Why You Shouldn’t Be A Vegetarian
Ask any vegetarian or vegan why they ‘are one’ and they will usually give you answers like
- Environmental sustainability
- Animal welfare
- Disliking the taste/smell/texture of meat
Don’t get me wrong, these are virtuous and valid reasons for becoming vegetarian, but there are those of us on the periphery who are very aware of the benefits of a vegetarian diet but aren’t quite able to cut out meat altogether.
To be fair, it’s a lot to do all at once. You have considerations for your social life (being that friend/ colleague who’s coming, so we can’t go for dim sum), changing habits, learning a new way of cooking, and trying to figure out, really, will I actually be able to get everything I need in my diet without meat?
All of these are barriers to change and end up being the reasons why people don’t stick with it.
Once you have succumbed to having a dish with meat, you’re then not a vegetarian anymore. You’ve fallen off the wagon. You’ve failed. People on traditional diets love to point it out. Why continue to try?
Answer: don’t label and then it’s harder to fail. Call me lazy if you want but I call myself practical. I eat a plant based diet 95% of the time. I prefer it, have never really enjoyed eating meat and I think it works for my body and my brain. But if I’m travelling, I want to eat traditional food that’s on offer. Or if someone’s gone to the trouble to make me a lovely meal, I’m not going to make a statement.
As with any health goal or project, make small and sustainable changes until you get to where you want to be. You could try limiting yourself to eating 4 meals with meat per week. Or maybe it’s just increasing the amount of vegetables in each meal until you crowd out meat. Why not try out the middle of the road for a while.
A lot of vegans and vegetarians who take a more hard-line approach. They will argue that you’ve just got to do it, so be stronger. Hong Kong has pretty good options when it comes to vegan restaurant & menu choices. But still, you can’t dispute that life is a little more difficult when you’re going against the status quo.
If diet labelling wasn’t a thing, it would be easier to adopt a more plant-focussed diet. If everyone just did a little bit better, it’s better than the few making their statement. You know?