Today I am writing a very highly requested blog – how, when, and why I became a vegetarian.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had farm animals as PETS (chickens, goats, sheep, ducks, rabbits, horses, even rats), growing my natural love for animals. It wasn’t until I was about 11 years old that my eyes were opened to the cruel world of the meat industry (factory farms primarily) when I did my first walk for The Farm Sanctuary.  I was incredibly affected by documentaries such as Earthlings, Food Inc, Farm To Fridge, Cowspiracy, and the list goes on. As for taking meat out of my diet, I simply ate less and less as time went on. Even a simple ‘meatless Monday’ makes a huge difference! It’s hard to imagine how something that easy is not possible for everybody to do.  I think it was only about a month after that I was able to effortlessly cut all meat from my diet. I felt so refreshed, healthier, and best of all my conscience was cleared for sure! I literally don’t remember the last time I was sick. It did help that my family has never been big meat eaters (mammals in particular are never consumed in our home), but since meat is such a convenience food in our culture it’s not hard to gravitate towards it without a mindset against it.  Also, my parents wanted me to make this sort of decision for myself.  Officially and finally giving meat up on my own has always felt undeniably right within me.

Many people don’t realize how many ‘meatless meat products’ there are available at most every grocery store. There are vegan/vegetarian bacon, burgers, chicken nuggets, steak, ribs, you name it! To me, they actually taste better than real meat (and not to mention healthier).  This said, nothing beats food with one ingredient (in other words, not processed) so it’s best to keep those foods as the bulk of your meals and snacks.

18% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by livestock factory farming, compared to 13% caused by ALL global transport (cars, trucks, trains, airplanes, jets, boats,…combined!), but we rarely hear about this in mainstream news.

So, here is a list of the 4 important steps I took towards becoming a vegetarian:

1. Have a reason that is important to you.  Educate yourself!

2. Set attainable goals (ex: Cutting out meat initially on certain days, etc).

3. Stay inspired!  Follow vegetarian/vegan Instagram pages, watch documentaries, read on how eliminating meat and/or animal related products from your diet helps the environment, your health, the well being of animals, etc.

4. Don’t cave to the convenience of meat, as it is very easy to do in our culture.  Snack throughout the day on healthy snacks to avoid getting “hangry.”

I hope that this blog has helps you all out a bit! And if you are going to eat meat then please find local, free range meat…never factory farm meat!

Let me know in the comments if you want a blog with vegan tips!