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5 main reasons to consider becoming a vegetarian

Today is the official start of “Meat Free Week”. This is a global campaign to get you thinking about how much meat you eat, and the impact that eating too much of it has on your health, animals and the environment. We challenge you to join us in not eating meat this week, which includes poultries and fish as well. Throughout the week, we will be posting a series of articles related to this and some nice vegetarian recipes to keep you satisfied! 

As someone who has been eating meat since I can remember, I never really even thought of breaking this habit; until now. In the last few months, I have noticed a growing skepticism and queasiness in my stomach when it came to buying meats or poultry. I don’t know if this shift is a product of the scandalous reports that seem to be released every now and then, or if I understood this while becoming a student.

By making my own meals, I’ve had first-hand experience with handling raw. industrial. slimy. chicken. Ever since, I am either avoiding it by making my roommate cut it, buying it sliced, or eliminating it completely from my meal! After doing my research, I understood what processes MOST meats and poultry undergo. There are countless amounts of additives, pesticides, and other toxic production methods that do not fall into the range of what any person in their right mind would want to put in their bodies… For this reason, I write this article more in the hopes to inform you in a simple way and encourage you to decrease your meat usage or even convert to a vegetarian lifestyle.

Here are 5 main reasons why we should all consider becoming vegetarians one day or another —

    1. “Two words: meat extenders + fillers”

      These two techniques are what make your choice of meat affordable and pretty. What they are, basically, is non-meat substances with altered protein content and high carbohydrate levels, lots of it.

       

    2. “The almighty chicken hormone cocktail”

      From the time they are in the egg, chickens are vaccinated with an abusive cocktail of antibiotics and growth hormones to survive the drastic living conditions they are about to go through. However, not even all of these chemicals are protecting us from the rising fear that there are new parasites that are becoming “scarily” resistant to all of our human efforts. #justsaying

      PS; Not-so-fun fact: chickens are now grown so quickly that if humans grew as fast, we’d weigh around 160 kilos by our second birthday…

       

    3. “Liar liar pants on fire, I spot an untruthful label!”

      I always wonder about the labels I see on packages, and there is a common belief that they are often deceptive. It is not the exception when it comes to meats — if there is neither an ingredients list nor any information listed on the front label, don’t assume it’s additive-free. Most words used to make claims on the front of packaging are not regulated (e.g., “natural”), so they really aren’t meaningful.

       

    4. “A beautiful veggie-full diet pleases your inner goddess”

      Not only does it provide your inner goddess with all of the right vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, but it also boosts your energy levels and increases your sexual libido. The saying that “vegetarians make better lovers” didn’t just come form nowhere!

    5. “But at the end of the day, we should reconsider our choices because we are emotional beings, and we should treat other creatures as such too.”

      Over the years, overproduction has led to the most inhumane procedures to kill animals faster and in bigger quantities. So how about we stop for a second and really think about what it is we are encouraging?

As a fit girl who is currently trying to jump off the meat wagon, nothing would make me happier than having some tricks and tips on how to get the best balanced nutrition! So this is a call to all of our vegetarian ladies (and all of the other fit girls too) to share your thoughts, tips, and any opinion you have on this topic!

Sources

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Comments

  1. Ellie

    YES!! After visiting california last year and actually seeing the factory farms I started to cut down on meat and make informed choices. The problem is that you really can’t trust a label. After reading the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer I don’t even crave meat anymore. And I loved meat. But now it doesn’t appeal to me and I haven’t touched it since Christmas. Instead I focus on the challenge of cooking delicious food without it, and it’s so fun! It opens up a world of new food and it’s just as delicious! Never thought I would go veggie but now I think it’s so important to the world and the animals on so many levels that we control our consumption and make the choice to do the right thing. Thanks so much for this article!!!! 🙂

    • Smilla

      Thankyou so much for this comment! I’m going to check out the book you mentioned, it’s a great motivation for me to know that other girls are in the same situation and pulled through 🙂

  2. Eva

    Great article! I can totally relate to your story – at some point early 2014 meat just didn’t feel right for me anymore. In April I joined the VeganChallenge, and while earlier I thought I never could be vegan, I felt great and I noticed I was making way faster progress in the gym too. I stayed mostly vegan since then (I discovered I’m lactose intolerant anyway); except for sometimes eggs when I travel and veg options are hard to find.

    I’d say: try it out for 30 days, maybe with the VeggieChallenge, and see how you feel?

