When I first began my vegetarian challenge
, it seemed like there was meat everywhere, calling my name. A simple turkey sandwich never looked so good. I was counting down the days until I could enjoy a burger again rather than counting up the days I had been a successful vegetarian. Now, as I awake at the end of the two-week challenge, I find that I'm not as eager as I thought I might be.
Sharing an apartment with two meat-lovers the past two weeks, they have consistently tried to break my spirit, constantly cooking up the most aromatic meat dishes known to man. At midnight last night they shouted "yayyy, eat some meat!" I was indifferent. Perhaps the reason for my indifference is because of all that I've experienced and learned in the past two weeks. Here are just a few of my memories/lessons:
1) A trip to North Park for a vegan burger. Not only did I try the food but I experienced an entirely new part of the city.
2) Greek cuisine. Visiting Café Athena
gave me the opportunity to try food from a completely different region. It also allowed me to branch out from the restaurants I have been regularly visiting. Now I have a great place to take friends and family to when they come visit.
3) Going veg is healthier for you. While I'll admit, my stomach was definitely growling the first few days of this challenge, I felt healthier as the days went on. If you go veg the right way (i.e. not loading up on French fries and milkshakes), it typically forces you away from fried foods and toward fruits and vegetables which are high in fiber and low in fat. While I haven't hopped on a scale, my body feels different (in a good way), even after just two weeks of going meatless.
4) It's a huge part of the solution to global warming. According to the UN, the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world, combined! Some people claim that becoming a vegetarian has more of an impact than switching to a hybrid vehicle.
In the beginning of my vegetarian experience
, I was met with shock when I announced I wouldn't be eating meat. But as time went on, and I shared my story with others, the feelings shifted to curiosity and support. I found that more and more people have been going to the green side over the past few years, and I learned a lot of valuable facts and recipes. While I can't say that I will indefinitely continue to be a vegetarian, my meat consumption has been significantly reduced. This experience has made me think twice about the food that I eat, how if affects me and how it affects my body. I'd encourage anyone to give it a shot.
for more facts on the benefits of vegetarianism or check out vegsandiego.com
for more information on the vegetarian lifestyle in San Diego.
Thumbnail photo: docman/Flickr