Why I am quitting meat cold turkey

After cooking a batch of roast chicken a while back, I realised that nothing in this world disgusts me more than a raw chicken breast. The smell, the texture, the juices. Even after the chicken was cooked I felt nauseated eating it and the smell of chicken haunted me for days in our apartment. Feeling a bit off in general, I started noting how I felt each time after eating meat since then I have come to a conclusion:

I am sick of meat.

The more I eat it, the more by body is telling me to stop. After doing a lot of research and speaking to vegetarians and vegans I know, I have decided to give up all kinds of meat. No more meat, no more fish or seafood and thank goodness, no more chicken either.

Did you know that over 70% of all diseases and one-third of cancer types are directly related to diet? It has been scientifically proven that sticking to a vegetarian diet can treat, reverse or entirely prevent heart disease, coronary artery disease and certain cancers. Eating less animal fat and more anti-oxidant and fiber rich foods can also add more than 10 years to your life according to Michael Roizen in his book The Realage Diet: Make yourself younger with what you eat, who stated that “people who consume saturated, four-legged fat have a shorter life span and more disability at the end of their lives. Animal products clog your arteries, zap your energy and slow down your immune system.” Vegetarians are also more likely to hit their 5-a-day vegetable goal than meat eaters.

Also, as I am working towards that ever-elusive bikini body, taking on a vegetarian diet can help me reach my goals as vegetarians are typically leaner as their diets contain less saturated fat and more whole grains, fruits and vegetables that have less calories.

And then of course, there is the environmental factor. In the UK over 2.5 million farm animals are slaughtered for human consumption each day and it is believed that by 2050, 90% of all wild seafood species will be completely depleted if we continue on our current path. For me, the absolute worst is that over 300 000 whales, dolphins, porpoises and turtles are killed each year as by-catch. According to the Vegetarian Society, 70% of the entire earth’s agricultural land is used for rearing farmed animals and that it is responsible for over 70% of the deforestation of the Amazon where larger areas of the rainforest needs to be cleared each day to create new pastures for these farmed animals. A typical meat eater’s diet requires up to 2.5 times the amount of land compared to a vegetarian diet. The UK imports 40% of its food and by cutting out imported meats and only eating locally produced vegetables, fruits and grains I will be able to reduce my food’s environmental footprint by 57%.

Probably my biggest motivator to take on a vegetarian lifestyle is the fact that vegetarians in general use 20% less single use plastics than meat lovers. Most supermarkets and farmers markets sell loose, unpackaged fruits and vegetables where as meat, fish and seafood almost always come in some sort of plastic bag, container or on a polystyrene tray wrapped in awful clingfilm or plastic wrap that will, like other non-recyclable plastics end up on landfills at best and in the ocean at worst where it will never, ever degrade. Yup, never ever. Living a rather plastic-free life already, I am convinced that by cutting meat and fish out of my daily diet I will be able to reduce my use of my remaining single-use plastic by over 50%.

So, after all of this I have decided to take on the vegetarian lifestyle to see how my body reacts to it, how I feel and whether a vegetarian diet can solve this hollow, nauseating feeling I get after each meaty meal. I will however continue eating products from live animals such as milk and cheese, because what is life without a bit of brie?

On 30 June I will be posting my findings and feelings so be sure to keep an eye out for it.