Why I've Chosen To Be A Flexitarian

Thursday, 16 January 2020

I grew up eating meat as this was the norm in my house, like in many families, and I've continued eating meat into my adult life. I've not ventured into loads of different types of meat but have eaten the more common ones such as chicken, turkey, beef, pork and lamb. Meat has been a staple item in people's diets for years and years due to it being a great source of protein but in more recent years there's been a shift in people's attitude towards eating meat. This has been for a variety of reasons including animals rights, environmental impacts as well as with for personal health. There is a lot of debate surrounding eating meat and I'm not going to get into that because I still think it's a personal choice as to whether you want to eat meat or not.

In October last year my partner Laura decided to go vegetarian which she has explained in a post on her blog. When she made this change she made it clear that she didn't want me to stop eating meat as she had her own reasons for doing it and this did not mean I had to follow suit. She actually encouraged me to eat it when I wanted it and didn't want me to feel pressured to not have it just because she wasn't. I have still been eating meat in meals and, as you'd expect, Laura had to change up what she was eating to vegetarian options which meant buying some different types of food and items instead of meat. We were actually already doing some meals that were unintentionally veggie, such as a stir fry where we were using eggs as the protein instead of chicken, so it wasn't that a full swap out of meals was required. I wanted to give these new veggie items a go as they actually looked really nice and meant I could try out some other foods that I wouldn't normally eat. I've also tried some vegan foods thanks to my friend Tash when we went round to her house a few months ago and again today when my friend Abbey cooked up some veggie/vegan pizzas that were really nice. This also meant that some of my meals would be healthier which was a bonus.

Since starting to eat some veggie options, I've actually found more foods that I really like and have ended up having full veggie meals sometimes out of choice. It hasn't bothered me that I haven't necessarily eaten meat some days and with more and more veggie options coming out all the time there are plenty of choices to allow you to still eat a balanced and healthy diet without consuming meat. It feels good to be helping to reduce the impact on the environment by eating less meat and shows that you can still help to make these reductions without having to completely give up meat. I noticed while watching an episode of "Hot Ones" with Paul Rudd that he had asked for cauliflower wings instead of the normal chicken wings. He mentioned that he was "trying to eat a more plant-based diet and add more plant foods to his plate, and reduce his animal intake". I thought this was a good way of looking at it, by way of not having to completely give up meat but make choices where you sometimes have meat-free alternatives.

I felt this could be a good option for some people who are conflicted about being veggie as you could still make a difference by reducing your meat intake, but do not have to commit to fully removing it from your diet which could lead to a more sustainable approach that you can stick to. Personally I've really enjoying having a mixture of meat and meat-free alternatives in my diet and I'm more than happy to carry this on going forward as a flexitarian.

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