“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” – Paul McCartney
So I went meat free back in May of this year (2012) and I am going to tell you what it has meant for me.
First let me tell you that improving my health is an ongoing process, and I am still far from being a role – model on healthy eating.
With that being said, I am so glad to have made the choice to become a non-meat eater last May.
I loosely call myself a vegetarian because I do eat seafood and on occasion eggs too. But I no longer eat animal flesh so I think I am on the right track so far.
I had several reasons to stop eating animal flesh, but the main reason was the poor treatment of the animals in slaughterhouses.
From being caged and confined to small areas, to the uncaring treatment by the staff. It all helped to make my decision that much easier.
Benefits of becoming a non meat-eater
- No more stomach problems. I don’t have very good digestion to begin with, so eating meat took a lot of energy from me just to dissolve and digest it. Since becoming vegetarian, I seldom if ever experience stomach discomfort like I did when I was a meat-eater.
- Grocery shopping is easier. When I grocery shop I don’t have to spend a lot of time (too many choices) on what to cook for dinner. It’s basically vegetables, rice and seafood.
- The bad feelings are gone. Did you know when animals are killed in slaughterhouses they release chemicals in the blood-stream like adrenaline? Adrenaline is an addictive substance and like anything addictive, it will leave you wanting more.
- Being a spiritually oriented person, becoming a vegetarian was a no-brainer. It bothered me for some time to consider myself spiritually centered, yet I was eating something that was bred just for the sake to become slaughtered and consumed by humans.
I had many tests over the past three months to see if I was really committed to becoming a vegetarian.
I went to at least a dozen occasions this summer that had all the outdoor cooking favorites. Hot dogs and hamburgers, Italian sausage with grilled peppers and onions, you name it and it was there.
So what did I eat?
Potato salad, Cole slaw, steamed shrimp, veggies and dip. Basically anything that wasn’t made from animal flesh. And no, I never felt deprived of anything. I have not once since becoming vegetarian had any cravings for meat.
I definitely believe that starting a vegetable garden in my back yard four years ago played a major part in my eating habits.
Every summer for four years I have planted a vegetable garden in my backyard.
This year I planted Tomatoes, green beans, okra, habanero peppers, green bell peppers, acorn squash and yellow corn.
It’s all organic and all I have to do is walk over to my little garden and pick whatever is ripe.
A vegetable garden is fun, easy and it grounds and connects you back to Earth. Something we all need to because of the electronic age we live in.
One of my favorite vegetarian side dishes is what I call Szechuan String Beans. I will give you a recipe for a single serving below so you can try it out yourself.
- Take about 12 raw string beans and cut off both ends. Make the cut about a quarter of an inch from each end.
- Grab a small saute pan and add a tbsp of Olive Oil, a tbsp of low sodium soy sauce, a tsp of white vinegar, a tsp of fresh ground black pepper and a clove of diced garlic.
- Add you cut string beans to the saute pan and let them soak up the liquids in the saute pan. I prefer about 10 minutes.
- Set your stove top burner to medium high heat and cover your string beans.
- For crispy beans cook just a few minutes, for softer beans cook about ten minutes. Remember to stir your beans while they are cooking.
- Serve with white or brown rice.
I don’t know how my eating habits will change and when, but I do know that they will only improve as I become more aware and conscious of what I am placing in my body.