Testing the waters

Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of vegetarianism. Already, I don’t eat a lot of meat in my diet – mostly just lunch meat on sandwiches and the occasional piece of chicken or red meat. I’ve already been eating some alternatives such as tofu and beans.

So why the switch?

One reason is cost. I’m living on a tight student budget and meat is expensive. A lot of meat alternatives are much cheaper – less than $1 for a can of beans or $2.50 for a block of tofu that will do 4 servings compared to a steak for two that may run upwards of $7-8, or chicken breasts that typically cost $1.50-2 each.

Another reason is concern over exactly what’s in the meat I’m eating. Since I mentioned cost is an issue, I simply do not have the money to afford organic meat, so that isn’t a viable option.  The only organic-type meat I have access to is the locally farmed beef my parents get each year – they usually give me some steaks, ground beef, etc and it’s as close to organic as I can get. But I don’t enjoy red meat that much so I couldn’t eat it all the time!

Meat is also pretty unsustainable. I know a lot of large farming operations, including those that produce vegetables, are unsustainable (or approaching it depending on their practices), but meat is definitely a big environmental culprit. It simply takes much more energy and resources to raise animals for meat, compared to growing produce. I try my best to be environmentally aware and this is just one more way I feel that I can personally make an impact.

So those are my personal reasons for choosing vegetarianism. You might notice I didn’t touch on ethical issues. I prefer not to discuss my view on the ethics of eating meat as I know it’s a very heated issue for some people and it’s not something I want to get into.

I’ve already been collecting a ton of vegetarian recipes and I’m excited to get started on testing them out. I’m hoping to try a new recipe weekly (if school and work will allow the time for this) and I’m going to document my experiences with a meat-free diet here. It should be an interesting ride! I’ve eaten meat all my life and know only a handful of vegetarians. I also live in a house with two male roommates (and one female, but she’s moving out in December and being replaced with another boy… oh dear!) so I have no idea how they’ll react – they’re both steak and potatoes kinds of guys!

Wish me luck and if you have any recipes to share, please do so! Tips for making the transition are also greatly appreciated!




2 Responses to “Testing the waters”

  1. 1 Kristie November 5, 2009 at 4:16 am

    I’m not a vegetarian but I eat probably 90% vegetarian, if not more. I rarely eat meat and don’t go out of my way to. If it’s made I’ll eat it but that’s typically only a bit of chicken here and there and even that I haven’t been enjoying much lately. I’ve never been a big meat eater as is so I’m quite content eating without it and could easily give it up if it came down to it. Plus veggie burgers, beans and tofu are just SO good. And vegetarian dishes make for some interesting creativity in the kitchen. Have fun with it! Maybe you’ll even transform some of those boys into tofu lovers 😉

  2. 2 Leah November 5, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Good luck on your ventures into vegetarianism! I know there are a ton of recipes out there. Can’t wait to see how you go with it.

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Who Am I?

I'm Valerie, a university student trying to strike a balance between school, my social life and a healthy lifestyle. Over the past year, I've made a lot of positive changes to my life that resulted in losing over 40 pounds! I'm now trying to lead a fully balanced lifestyle and maintain my weight.
November 2009
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