Being a vegetarian

People often question my decision to be a vegetarian. The basic answer is I do not believe that in our society it is necessary to kill animals and eat their flesh to survive. I mean if I lived in a place where it wasn’t possible to grow veggies then I guess I wouldn’t have the choice but I live in a country where I do have the choice so I make the choice to not eat meat. I’ve been vegetarian for over half my life, I did a completely vegetarian pregnancy and really can’t imagine my life any other way.

Photo stolen from Raw Food Health

I’m a ovo-lacto-vegetarian which means I’m a vegetarian and I DO NOT eat chicken and fish but I do eat dairy products and free range eggs (life without chocolate or cheese really can’t be doing that!). Grr it makes me so mad when I say to people I’m a vegetarian and the first question they ask is “do you eat chicken and fish?” What about the word vegetarian implies that I eat any type of animal?! According to the Oxford dictionary the word vegetarian means “a person who does not eat meat or fish, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons”. So where does that say I eat chicken and fish? So for the people out there who calls themselves vegetarians but don’t eat chicken and fish they should just say they don’t eat cows, pigs or sheep.

I used to say I don’t eat anything with eyes but then the smartass’ say “what about potatoes?” or “fish have no feelings” I mean seriously?! So Mr Ecochick got sick of this as well so came up with “I don’t eat anything with a pulse”. Oh and don’t start on the “but plants are alive” business either! I don’t know why people feel so threatened by vegetarians; I know I’m very passionate about my choice I would NEVER push my views onto anyone else and I would never judge another’s choice. I believe everyone has the right to choose how they live their life. If they want my help or advice I’ll give it otherwise it’s not really any of my business.

vegeterian_why_nzFrom a young age I always said I would be a vegetarian and my parents would laugh as I loved meat but then as a teenager I read an article in Girlfriend magazine about what is done to animals when companies test on them. After reading this article I decided not to use any companies or products that test on animals so that started me down the vegetarian road. A few months after making the decision, I decided to become a vegetarian and I’ve never looked back. The longer I’m vegetarian the longer I find other ways to help animals; I don’t wear leather or any other part of an animal, I don’t use any products from companies that test on animals, at home we only use free-range eggs and obviously I don’t eat any kind of meat.

Being a vegetarian has plenty of health, environmental and definitely financial advantages. We save a lot of money by not buying meat. At home we eat vegetarian though Mr Ecochick isn’t a vegetarian as such if he wants to eat meat he’ll cook it; I think this has happened twice in the last two years but if he’s out he’ll eat whatever he wants sometimes that’s vegetarian and other times that’s not. John is the same he is mostly vegetarian as I won’t cook meat but I do buy him meat baby food so he can taste different foods. In the future though when he’s just eating with the family we’ll eat vegetarian but one day a week John and Mr Ecochick will eat free-range meat and when we are out John can choose what he wants to eat as I don’t want to impose my views on him and I want it to be his choice whether he’s a vegetarian or not.

Though just because I’m so super passionate and stanch about animal products doesn’t mean other people have to be. There are loads of ways to help animals and your budget a lot of people choose to do meat free Mondays or people reduce their meat consumption by eating less meat or buying better cuts which is not only better for your health and family but also really great for your wallet. Talking to friends our weekly grocery bill (though we only go every two weeks or so) is about half of other people’s bills. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach and even if you don’t care about eating animals there are definitely huge financial advantages to eating less meat. So give meat free Monday a go.

Below are some great websites with more information on being a vegetarian and some great recipe sites that show you vegetarians don’t just eat strange foods and it’s not difficult to cook vegetarian:

Vegetarians New Zealand

All recipes

Peta has a great vegetarian starter kit if you ‘re thinking about being a vegetarian or just want to eat less meat.

For a complete list of companies that don’t test on animals check out Peta.


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