I said it before on social media, but I have changed my mind about eating meat, veganism, and vegetarianism. I am and always will be a meat lover by heart and I will probably never give it up entirely, but Bren has helped me to make a meaningful lifestyle change and now I only eat meat about twice or thrice a week and even then it’s in moderation. There are quite a few reasons why I changed my mind and today I wanted to share them with you and also recommend you try the same. Especially if you’ve been on the fence about veganism.
True Veganism is hard
Okay, before I share the how and why, I’ll tell you this. Going 100% vegan is very hard. No more cheese, no more dairy or meat. No more products that contain any traces of animal products. This might be doable when it comes to food. There are plenty of veggie options to choose from and the amount of veggie lifestyle products that can be found have grown over recent years. Even the meat replacing (or should I say emulating?) products have become better and better. But true veganism doesn’t just stop with your diet, it also means banning other products like leather, wool and other things you might never have realised contained animal products until you read the fine print. The problem is that most of the alternatives, like vegan leather aren’t necessarily better for the environment because the amount of plastics and synthetics that are used to produce them. In other words, if you want to walk down the road of becoming a true vegan, you’re going to have a rough time. You can also count on being scrutinized by your peers, which is something I haven’t had any experience with thus far, but sooner or later it will happen.
Why I’m going the flexitarian way
Humans don’t need to consume meat to survive. Anyone who tells you otherwise has no idea what they’re talking about. We are omnivores if anything, but don’t require meat in our diet, as long as we make sure we get those nutrients we’d otherwise get from meat somewhere else. Bren invited me on a journey to start eating less meat and after she made some vegan meals for me she managed to convince me that meals without meat can be just as tasty as those with meat. Now we own quite a bit of vegan cooking books and I’ve found that with the right alternatives to meat, I don’t feel that I’m missing anything.
But was I really that easily convinced? No, I needed some more convincing (being a skeptic and all 😉 ) and that came from watching several documentaries and reading books about our planet and the dire state in which we are now with climate change and the ever growing Human population. All of these documentaries had the same message. We can’t continue down this road and we need to find alternatives to the way we live our lives in many aspects. Fossil fuels need to be banned and replaced with green alternatives, people should eat far less meat than they are doing now and need to switch to a mostly plant based diet. We need to cut back on plastics and reduce all of our emissions if we want to prevent the worst case scenario of global warming. If misanthropy wasn’t your hobby before, there’s plenty of reasons to get into it, right now! Watching and reading all of this had me going over the same thought over and over again: There are just too damn many of us.
So, where does that leave me?
I have to say I was really sad for a couple of days after watching Chasing Coral on Netflix. The same goes for A Life on our Planet by the legendary David Attenborough. These documentaries all show us what’s wrong with the world today, but they also give us hope that we can turn things around. But the time of waiting is over and we need to act now. This is something that’s been said over and over in all of these productions. And that is why they have changed my perception of the world, probably forever.
By changing my personal habits and making small changes one at a time, I’m hoping to keep reducing my footprint and improve my environment’s as well as my own wellbeing. If you were ever thinking about starting to help our planet, just take small steps, one at a time. Everything you can do to help will have a big impact, especially if people around you follow your example. And whenever you feel alone in your fight to help save the planet, just know that you’re not alone. There are so many people doing whatever they can to help and that is really what we need in these trying times.