    • Smilla

      Wow congratulations! I looked into the VeggieChallenge and the recipes seem sooo good, quite helpful as well. Thanks a lot, it makes me happy other girls are informed on these topics as well!

  3. Kendall Wisniewski

    As much as I’d love to go vegetarian, I don’t think I could ever do it

    • Smilla

      Hey Kendall, I think many of us feel the same! But take a look at the comments on this thread for some inspiration and maybe you’ll feel motivated to make these small changes 🙂

  4. Carla

    Becoming a vegetarian is the best thing that I have ever done. Humans have lost sight of acting humanely and over produce meat, treating animals awfully just to make money. I really believe that where money is concerned people have very few morals and this is shown throughout the meat industry. It’s also shocking that most people literally have no idea how these animals are treated or the chemicals that are going into their bodies by consuming meat. I know as one vegetarian I can’t change the world but I am helping and trying to make a stand for something that I believe in. Thanks for the great post 🙂

    • Smilla

      Hey Carla! Thank you for this comment, you really captured what inspired me to write it. Despite being a meat-eater (as of the moment), I can’t wrap my head around why I would want to encourage these industrially processed meats. Glad to see other Fit Girls taking initiative like you!

  5. Tessa

    Great article! I had the same mental struggle in april last year, and decided to go vegetarian after that.
    I noticed protein intake is more of a problem than I thought. A normal but low protein intake is doable, but upping it is hard.
    I am quite skeptical when it comes to meat replacing products such as quorn, simply because I did not want to eat meat anymore and replacing it with something that is meant to copy it seems weird. However, I noticed there is a lot of protein in that stuff. Look for the vegetarian minced meat, its basically just protein.
    There are also some really nice recipes, like a burger with lentils, spinach, pesto, oats and eggs (from the Allerhande), you just need to come across them. Once you have a nice one, don’t ever let go! 😉 your non-veggie friends will appreciate a nice meal that you can also enjoy.
    Besides that, I hope you like goats cheese, because so many restaurants out there only have veggie options with that in there 🙂 I love it, but not everyone does.
    One last tip, take it easy! Do you want to stay veggie, do you want to include fish in your diet, do you want to check all the packets for possible gelatin? Just try it and make up your mind about the details later!

    • Smilla

      Hey Tessa! I was actually wondering the same thing, I’ve tried a few vegetarian patties and I really enjoy them, but I don’t know if I should be trying to replace meat flavors or rather make my own high protein vegetarian recipes. I’ll make sure to find my go-to recipe for times when I need a good meal after a workout or after a long day at work!
      And as for vegetarian options, I personally think fish falls into the same category because it’s an animal too. Good thing I like goat cheese too though! I’m really not picky with food actually, so I’m not too limited in that sector 😉 Thank you for the comment!

  6. Siss

    thanks for a great article 🙂 I became vegetarian last September and I cannot be happier 🙂 Before I only ate chicken and fish, but lots of it. Then I decided to try 1 meatless week and I did not miss meat at all, so I challenged myself to continue for 1, 2, 3 more weeks… I noticed a great weight loss (even though I was already eating healthy and working out for 6 months that time) and decided to continue without meat. To be honest, I have a feeling that if I tasted meat now, I would be sick. And I have always looked at animals as at friends rather than “food” 🙂

    • Smilla

      Hey Siss! Thank you for the tip 🙂 I decided to start next week so that I really have my clean slate. I had a feeling that it would implement weight loss but I wasn’t sure! I’m not really doing this to lose weight but it sure is an incentive, I often feel bloated and I was told it could also be due to my meat intake. I feel like I’m finally ready for this change, and I really appreciate your input!

  7. Cheryl

    Thank you for sharing, I have been looking to reduce my meat intake as well for many similar reasons 🙂

    Cheryl
    http://daisycandle.com

    • Smilla

      Hey Cheryl! Looks like we’re on the same boat 🙂 If you take a look at the comments you might find some useful tips, I know I did. Good luck and thanks for the comment!

  8. Wieke

    Good luck with becoming a vegetarian! Just make sure you get enough Vit. B12 and iron and you should be okay.
    One comment though: you cannot vaccinate a chicken with antibiotics and growth hormones, they are injected.

    • Smilla

      Hello Wieke! Thanks for the tip 🙂 I’ll have to do my research on which foods I can get the most nutrients and vitamins from.

  9. Else

    Sometimes i’m also struggling with this, but i don’t want to get deficiënt for important nutriënts. So that is the reason i’ve never tried. Thanks for this article, i will take a look at the veggie challenge for good recipes.