Want to cut back on the amount of meat you eat but not give it up entirely? Consider becoming an occasional vegetarian!
I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable about eating meat, and I was vegetarian for a period of time. However never eating meat just didn’t work for me long term, so I decided to reduce the occasions on which I ate meat as well as make a concerted effort to choose vegetarian options where possible. In short, I became an occasional vegetarian.
To be fair, this wasn’t a huge leap for me. When I was growing up, I loved nearly ever vegetable I came across, aside from Brussel sprouts and lima beans. One of my favourite summer dinners was a plate of steamed asparagus with a couple poached eggs on top. My husband enjoys vegetables too, so it never occurred to our son not to like them. From broccoli ‘trees’ to his favourite (I kid you not!) Brussels Sprouts, our son has always loved veggies.
I do struggle with the ethics of eating meat, and I feel very strongly that animals raised for meat must be ethically and humanely raised. Any meat I eat is ethically, sustainably raised and preferably organic.
Battery eggs or for industrially reared meat have no place in our food chain. The idea that a chicken can legally be reared from chick to full grown in a matter of weeks, crushed into a barn with no space to move, and never feel the sun on its back, absolutely incenses me. Intensive farming is unkind to animals, and due to the pressure it creates on the environment and the antibiotics often given to the animals, it is very bad for humans too.
Do you feel something like this as well? Then consider joining my family and I as an occasional vegetarian. It’s delicious, good for you, and benefits your health and the family budget. Plus, it’s actually much easier than you might think.
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Recipe Inspiration for Occasional Vegetarians
From breakfast to dinner, there’s something for everyone!
Tips to Help You Become an Occasional Vegetarian
Check out The Meatless Monday or Meat Free Monday movements. Both offer easy ways to gently introduce your family to meat free meals. The Vegetarian Society also offers fantastic recipes and advice.
Take it one meal at a time. If a whole day meat free is too much to start with, just try one meal. Every step forward helps.
Try serving vegetables drizzled with a bit of butter or olive oil to encourage reluctant vegetable eaters. A bit of healthy fat never hurt anyone and it really does enhance their flavour. A pinch of salt can also make vegetables taste delicious, but always add salt after cooking.
Explore vegetarian options in your favourite restaurants. There’s are some really creative and delicious dishes available these days.
Being “Occasional Vegetarians” really works as a lifestyle for my family and I. We feel good about how our choice impacts on the environment and helps to reduce our carbon footprint. It’s also a delicious way to eat more healthily and save money. I encourage you to give it a try too!