The Turning Point to Becoming a Vegetarian

There are countless reasons why someone would choose to make the change towards becoming a vegetarian or vegan. Whether it be the animals, health, environmental, or otherwise. For me, I couldn’t handle the harsh reality of animal cruelty any longer, and I broke down feeling completely helpless.

How was I truly going to make a difference?

How was I going to cause a change in the world?

Where do I start?

I then called my mom who had already been a vegetarian for many years. I told her why I was upset and she proceeded to explain to me why and how she became a vegetarian.

Turns out she had found herself in a similar situation – like mother, like daughter – and decided the best thing that she could do at the time was to stop eating meat. She chose to cut out one type of animal at a time in yearly intervals in order to ease her body and lifestyle out of it. I like to call this the slow and steady vegetarian method.

I remember when she was becoming a vegetarian pretty clearly – cutting out meats periodically while still making me and my sister meat dishes as she didn’t make us change with her.

It felt like only weeks between each animal but it turns out that it was quite a few years at a time. At the time I didn’t think much of it and it never occurred to me that I would, or could, do it myself. But in that distraught moment of my breaking point I knew it was the exact change that I needed to take.

I chose a date, and an animal, and started to prepare.

Beef was first off the chopping block (heh). I’d like to say it was for some profound reason, but it really could have been a luck of the draw. I just chose one and stuck to my choice.

How to Prepare

I would advise when choosing your first animal to quit eating to choose one that either you don’t eat that much to begin with or that you feel especially bad for. You can come up with your own other reason too – remember, it’s your journey.

What do I mean by prepare? Well, if you’re going to make this last then you’re likely going to need a last hurrah with that meat. Such as a last steak, last burger, last roast. Finish off what you have left of it in the freezer. Have your favourite dish one last time.

Remember, you need to make this change last. You need to think about the long run. If you can make a commitment to a date and be so ready that when it’s time to flip the switch you never look back you’re saving more lives in the long term.

Another way to prepare is to do some experimenting with your new lifestyle. What will be your new favourite recipes? Where will be your new favourite take-out places? Try to do this before and not after. If you can slowly work these changes into your routine before the big day you will have an even smoother transition than if you did not.

So Let’s Have a Recap, Shall We?

  1. Define your reason. Why are you doing this? Why is it important to you? Keep this in your pocket because it’s going to come in very handy later on.
  2. Choose a date. The first of the upcoming month is usually the best because it’s as if you are turning over a new leaf.
  3. Choose an animal. This will be the first one you cut out of your diet.
  4. Have a last hurrah, empty that freezer, start trying new things that don’t involve that meat. Get an idea of what it will be like.
  5. This is it, there is no going back. You are a strong person with a big heart. You can handle this change.

At a later date I will go into more detail about what happens after you cut out a meat. How you feel, how you commit, how you change. I will also go into more detail about what you should do when you mess up. And by messing up I mean giving in and eating a meat you already cut out. Yes, I know what this is like – but more on that later.