So, it snowed last night. I do not like the snow. I especially dislike the snow when there is no blue sky… I do not wish to photograph a dreary scene. I would like the snow more if it meant that fluffy baby penguins fell from the sky and came to play. But, they don’t. Asparagus like to be fresh, not frozen. That is the last time I will moan about things I have no control over. I need to be positive.
Today I am giving you my article about vegetarianism that was published in the University of Reading newspaper, Spark*, a few weeks ago. Some of it is repeat material from the blog, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. Apologies for such a ‘texty’ post today.
This is exactly how it was printed (I am obviously on day 69 now, not 47):
At the time of writing this article, I have been a vegetarian for 47 days. Not that I’m counting or anything. Turning ‘veggie’ was a very spontaneous decision. I literally woke up one morning and decided that I would no longer eat meat. My lifestyle change has received both positive and negative response. There are so many stereotypes about being vegetarian. People around me started warning me about becoming a tired and pale hippie. For a girl whose nicknames already include ‘Casper’ and ‘Snowy’, I don’t think I need to worry about becoming any pastier. Plus, there is nothing wrong with pale hippies anyway. I am sure they are just as happy as tanned hippies. I also faced a lot of skepticism. As I did not become a vegetarian for specific reasons, my friends and family have assumed that this is simply a phase that I am going through. Well my friends, I survived Christmas without scoffing pigs-in-blankets, so I am pretty certain that being a veggie will be a permanent change for me.
Regarding food, life as a vegetarian does not have to be boring. I admit that it has been slightly boring for me, but that is because I am fussy. I prefer the simple things in life, such as pineapple, poached eggs and crumpets (not together though!). Becoming a vegetarian is helping me to become less fussy. I have discovered all sorts of wonderful foods. Except for Popeye, who knew that spinach was such a delight? I eat a lot of Quorn. There is the standard response that Quorn tastes like cardboard. It doesn’t. The new vegetarian range at Marks and Spencer’s is divine. As well as veggie kievs and lasagna, they even sell vegetarian Percy Pigs! Madness!
I have not become a vegetarian to lecture people about health or animal rights. Although, I must point out that there are many benefits to being a vegetarian. On average, vegetarians eat 25 per cent less fat than meat-eaters; this tends to mean that vegetarians have a lower Body Mass Index. Vegetarians have a slightly longer life expectancy than meat-eaters. Vegetarianism can equal lower cholesterol levels and a decrease in the risk of suffering from a heart attack. The media is currently focused on recent studies that suggest that bacon and red-meat are linked to cancer, especially bowel-related cancers.
Save the animals! 850 million animals are killed every year, in the UK alone. That number does not include the hundreds of millions of fish that are also killed. A majority of these animals are subjected to cruel conditions in factory farms. The meat industry brings suffering to so many creatures. Becoming a vegetarian means that you are no longer contributing to their misery. As well as saving animals, vegetarianism could also solve world hunger. That is a big claim to make, but one-third of the world’s grain is fed to farmed animals. According to Viva! The amount of veg protein fed to the US beef herd would feed almost the entire populations of India and China. That would make a difference to two billion people. 35 per cent of the world’s population can be fed on a meat-based diet. However, a plant diet could feed everyone.
I understand that some of you will never consider becoming a vegetarian. However, why not try meat-free Mondays? Famous Beatle and vegetarian, Paul McCartney has been leading a campaign that asks people to give up meat for one day a week. If everybody gave up meat for just one day a week, it could make a huge impact on the planet. As well as improving one’s own well-being, world hunger and animals; vegetarianism would also greatly reduce pollution. Visit www.meatfreemondays.com for more information and recipes related to the campaign.
Being a vegetarian has had a very positive impact on my life. I have become less stressed and a lot more energetic since turning veggie. It has changed my attitude to many things and at this moment in time, I do not think I will be eating meat again. I really would recommend this change to you all. I have only touched the surface, there is so much more to being a vegetarian. If you are interested in following my journey as a vegetarian, please take a look at my blog: http://www.sillyasparagus.wordpress.com