot. I just couldn’t resist the best burger in Europe! I’m a horrible human being, I know. I shouldn’t just disregard my beliefs for a juicy, cheesy burger. 

But I did. And that’s OK. I have gone from eating meat every single day to having meat once in 6 months. I never thought I would be able to do that. I never thought I would be able to do it for one week! I am extremely impressed and proud of how far I have come. 

I know that I will very occasionally meat cheat, which sometimes makes me think I should not call myself a vegetarian. As I am meat free 99% of the time I think I have earned the title, although I know there will be people who completely disagree. I guess what I wanted the message of this post to be is that any change, no matter how small, is good. 

Are you a vegetarian? Or have you thought about cutting down on meat? What are you reasons? Do you slip up occasionally too? Let me know in the comment section below.

Please find below a completely unrelated picture as I could not for the life of me think of a suitable picture to go with this post. A picture of said burger seemed a bit inappropriate, as did a pic of some farmyard animals. So here's a pic of me and a graffiti cat...


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