After recently falling in love with the vegan-friendly menu at Edmonton, Alberta’s Blue Plate Diner, I thought it might be a very challenging and/or rewarding experiment to try my hand at a vegan lifestyle. At first I thought I would try cutting out meat for a week to see if my body could handle the change, but after indulging in a greasy Big Mac last Tuesday, I knew that I would have to put serious effort into the modification of my diet. This week I’ve realized there is a lot more that goes into living a vegetarian living than simply avoiding meat. Since I was so quick to go back on my no-meat vow, I decided to turn to the internet for some vegetarian insight and inspiration to get me going.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)’s website, www.peta.org, revealed video after heart-wrenching video of poor, defenseless animals being mistreated, abused and slaughtered by machines and men with hearts made of cold, hard steel. To be honest, I’ve always avoided videos concerning the treatment of animals pre-slaughter simply because I was too naïve to recognize that the small strips of bacon on my plate represented the pain and suffering of a living creature. These graphic videos have been the catalyst of my change of heart. Yes, I would be lying if I said cutting meat and dairy products out of my diet will be easy. I’m not typically one to pass up a juicy steak. Changing any sort of lifestyle is going to be hard work, no matter what the case may be. It’s like setting a goal to lose thirty pounds – it’s not going to happen overnight. Thankfully, PETA has a very handy vegetarian starter kit just for newbies like me! Featuring delicious recipes along with more informative videos, the kit is a great tool for people who want to learn more about the countless benefits of vegetarian/vegan living. Along with the starter kit, PETA presents many testimonials from celebrities and other people who have made the conscious choice to go green.
To make this sound less like a sales pitch and more like an honest account, I would like to commend the vegans of my beef-worshipping province of Alberta, Canada. I have always thought of vegetarian living as simple and boring – like eating salad every day – but it is so much more than that. It is about animal rights, environmental awareness and good health for the mind, body and soul. Personally, all meat-loving bias aside, I am fully committed to changing my lifestyle in hopes of improving my well-being as well as that of the animals that have feelings and souls just like we do. I am encouraging women to challenge themselves, as I am challenging myself, to try cutting unhealthy animal products for a month or so and experience the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Not to mention, I hear vegetarianism is going to give me a pretty kick-ass body. What kind of woman would I be if I turned down an opportunity to look and feel amazing while saving the lives of countless adorable animals?