Things I've learnt since ditching meat. #crueltyfree
Almost 5 weeks ago, I decided to ditch meat. I said goodbye to bacon, lamb and beef and welcomed tofu, sweet potato and chickpeas into my life with open arms. I’ve always cared deeply for animals and their welfare, but constantly made excuses as to why I was still eating them. Too hard, too expensive, still living at home, better for your health, needed the protein – all rather weak excuses that I cycled throughout the months.
I recently moved out of home, and realised this was my chance to at least ATTEMPT to become vegetarian. At first, it seemed REALLY hard. My partner and I’s go-to meals included steak & veggies, chicken & chips or bacon and eggs on toast. Looking back at it now, I shudder to think how much meat we were consuming on a daily basis – sometimes for all three meals!
Moving out of home has changed a lot of things in my life, but my diet has really being the biggest thing. I decided to take responsibility for my views and the food I consumed, and chose to be meat-free. Here are the things I’ve learnt since ditching the meat, but first, here are a few of my favourite vegetarian blogs:
You become more creative in the kitchen
Without meat, you learn that cooking becomes less of a chore and more of a creative burst of activity. Where I normally would have had meat as the centrepiece of a meal and vegetables around it, I have now reversed this thinking. I’ve looked at a million cookbooks, and tried foods I would never have touched. I’ve also discovered some pretty incredible vegetarian/vegan blogs – check out @ohsheglows for super vegan inspiration.
You save money
A kg of sweet potatoes costs around $2.00 at our local grocers, where a kg of good-quality beef can cost up to $26. I’ve found a real love for eggs (thanks to our gorgeous chickens – free range, cage free and full of love!) and funnily enough, tofu. It’s cheap, it lasts a long time and tastes great. Our weekly grocery bill has gone from $150 a week to around $80 a week… #winning!
Fast food becomes irrelevant
Long road trips, late-night cravings and lazy lunches used to mean one thing – fast food. We’d whip down to our local KFC or Maccas and order burgers, wraps etc. Being a vegetarian makes it impossible to get even semi-healthy options, as the big chains just do not cater for vegetarians. I haven’t touched fast food since becoming vegetarian, and it’s a great little trick to quit the junk.
You feel & look healthier
Whilst this could be a totally psychological factor, I genuinely feel healthier and my skin is glowing. Replacing most of my diet with fresh vegetables and proteins like tofu and eggs has not only changed my palette, but the way I feel after eating a big meal. I’m finding I have more energy (thanks to the added iron from all the greens I eat!) and am more motivated than ever to exercise.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve LOVED animals. I mean genuinely, truly loved the crap outta them. I was that small child that would run across the road just to pat the local stray dog, or climb a tree and almost break a leg trying to hang out with the neighbour’s cat. When I used to eat meat, every time I’d feel a pang of guilt, and then all my excuses would surface. After spending more and more time with my pet chickens (who I love to pieces), it became clear to me that I just loved them far too much to eat them. Now when I see farm animals, I no longer feel guilty. I feel awful for the conditions most of them live in, but I know that I’m making a conscious effort to end the suffering they face.
So there you go – just a few things I’ve learnt since saying goodbye to meat and hello to cruelty free living. Next step for me? I’d love to try a vegan diet.. somewhere down the track! Thanks for having a read and remember to check out my Instagram for more information @eatwithelle x