This article series covers the basics on how to become a vegetarian or vegan, if indeed you have decided that it is the right thing for you.
I've combined vegan and vegetarian because these tips will work for both. I actually started out as a vegan.
If you're still unsure what choice is right for you, start by reading an important distinction as to the differences between a vegan and a vegetarian.
My first and most important tip for you is this: Be patient with yourself.
This is not a sprint, or even a marathon. This is a journey. And for myself and millions of others around the world, it's a lifetime journey. A lifestyle.
Step 1: Be Clear About Your Why
Thinking back to when I was growing up, it occurs to me that eating meat didn't really come naturally to me.
As a child, we didn't eat meat a whole lot. It was expensive and not easily available. We had chickens on the farm that we slaugtered and ate every once month or so.
But it was one chicken for a family of 5 ravenous kids and our parents. And it seemed that we'd always have an unannounced guest conveniently show up on those days when we had slaughtered a chicken.
So I always ended up with 1 measly chicken drumstick - and more hungry for chicken than I'd been before dinner!
But now that I live in the U.S., I find that meat is so abundant and excess that it's actually less expensive than quality vegetables. Unfortunately, most of it is loaded with so much crap - from antibiotics to bovine growth hormone to unnatural cattle feed.
You probably cannot deny that from a taste perspective, meat beats most foods. I'm also sure that you'd taste really scrumptious to a lion.
But you know what?
If you knew that the lion had other options that did not involve eating you, I bet you'd implore him to explore those other options.
By the way, this isn't to guilt you if you're reading this and are a meat eater. Guilt however is often a great indicator of something that doesn't sit well with us. Maybe something that needs to be examined a bit deeper.
If you're unclear about your why, the challenges will beat you before you get very far.
So why exactly do you want to become a vegetarian or vegan?
Is it for ethical reasons?
Step 2: Make a conscious decision to stop eating meat.
If you are in charge of your own meals, this should be quite straight forward. Simply stop buying and/or cooking meat.
It's easier said than done, I know. I have traveled to a few places around the world, and I've yet to see a culture that isn't saturated with meat eating.
If you've been eating meat your entire life (regardless of your current age) you have inherited this habit - and a lifetime habit can be tough to break.
Furthermore, you might not realize it but the world around you supports you by making it so much easier for you to eat meat.
This just makes it that much harder to make the shift - to undo years upon years of autopilot programming.
How to become a vegan or vegetarian series:
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