It is now almost 8 months since I became a vegetarian 🍅 🍆🍴. This transformation did not happen overnight or even in 1 year. In fact, it took me 11 years to convert this idea of being a vegetarian into practice.
From my point of view, there are few criteria (that should be met) that would allow for one’s transition from eating meat 🍗 to mostly plant diet [and some animal-derived diet, such as unfertilized eggs].
1st criterion is a basic interest and feeling for animals. Person must enjoy the presence of animals. Person should be willing to take care of animals (if need be). I don’t mean here just dogs or cats but any small 🐹, farm 🐔 🐖 🐑 🐮 or wild animals 🐗[including birds or fish]. Person must accept that any living animal has the right to exist free of pain. We should accept that we are not a “superior” species, but just a species with specific set of talents, as are other species with different sets of talents.
2nd criterion is any association/relationship with individuals who are vegetarians. I am fortunate to be married to a woman who is a lifelong vegetarian👫. Such an association clearly helps in various ways. Constant information sharing allows familiarization with the concept thus helping to overcome preconceived prejudices and ignorance, if any.
3rd criterion is a desire to learn to cook vegetarian meals 🍝 and feel good about it 👍. Only by experiencing food preparation and cooking, one can truly embrace vegetarianism at the dinner table. Transition to vegetarianism is a commitment and to carry out such a commitment, one needs some level of constant incentives and enforcement. And there is no better incentive and enforcement than eating food one has spent energy in preparing. I would advise against buying vegetarian food at early stage of vegetarian transition. Such an arrangement is important, especially at the early stage until one’s vegetarian instincts become “fixed”. Also, since vegetarian diet is more nuanced in its flavor [as compared to meat-based food], it is more difficult to achieve consistent, reproducible results with vegetarian food. By making your own food, one can overcome initial disappointment with vegetarian food bought outside [that could drive “converts” away].
Out of these 3 criteria, #3 was the hardest to achieve for me. I never liked “kitchen work”. I felt it was too burdensome. We used to constantly buy food or eat outside and then constantly complain about its quality. But now, after starting vegetarian home cooking I feel quite comfortable with time spent in kitchen and the quality of my food. I have no craving and yearning for meat as many meat-eaters think vegetarian “converts” should have. Finally, it makes me feel better that I can contribute, even if it just a little, to animal welfare and global warming causes ✌.
posted by David Usharauli