At the start of the academic year (September 2015), I made a resolution to have at least one ‘meat-free’ day a week. Perhaps I was inspired by Sir Paul McCartney’s plea on YouTube (please watch that because it’s potentially my favourite video in the world, I guarantee it’ll cheer you up), but I really wanted to give the whole veggie thing a try, just to see if I could cope without my daily fix of chicken. However, being the carnivore I am, I’m ashamed to say that this never really took off.
Then, about three weeks ago, my housemate came home with a shopping bag full of Quorn, informing me that it was on special offer at Tesco. I took this opportunity to give ‘going veggie’ a try, and raced to the shop to stock up on ‘chicken style pieces’ and ‘mince’. And it’s not that bad. It certainly works out cheaper for my bank balance (the offer was ‘Two packets for £4’, compared to paying up to six quid for a pack of chicken), I like the taste, and I do admit that I feel a certain smugness over not buying animal products.
I’d love to say that my reasoning behind wanting to go veggie was because I was passionate about animal welfare; but, if I’m being totally truthful, it was more for vanity purposes. I’ve read up a lot on plant-based diets, and I’ve learnt that they’re not only great for weight loss, but for your skin, hair and nails too. Although not strictly ‘raw’, Quorn is a plant-based product that I eat with a lot of vegetables anyway; and it’s higher in protein and lower in saturated fat than meat, which makes it an all-round winner health wise. While my stint at being veggie has been for economic and health reasons rather than anything else, the point still stands that I’m not eating meat; so, even if it was unintentional, I’ve still taken a step in the right direction as far as animal rights are concerned.
Don’t get me wrong, I have loads of friends that are vegetarian or vegan, and while I’m so proud of them, I’m just not ready to fully make that transition. And even though I haven’t gone fully vegan, I still buy products like almond milk, so I’m fairly pleased with my effort so far. My friend was telling me about ‘flexitarianism’ the other day, and I think this really applies to where I’m at right now: I’m eating mostly meat-free products, with the occasional bit of turkey thrown in! My intention was never to turn fully vegetarian, but just to try it out once a week; and now I’ve managed to go nearly three weeks without eating meat- an achievement that I’m pretty happy and proud of! This is definitely something that I hope to keep practicing in the future, although it may be more difficult with the Easter holidays around the corner. Maybe I can swap my free-range eggs for Creme ones instead…