Challenge: Go Vegetarian
Charity: Animals Asia
Total £ accrued: £35
Status: Could be better but proud of my efforts
The First Challenge: Becoming Vegetarian Continued…
The vegetarian lifestyle is not an easy one at first, you have to begin looking for things you didn’t have to look for before, like reading packets, giving dietary requirements, making sure you are getting enough nutrients etc.. On my journey I have had many lessons that I unfortunately learned the hard way, some comical and some not so comical…
Good to know…
Nobody likes to be the one to serve the wrong food to vegetarians, and I may have done this a couple of times myself… So here are a couple of things that I have learned about the vegetarian lifestyle (though I am no expert by any means).
1. There are several different types of vegetarian. A lacto-ovo vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products. This is the type of vegetarian diet I am following (with a dash of Pescatarian when I accidentally tried some Cod recently… Oops, that’s another £5 to Animals Asia. I don’t even like fish!). A full list of vegetarians can be found here.
2. Food, especially eating meat, is a key focus of many religions. Many Christian theologians argue that the vegetarian diet is the most compatible with Christian values, such as mercy and compassion. Other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism also strongly encourage a vegetarian diet.
3. Watch out for these not-so-obvious vegetarian faux-pas. Some sweets, especially the gummy ones, use pork gelatin and are therefore not vegetarian. Some cheeses such as Parmesan, some crisps use non-vegetarian flavourings & some roast potatoes are coated in goose fat. Thank me later when you accidentally make your vegetarian friends a risotto and are about to cover it in non-vegetarian Parmesan (that didn’t happen to me…).
4. Don’t be fooled! Even though vegetarian diets tend to be lower in calories and higher in fibre (which makes a person feel more full), some vegetarian diets can actually cause higher caloric intake if they include a lot of cheese and nuts.
That brings me to my next section… food!
The first time I ever tried to be vegetarian I didn’t have a clue where to start with meals. I looked in the fridge and grabbed a bunch of vegetables, chopped them up and chucked it in a bowl… Two hours later I gave up and ate a steak. So to avoid this escapade I decided to plan ahead with a Pinterest board full of ideas for meals.
I have created a menu listing a number of ideas on what to eat, tried and tested by yours truly!
Success rate: 77% (7 days failed out of 31)
Cost per fail: £5
Money raised for charity: £35
Animals Asia promotes compassion and respect for all animals and works to bring about long-term change. Animals Asia has rescued over 500 bears from the bear bile trade, caring for them at its award-winning bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam.
Animals Asia also works to end the trade in dogs and cats for food in China and Vietnam, and lobbies to improve the welfare of companion animals, promote humane population management and prevent the cross border export of “meat dogs” in Asia.
In addition, Animals Asia campaigns for an end to abusive animal practices in zoos and safari parks in Asia, and works closely with governing authorities to improve animal management and increase awareness of the welfare needs of captive animals.
The big question, will I carry on?
As you can probably tell, my month was not as successful as I wanted it to be. But I have learnt a lot and I know it will impact me going forwards. Where I don’t realistically feel like I will be able to be full-time vegetarian from now on, my appetite for meat has greatly reduced and this will help me reduce my meat intake and hopefully be a part-time vegetarian (or a flexi-tarian as some call it). It’s my hope that this will contribute to a better future, for me, and hopefully for the world around me.
Next: February – Forgiveness