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October 15, 2014

6 Things Vegetarianism has Taught Me.

Ballard_Farmers'_Market_-_vegetables

The number of vegetarians is increasing daily all around the world.

People become vegetarians for many reasons. One reason however brings all vegetarians together: realizing the truth about the meat industry.

I have been a vegetarian for two years now and the main cause behind my dietary shift was to be more healthy. After realizing the antibiotics, toxins and the hundreds of other diseases that meat is packed with, I didn’t hesitate to take the path of vegetarianism.

At first, my reasons were clearly health oriented but as I stepped further into my new lifestyle, I have experienced countless other reasons which made me stick to my new way of life.

The following are six major areas of the life of a vegetarian:

1- Being a vegetarian is challenging.

We are dependent on meat and we won’t realize the abundance of this dependency until we spend a day without it. Depending on meat comes from our ancestors; they considered it a very crucial part of their daily diet.

And to stop this habit is challenging. Vegetarians must constantly eat food which is rich in protein and B-12, which are the most pivotal components in meat. Keeping this habit is hard at first, especially when we are used to eating chicken or meat whenever we feel hungry.

As a person who loves challenge and organization, I simply enjoy waking up every morning and deciding which food I am going to eat for the day. I enjoy calculating the weekly intake of proteins and Omega-3 and crossing off my list what I did or didn’t have each week.

2- The quality of energy in my body has changed.

There’s a quote that says “you are what you eat” and I didn’t really understand what it meant until I stepped away from the meat industry.

I can still remember how I used to feel after having a meal of chicken, meat or fish. I felt as if food was literally sitting in my esophagus. I felt really tired and I used to nap or just lay on the couch for hours waiting to digest. This, in return, used to turn me anxious and stressed.

The tables turned when I stopped having chicken and meat; I suddenly felt lighter. Digestion no longer tired me like before and I could do any activity after eating because I wasn’t unpleasantly full.

Linda McCartney, the animal rights activist once said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarians.”

Everybody knows that animals are not ignorant; they are emotional and intelligent creatures. Therefore they do feel pain and terror when they are dragged off to be slaughtered. Imagine knowing you will die in five minutes as someone leads you along by the neck. How would you feel? Of course, you would feel sadness, anger, fear and every other negative emotion.

This is exactly what the chicken or the cow is feeling before being slaughtered. And who’s sucking up all of these  negative emotions? We are when we eat the meat. No wonder we don’t feel very satisfied or pleasant after having a meal full of chicken, for instance.

On the other hand, the vegetables, grains and fruits we are enjoy are imbued with the sun’s energy, which is the strongest and cleanest energy on earth. Therefore we feel light and digest in an uncomplicated way.

3- Not following the norm.

The problem with most of the people in the world today is that they are wearing a blindfold and walking with the rest of the sheep. When we see everybody in the universe doing one thing, we assume it is the right way of doing it regardless of our own view.

People have eaten meat for many thousands of years. We see our family following a certain way of eating and so we follow it ourselves. Becoming a vegetarian is stepping out of the norm. It’s having your own views and making your own decisions even if they are far different from those of your family and community.

4- Feeling compassionate towards animals.

Certain people become vegetarian for this common reason and others just because it’s healthier. As I said, I am doing this for health reasons. Yet, with time, when you stop eating another creature’s rotten meat, you tend to feel compassion and love towards all kinds of animals. This may lead to learning what happens in factory farms and slaughterhouses.

And once you know the truth about the meat industry and how animals are treated there, the meat you are chewing is no longer enjoyable like before.

5- Love of cooking.

I am someone who hated cooking years ago. I imagined myself doing anything in this world but cooking! Yet when I became a vegetarian––in a family which still consumes meat––it was a bit hard to prepare more than two meals a day (one for me and one for the rest of the family).

This was a push for me to actually step into the kitchen and start learning. It was borne out of necessity, but soon became a passion of mine.

Vegetarianism taught me how to cook. With time, it turned into a beautiful routine to discover new recipes that include the entire daily intake of the essential nutrients my body should consume.

6- Affecting other people.

Everywhere in the world when one individual is doing something unusual you will see other individuals getting involved. Maybe I couldn’t affect people to actually become vegetarians, but I did indirectly affect them by shedding light on the matter.

I remember the consuming of meat in my house was way higher two years ago. Now my family is more attentive to how much fish or chicken they have.

Same goes for my friends who go out with me. They find themselves having less meat or none at all. And the beautiful thing about it is that I never open the subject unless someone asks me how or why I decided to become a vegetarian. Therefore, people are being affected by simply watching my way of life and seeing the immense benefits.

 

 

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Editor: Travis May

Photo: Wiki Commons

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Elyane Youssef

Elyane S. Youssef is an extraterrestrial who was given birth by Earthlings. While living on planet Earth, she fell in love with art, books, nature, writing, photography, traveling, and…pizza. Elyane finds her joy in backpacking and bonding with locals. To see the faces she interacts with on her travels, you can follow Face of the World on Instagram. Besides getting on and off planes, she is in a serious relationship with words and hopes to inspire as many people as possible through them. Once her mission is accomplished on Earth, she will return to her planet to rejoin her extraterrestrial brothers and sisters. In case you’re wondering, yes, she is still willingly obsessed with Frida Kahlo. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also check out her macrame art on Instagram.