Journey to Vegetarianism Part 2 – Getting There, Practically Speaking
I'm a vegetarian now. I've been eating this way for maybe 4-6 months now (actually, 9 months for this specific piece!). So I'm fairly confident it has stuck. While it's kind of a strange transition, it's being going on so long that it also has been pretty gradual and uneventful largely.
I was going to write this as a single post originally, but I prefer shorter reads. So I’ll break this up into several parts:
Getting There, Practically Speaking (this post)
Challenges & Considerations
Getting There, Practically Speaking
The transition has quite gradual. Here’s a very rough timeline of what steps I took:
I started off unknowingly by cutting back red meat that I ate to very rarely, and eventually none. The reason was that I had heard beef is the highest environmental impact animal product as seen here :
There are also a variety of questions around the health impacts of large quantities of red meat, though I don’t recall what they are at the moment. Do with that what you will.
Beyond that, I didn’t eat much beef anyway. I loved beef burgers, and occasionally steak tips, but that was mainly it. So, this seemed like a good opening for me!
Late 2019 – 2020
After a bit of time with that, I started to eat less meat in general. I would set myself up with meal schedules that helped me prioritize the big goal overall. Some samples were like this:
- 3/2/1/1: 3 meat days, 2 meat days, 1 vegan day, 1 open day.
- 1/2/3: 1 day or less of meat, 2 days or less of vegetarian, 3 days or more of vegan eating.
I guess it was a bit of incentive to get myself eating differently, like “if I do two vegan days, I can have a day to enjoy chicken!” It’s kind of silly sounding at this point, but it helped me work my way through it.
This also gave me a bit more time to adjust some of my meals that I enjoy to be veggie or vegan. For example, chicken curry wraps were fantastic, and they pretty easily became fried tofu curry wraps. Another example, modifying my chili recipe to use sweet potatoes instead of chicken or turkey.
So, if you need a stepping stone, perhaps this is a way to go. Or honestly, even if you don’t want to drop meat entirely, this might be a good way to cut back.
By early of this year, I basically began doing vegetarian meals most of the time. I would maybe have meat once a week or so, then once every other week. At some point maybe about 6 months ago, I decided that I might as well rip the band aid off and give up meat entirely.
And, here we are! Yet another year gone by. I've noticed this year so far, although fairly early, is that I don’t spend much time thinking about meat as much. As in, I don’t feel like I have to fight to avoid it as often. It’s slowly becoming normal, which is exactly the end state I want. There are still times I miss some foods I enjoyed, but overall I don’t ponder it much anymore.
So yeah, no meat for over half a year now!