Once upon a time, I was, like most people and the rest of my family, an omnivore. As of the day I’m writing this, I have been a vegetarian for 3 years, 6 months, and 20 days. But who’s counting. (I used a website to figure that out btw.) When I decided to become a vegetarian, it was a cold, rainy night in Valparaiso, Indiana. My family and I went out to dinner, and I decided to get a steak at a semi-sketchy restaurant. Which was mistake number one. I was casually eating said steak when I cut into a piece and saw a vein that was literally as thick as a pencil. It was very gnarly and as a 15 year old, it was quite traumatizing. In that very moment, I thought to myself “nope. Never again, Anissa.” And, henceforth, I have not eaten meat.
A lot of people told me that it would be difficult to be a vegetarian in the dining halls and that I would probably start eating meat again. Honestly, I think they were just trying to scare me. Although, okay, I must admit, I’m a pescetarian. Which really just means that I eat seafood too. I do happen to be very picky about my seafood, and the idea of mass-produced dining hall seafood is pretty much the opposite of appealing. I just say I’m a vegetarian because I never feel like explaining myself. More often than not, I pick the vegetarian option anyway. Eventually I’ll probably just be a vegetarian, but for right now, while other people cook for me, I’ll concede with occasional seafood.
And really, there are tons of vegetarian options. I can’t tell you how much tofu I’ve consumed here. Which is definitely not a bad thing. A girl’s gotta get her protein somehow. Plus, if you’ve already committed to not eating burgers, it’s not going to be too hard not to have them. Especially since you don’t have to cook anything. Just pick from the many choices that your dining hall most definitely has. For example, for lunch I usually have a salad of some sort with tons of different veggies, balsamic vinegar, and spices, and if I feel like I need some protein, I’ll toss a bit of salmon in there, too. Tofu and beans are also always an option for a protein boost if I don’t want seafood.
I’m sure there are cons to not eating meat. But I really haven’t run into many. Maybe 1 time out of 10 there isn’t something that I really want to eat at a restaurant. Those instances are few and far between though.
Not that I’m trying to push the vegetarian/pescetarian “agenda” but it’s much easier to be healthy when a lot of the greasy stuff isn’t an option. Besides pizza. You can never go wrong with a slice of cheese pizza, honestly. And animals! Have you ever seen a baby pig or a baby cow? If not, you’re missing out. They don’t want to be eaten! Granted, fish probably don’t want to be eaten either, but I’m working on that.
So try vegetarianism or pescetarianism for a week. Or maybe two. Or maybe forever. At any rate as Sir Paul McCartney once said “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”