Minimalism and a (more) Vegetarian Diet
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.
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?