Minimalism and a (more) Vegetarian Diet

06/08/2010

(source)

There are many health benefits and environmental reasons to a vegetarian diet.

Eating less animals kills less animals

Killing less animals means that we do not need to spend time and energy growing food to feed the animals.  Instead, the land used for growing feed can be used to grow food for humans, directly.

Eating less animals is better for the environment

Farm animals expel a huge amount of methane gas (i.e., cow burps).

Rain forests are being cut down in South America, and made into grazing land for cattle to feed the demand for American beef. Cattle ranching is the leading cause for deforestation in Brazilian Amazon because it is cheap and turns a high profit.  After this land is used for cattle ranching, the land is basically useless for anything else – any nutrients in the soil has long been eroded.

Eating less meat can be healthier

Eating less meat, also means ingesting less hormones and additives which are used to feed the animals (to make them grow bigger, faster, etc).  Having said that, we should also be mindful about pesticides that are used in the plants that we may eat.  I find that referring to they dirty dozen helps me.

Vegetarian and Minimalism

To me, minimalism is defined by identifying the most important things in my life, and working to strip away the non-important parts out so that I can focus on what is important.

The same concept can be applied to the foods that I eat.  I eat for enjoyment and to nourish my body.  If I can fulfill those two needs with a more vegetarian diet, then, there is not really a need to eat as much meat.

My Vegetarian Past

I used to be a vegetarian when I was a teenager for almost 5 years.  My reasons were a combination of religious beliefs and disgust after watching a video on animal cruelty in  a slaughterhouse.  As the years went on, and my social life grew, I found it difficult to continue to being a vegetarian, and truth be told, I also missed my meats.

It was quite the step going from a vegetarian diet back to a meat one.  When I first ate meat again, I felt that it tasted kinda “rotten”, but eventually, it no longer tasted that way, and only tasted good.

My Conclusion

Even though, I love my meats, I have been making an effort to eat cook  more vegetables, and thus leading to eating less meat in the past 2 years.  My groceries comprise mainly of fresh produce, and I have not cooked red meat for the last year or so.  I do still cook poultry, and I do have red meat on the occasion when I eat out.

I don’t have immediate plans of becoming a vegetarian, though I want to incorporate more grains and vegetables and less meat.  I want to become more informed of the nutrition value of the food I am eating, and focus on incorporating more high value foods into my meals (i.e., quinoa and oats).  I also want to make sure that I am getting enough vitamins and protein.

What are your thoughts on a “more vegetarian” or vegetarian diet?


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7 Responses to “Minimalism and a (more) Vegetarian Diet”

  1. eemusings Says:

    Primarily, for me it’s about health. I have to admit I didn’t learn much about cooking after moving out at a very young age, and certainly not much in terms of vegetables (apart from mashed potatoes and boring green salad). Luckily BF is a total master, and has been whipping up all sorts of goodies with his time off.

  2. Young Mogul Says:

    Although I have no plans to become a vegeterian, I was just researching healthy diets yesterday on the internet. I found a list of ‘Super Foods’ which I plan to incorporate each one into my diet.

    On the list was quinoa and oats! Also on the list: broccoli, spinach, yogurt, blueberries, walnuts, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, green tea, salmon, extra lean red meat and a few others. I plan eat all of the 20 foods at least once each month.

    I do want to eliminate meat from my breakfast, though. Unless I eat turkey for breakfast (but who does that?)there is absolutely no healthy breakfast meats. They are all processed, greasy, and fatty e.g. bacon, suasage

  3. Jersey Mom Says:

    I definitely eat more fruits, vegetables, and grain than meat and seafood. However, I don’t think I can be a vegetarian. I really enjoy a variety of foods – even the “throwaway bits” like fish head, innards, and chicken feet tastes good to me. Traditionally (in every old culture) people ate every part of the animal; a lot of the waste nowadays comes from people only wanting to eat “premium cuts” of the meat and throw away other parts that could be eaten.


  4. eemusings – I’m glad you have a chef BF to whip up all sorts of yumminess 🙂

    Young Mogul – Thanks for sharing the list of 20! I will definitely try to incorporate more of those foods in my diet.

    Jersey Mom – I think I am going to take the approach of incorporating more good stuff, and go from there. I, too, really enjoy all sorts of meats and all sorts of cuts and animal body parts.

  5. Annie Says:

    I like meat. I don’t like animals being tortured but we grew up killing our meat as a kid so it doesn’t bother me perhaps as much as some.

    That said, meat is EXPENSIVE for what little you get! I can get so much fuller from a mess of old fashioned beans and taters and have money left over! I try to limit how much meat we eat by adding rice, beans and lots of veggies to our meals and dishes, some nights we make a game out of avoiding meat altogether. Keep up the great posts!

  6. Simplegal Says:

    I was vegan for many years I went on this PETA extreme but than realized it was extreme I love animals but I do like chicken on occasion I just stop labeling myself. I try to eat healthy and few meats really only chicken or fish which is to hard to find. 🙂


  7. SimpeGal – Eating healthy and less meat is definitely something I also strive to do. Eating too much meat makes me feel kinda sick, so I try not to do that. But I can’t seem to give up certain foods that have become favourites :P, like BBQ pork.


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