by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
There are more reasons than one for my decision to begin the transition to become a vegetarian; presently an almost vegetarian, and none have anything to do with not wanting to kill or eat anything that has been killed.
The first reason for my steps in the direction of almost vegetarian is the fact that unless I know exactly where the meat comes from I do not trust anymore any claims as to what it is and how it was reared and killed. The horse meat in burgers and lasagne, etc., in the EU, including the UK, has made me rethink this and horse for me, as a Romani-Gypsy is taboo. Reason number two is that I wish to live and eat better, lose weight and stay lighter, and also to have less of an impact on the Planet and meat rearing has a large environmental footprint rather.
Having always been fond of vegetables and more or less preferred them over meat really and having great recipes to play with to hand such a transition should not be a too difficult one at all and playing, so to speak, with any recipe I will to make it better still. Often it just takes some additional ingredients such as various herbs and spices, whether fresh, dried or powdered.
Meat was a treat, more or less, when I was growing up with just vegetables and such for most meals and I have never understood why, today, most people insist that they have to have meat at least once a day, though often it is more than just once a day. Once a week it was with us, if we were lucky. Personally I could not afford doing that for starters and it is not only bad for the wallet but also for our health and that of the Planet.
Animals are not the greatest converters of plant protein into food energy either and we are using way too many of our Planet's acreage to feed the meat craze. In fact, we are destroying rainforests for this and for palm oil and both has to stop.
So far I have gone almost vegetarian as I do not wish to waste the meat and meat products that I still have in freezer and pantry by tossing them out. But once those are gone, by presently limiting myself to the occasional meat day only, they are gone and that is going to be it.
Animal protein will still be in my diet after that, however, still as my hens provide me with a good number of eggs per week. So many, in fact, that I cannot actually eat them all unless I would have eggs several times a day. Meat, on the other hand, will no longer feature in my diet after that time. I seriously have gone off the stuff and I believe that our present “love affair”, for lack of a better word, with meat is harming our health and the health of our Planet.
I must say that I am beginning to find that meatless is not at all difficult and meals can be very tasty, tastier even, without than with. But, then again, as said before, I have always loved my vegetables, even as a child, in all shapes and forms.