Tag Archives: vegetarian

I eat what I want

Sometimes, I feel like I have a secret identity, because I’m a vegetarian and most people don’t know. This is due to me not broadcasting it. Sure, I chose not to eat meat, but that doesn’t mean I feel the need to share that. There are many people out there that push a huge stereotype onto me every time they find out this little fact about me and it couldn’t be more irritating. You’d think that I would be the one with a judgmental attitude towards others simply because of my choice, but that couldn’t be more wrong.

Ron Swanson eats what he wants, so should you. Graphic from Very Funny Pics
Ron Swanson eats what he wants, so should you. Graphic from Very Funny Pics

When I’m offered a food that contains meat, I’ll politely refuse. Here is where I quickly state that I’m a vegetarian and no thank you, I can’t eat that without puking my guts out. Right off the bat, people assume that I’m self-righteous and think I’m better than everyone because I haven’t eaten meat in close to a decade. Usually the instant response I get is “I had no idea! So, what can you even eat?”

Well, I eat what I want, folks. I eat just about anything that never had a face. Being a vegetarian is a tricky affair. Here at RU, there aren’t many dining options for us. If you catch Chick-fil-A before 10:30, there’s a breakfast biscuit with egg and cheese. It’s a decent breakfast, especially with the small addition of a box of hash browns.

Also, in the Bonnie, is Hisho. There you can eat some edamame, seaweed salad, avocado sushi, or some tofu stir-fry. Moving to Dalton, the options get slimmer. There’s the Dalton Dining to Go option or some french fries at Wendy’s right across from it. Other than that, there are some soggy sandwiches and expensive fruit for purchase from ABP and-of course-there’s always the Papa John’s pizza option.

Vegetarianism is a huge change to your diet. After a while, eating any meat could make you physically ill if you haven’t had it for long enough. If it’s hard for you to grasp why people chose to diet in a certain way, then treat it like an allergy. I can eat meat if I want to, but the consequences will be grave. Be kind to vegetarians, they’re people too.

Eat your vegetables

Photo from Creative Commons.

People may choose to abstain from eating meat for a variety of reasons. But whether it be for a statement against animal cruelty, a religious choice or for the sake of health, the risks and benefits are the same. There is a misconception that vegetarians are nutrient deficient and unhealthy, but that isn’t always the case. By careful selection of the food they eat, vegetarianism can work well for many individuals.

Animal products tend to be rich in important nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, iron and B12. A deficiency in any of these can lead to serious health complications — particularly in children. Our bodies need certain nutrients for daily function, but these four are essential in producing strong, resistant and mentally alert individuals. Therefore, it’s important for vegetarians and especially vegans to make sure their diets are as diverse as possible. Supplements and multivitamins are also available to fill in any gaps in normal intake. But everyone, even traditional omnivores, need to be attuned to subtle changes in their health and be on the lookout for any deficiencies.

Vitamin B12 is important to keep in your diet. Photo from Creative Commons.

Despite the potential risks, there are a variety of benefits associated with meat-free or meat-limited diets. Many vegetarians take advantage of the prevalence of lean-protein foods. Eating legumes, nuts, seeds or eggs while adding a variety of vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products can provide ample amounts of nutrients and energy. Modern vegans can enjoy the growing availability of soy products on the shelves. Some individuals with these diets may find themselves with a smaller waistline, lower blood pressure and decreased cholesterol. Vegetarianism and veganism, when pursued correctly, can provide well-balanced, eco-friendly lifestyles for many people.

Like any big change, it may be best to start small. Go to the doctor and ask if a change could be right for you. See what other foods you like. If you’re too picky, becoming a vegan may not be your best option. Stay well hydrated and exercise. Don’t let other components of wellness slip up. Personal research is the best tool to making the right decision for yourself, however, changing your diet can improve your health and extend your life.