Food & Drinks

March 5, 2012

Going Vegetarian Part III: Completing the Challenge


This is the follow-up to my month-long vegetarian challenge. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here

The good news: I survived! The bad news: I failed at my follow-up experiment. I’ll explain: I succeed in my goal of going vegetarian for one month. I went thirty-one days without eating any meat or seafood, my first experiment at going vegetarian. It wasn’t easy though. Halfway through I started questioning why I was bothering and started looking at everyone else’s meat dishes in jealousy. It got gruelling towards the end as the ability to eat whatever I wanted drew nearer. The only thing that kept me going was reminding myself it would end soon.

I realised this thinking only worked because my vegetarianism was temporary. I wasn’t going to be able to become a vegetarian permanently when the month came to a close. But I made the decision to continue with Meatless Mondays and Fridays. With that same mindset, I should easily be able to hold off eating meat until the Tuesday or Saturday. Two days a week would be a breeze after a month without meat. Right?

Wrong. While I didn’t gorge on meat the day my challenge was over, I immediately forgot about my commitment to Meatless Mondays and Fridays. I continued eating meat day after day. The first week it briefly occurred to me I had forgotten, and then I didn’t think about it again. I had succeeded in going vegetarian for a whole month, but hadn’t been able to commit to two days a week.

So what did I learn from all this? Going vegetarian for a month taught me to eat more consciously. I had to think about a dish before I ate it, and planned my meals in advance. I learned to try new foods, and I consciously balanced food groups better than when I ate meat. But I also learned going vegetarian is a commitment – one that I could only make if I committed on a full-time basis. I also found it didn’t necessarily make me eat healthier as I could still eat foods full or sugar or salt. In the end, my month-long vegetarianism was a critical assessment of my eating habits, and I would recommend trying it to everyone.

What do you think? 
Would you try going vegetarian? Or do you think it’s not worth it? Could you commit to one day a week, one month a year, or the rest of your life? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author

Fourth year student at UBC with a penchant for backpacking and butter chicken.

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