If you know me personally (lucky you), you’ll know I’m not a vegetarian. And as cringe as the word is, ‘flexitarian’ seems a little more apt. The thing is, I do like meat. I like it a lot less than I used to, but I still enjoy it when I do eat it.
I’ve always advocated buying quality meat from the butcher, but to be honest, no matter where you buy it from it is incredibly difficult to know if the animal you’re eating has been treated well, or not. No matter how many ‘welfare assured’ stickers they whack on the packaging.
When I was carefree and backpacking southeast Asia and India, I found myself eating a lot less meat. Especially in India. In fact, I was borderline vegan in India. As a country, they eat a mainly vegetarian diet anyway. Meat can also be risky there too, and expensive, and Sophie’s Scran was on a tight budget. So, when in Rome, I enjoyed all the veggie food I could get my hands on.
During this time, I also developed a new appreciation for cows and just how stunning they really are. It was heartbreaking to see them eating plastic, cardboard and rubbish off the streets, but, at least the people of India don’t slaughter and devour them. They just let them roam, freely.
So, since being home, I kept up the veggie-esque diet. But why? I’d say mainly because of these five reasons:
- It’s cheaper
- It’s often quicker and easier
- It encourages me to get creative when cooking
- It encourages me to try new things in restaurants
- It means I’m eating a lot more fresh fruit and vegetables
There are apparently some other health benefits too (like lower cholesterol levels, less risk of cancer and lush skin) but to be honest, I don’t like to read into it too much as there is a lot of crap research out there.
Oh and apparently, a mainly plant-based diet is loads better for the environment. For example, ‘animal agriculture’ (the breeding of animals to make animal products), takes up a lot more energy than I originally thought. I mean, all those cows and pigs and chickens all need to be fed, and watered, and transported. And they need somewhere to live too before they’re slaughtered. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the combined exhausts from all transportation, according to these guys. So even if you buy an electric car to help save the planet, it’s pretty much useless if you continue to eat meat with every meal.
Anyway, shocking facts aside, what, if anything, have I noticed in myself having eaten a ‘flexitarian’ diet for almost a year? Mainly these five things:
- My skin is brighter
- I’m less bloated (flatter tummy, yay!)
- I find it easier to maintain my weight
- My digestion is on point (gross, but true)
- I have more energy
I’m also really enjoying trying new foods. And now, when I do eat meat, I question the quality, for my sake and the sake of the animal.
And, as I’m only eating meat 2-3 times a week, I REALLY appreciate it when I do and therefore enjoy it more. Some items on my October to-cook list are below, these are some veggie dishes I want to master this month:
- Homemade falafels and hummus
- Spiced tomato and lentil soup
- Baked halloumi one pot
- Indian cashew curry
- Spinach and aubergine curry
What are your thoughts about eating less meat? Are you a veggie, vegan, or full-on meat eater?