Vegetarian 101: How to Give Up Meat and Change Your Lifestyle

Are you a carnivore thinking of becoming a vegetarian? If so, good for you! You are about to embark on one rewarding and exciting ride. Though the transition will certainly be overwhelming and difficult at first, you’ll eventually reach your vegetarian goals. All it takes is one step at a time.

Get Educated

What does it really mean to be a vegetarian? One of the first things to do when becoming a vegetarian is to learn about the meat industry and the benefits of an herbivore diet. It would also help to go over the foundations of nutrition theory to learn where best to get vitamins and nutrients on a non-meat diet. This can easily be done by doing some research on the Internet and/or by borrowing nutrition and vegetarian lifestyle books from the library.

Start Slowly

It would be too difficult to suddenly give up meat. This being said, the best way to get onto that path is to first gradually eliminate beef from your diet. From there you can get rid of pork, chicken, and eventually fish. Do this by week or day depending on your preferred pace. This steady transition will help you conquer any sudden cravings and doubts about becoming a vegetarian.

Set Your Boundaries

Every vegetarian goes by their own rules. Some allow themselves to eat fish every once in a while whereas others avoid fish completely. Some even take bites of meat on special occasions. Vegetarianism isn’t a rulebook. Rather, it is a highly customizable lifestyle. Whether you’re choosing to avoid meat in its entirety or include fish in your diet every so often, it is entirely up to you.

There Are Ways to Avoid Temptation

It can get tempting to give up on vegetarianism when being around people who don’t understand it. But keep in mind that you chose vegetarianism for a reason. Whenever temptation rises, think about what made you decide to become a vegetarian in the first place. Think of all the progress you’ve made. If you truly believe that vegetarianism is worth it, you will continue to strive for it even if it’s difficult.

Be Wary: You Will Receive Criticism No Matter What

People tend to pick on others who are different from them. Likewise, carnivores will pick on vegetarians every chance they get, but don’t let it get to you. At the end of the day, you’re doing something you think is worth doing. And you know what? That’s pretty darn cool. Vegetarians should be proud of themselves for having that amount of willpower and discipline that they do.

Remember, Vegetarianism Is Not Absolute

Just because you made a serious commitment to be a vegetarian doesn’t mean you can’t ever change your mind in the future. The nature of life is that it changes, and that means things like people’s diets might change too. As long as you have gotten what you wanted out of being a vegetarian, don’t feel tied down by it for the rest of your life. If you want to have a new dietary journey, just remember it’s only another adventure to be embarked upon.

Vegetarianism may be challenging, but it’s extremely mentally, spiritually, and physically fulfilling. So if you’re still thinking about becoming a vegetarian, good luck! It will definitely be full of colorful, delightful moments that will teach you life lessons that will last a lifetime.


About Author

Kristine Hoang is a freelance writer and graphic artist based in Orange County, Calif. She graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in history and currently writes about food, education, career and lifestyle for various alternative weekly newspapers and online publications. Besides writing, Kristine has former experience in fashion, non-profits, and graphic design. To learn more about Kristine and her work, visit her About.Me page.

Posts By Kristine Hoang