Thursday, November 16, 2017

Why is it hard for some to embrace a plant-based diet?

For me, becoming a vegetarian was a relief. It’s so tricky to cook beef or fish just right. You have to worry about salmonella from chicken. I felt bad about how animals were treated. Groceries were cheaper without the meat and fish, and it was suddenly easy to keep off the weight. The only seriously over-weight vegetarian I ever knew preferred Mac-and-cheese and cheesecake to more normal vegetarian fare.

I still feel a little guilty about the dairy and eggs, but I tried the vegan yogurt-equivalent and just couldn’t get into it. And then there’s cheese. I try to comfort myself that we don’t eat a lot of either and I try to buy from responsible producers. At least nothing had to die to feed me (well, other than the carrots, and if I’m honest calves so I could have a little milk.)

With fears of climate change, some are calling for everyone to become vegetarian or vegan. But this Popular Science article asserts that it’s unrealistic. According to the article, five times more people lapse than stick with it. One of the barriers is that it can make people feel awkward in the dominate meat-eating society. That might change if plant based diets were the norm. But this article suggests we should give up the hope of this happening. What do you think?

Stop pretending that all Americans could ever go vegan - Popular Science

The advice I give people who are interested is to switch gradually and don’t make it your identity. Why do we say, ‘I’m a vegetarian,’ instead of, ‘I prefer eating vegetarian.’ Meatless Mondays can be matched with Meatless Wednesdays and Saturdays as you learn how to make delicious meals. Every time you choose vegetarian, you’re doing something good for the Earth and likely your body.

But you don’t have to be ‘religious’ about it. If you can’t imagine Thanksgiving without turkey, buy a free range bird that at least had a happy life and isn’t filled with artificial hormones. If you almost never eat meat, then it can become an amazing treat when you do. Confession: on the few times during the year when we have breakfast out, I really enjoy the bacon! And when my friend cooks a salmon on a cedar plank, it’s a gift from nature. Rather than scarfing down dead animals in every sandwich without thinking, honor their lives if and when you do eat them.

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