“This is the best Chicken curry ever… Try some.”
“Sorry, I am vegetarian.”
“What!!! Are you crazy? You are missing all the best food in the world. STUPID!!!”
(Smile) “It’s OK”
Wait… Am I the person who is missing all the best food in the world? Ha haa, Let me explain.
If I try to recall my memories, honestly I cannot remember an exact reason for deciding to control meat cravings 13+ years ago.
The very first memory goes back to 1997 when I was just a 6 years old kid. A friend of mine told me, “If you want to attain Nibbana after you die, you have to stop eating all the animal products, meat.. fish.. eggs. My grandmother eats fish although she refuses meat. So I think she also does not have any chance for Nibbana” That’s the first time I heard that there are people on Earth who live on plants. (I know it’s funny, 2 kids having a serious talk with a religious perspective)
But, when I was 10 years old I remember watching a TV interview on benefits of being a vegan. A vegan doctor explained how healthy and innocent it is. Then I got more info and tried 2 years, but my mom was too good at cooking meat. Anyway, on 4th of Dec, 2003…. FINALLY MADE IT!!! I became vegetarian.
Benefits and how I experience it?
Simply… “So far soooo good”. I have been living on plants for more than half of my life.
I started feeling really really good inside once I began adapting myself to a plant-based diet (as a former extreme meat-eater). The moment I see my beautiful and colorful plate I feel an instant increase of Serotonin and Dopamine (the happy hormones). Ha ha haa. Once you started tasting the veggies for real you will love it. Also, I sometimes cannot help myself looking at the photos of beautiful vegetarian food on the internet as they look sooooo good and beautiful.
Most importantly when you know that you don’t eat animals, it makes you very happy indeed. You know when you say “awww soo cuuute ^_^” to a baby sheep like below, it is pure… and it does not end up on your plate.
Photo from: Express
Saving the mother Earth
According to the UN News Centre “29 November 2006 – Cattle-rearing generates more global warming greenhouse gases, as measured in CO2 equivalent, than transportation, and smarter production methods, including improved animal diets to reduce enteric fermentation and consequent methane emissions, are urgently needed, according to a new United Nations report released today.” So when every time you eat meat, you are indirectly being a part of the air pollution issue on the planet. It affects the whole existence on Earth.. you, me, your kid, your pet, your partner and everyone. Just think about it!
According to my experiences, I started eating more vegetables, Greens, and fruits after being vegetarian. It is not just because I have no option, have to eat veggies… it is because the natural body always urges for nutritious plants. The beta-carotene in Carrots is good for your eyes, omega-3 fatty acids in Walnuts are good for your brain… In the same way, all the edible plants on Earth give what your body needs in order to make it healthier. I am living a busy life, working, studying… far from my family and the things I eat help me a lot to have enough strength physically, mentally and spiritually. So why killing animals when you can be healthier in a non-violent way 🙂
Inexpensive choices at restaurants, a bit expensive if you cook
Veg meals are always cheap if you eat outside. But honestly, if you make your own it can be a bit expensive. For an example, 500g of Tofu is $5 and 500g of Chicken can be $4. When 1l of Cow’s milk is 99¢, Soy milk is $1.5. But wait for a second!! consider the fact that you don’t have to see the doctor and you are fully energetic throughout the day… so spending a bit is totally worth as the benefits are priceless.
You cannot be a vegetarian perfectionist
Understand the big picture rather than trying to prevent every bit and piece. There were a few moments I realized that the food was not vegetarian only after having the first bite. But I did not try to spit, wash my mouth dramatically like I did the biggest sin of the world. I did swallow and stopped eating the rest. It can happen as we live in a non-veg world. So don’t feel guilty for that as you are doing something which is better than nothing.
The unlabelled connection with other vegetarians
You may have heard the connection among the woman wearing the Hijab. They have a sisterhood that they feel each other well. In the same way, you will feel connected to the other vegetarian people and the feeling is amazing. There were a few vegetarian colleagues at my workplace and we always took care of each other very well, making sure we all had enough to eat at parties and sharing if we got less food. If I describe the feeling in words, it is like “So you belong to ‘our tribe’, we need to take care of each other “.
Loving yourself continues
Starting from being a vegetarian I continued learning more about body, mind, and spirit. Once you make a decision to love yourself you cannot stop. You will start working out, meditating, stop bad habits and much more. The bonus is.. when the rest of the world starts feeling it. The way you treat the world is a representation of how you treat yourself. So the more you become non-violent, the more world becomes non-violent to you. Take the first step as a vegetarian and even you won’t be able to stop yourself. Yes! you can youuuu unstoppable!!
Considering my overall experience for all those years, it is a big commitment… especially if you are a meat-eater choosing to be a vegetarian or vegan. Still, I feel hungry when someone fries Chicken. But a large part of my mind avoids eating them. If your parents/ partner are non-veg then both sides have to adjust (buying a half n’ half pizza and still enjoying the time together). Having to bring your own BBQ food can be another case… ha haa Of course, people may organize parties without considering you and you have to stay calm surviving with some water/ less food.
Furthermore, only one time I got an issue when I was 15 years old having a low Hemoglobin level in my blood. But I did not have to give up my vegetarian life. Within a few weeks, it was possible to fix with some supplements and I have never had to continue them.
Anyway, being a vegetarian is not what it looks like. I mean, don’t think it is a torture to yourself as you may miss all the traditional kebabs, Pizzas, BBQ, burgers and all the food made with flesh. Just have the understanding of the big picture and start when you are ready.
You shouldn’t do it for a blind religious purpose or to impress the veg girl who you have a crush on. Do it from the heart… knowing how good it is to you and to the entire planet.
Enjoy every moment of your life…. Eat healthily.. 🙂 🙂 🙂