For many years as a meat eater, I knew my diet did not correspond with my morals. I considered myself to be to be someone who cared deeply both for animals and the environment. This, as I suspect is the case for many meat eaters, caused me a slight sense of unease, and for years I chose to ignore this internal conflict. There were 3 main reasons I did not choose to ditch meat sooner:
- I have always been in to fitness and presumed that meat was necessary for muscle repair and growth
- I thought vegetarian / vegan food would be dull and boring
- As a young ‘lad’, I thought adopting a plant-based diet may affect my masculinity amongst my friends and society
Nonetheless, two years ago I decided to stop eating meat and to my delight, over time, I realised that none of my previous concerns were true. If I had known then what I know now, I would have taken on a plant-based diet many years sooner. I have since made it my goal to spread this message, because I am sure even the most avid meat eaters would have to agree that the world would be a better place if less of us ate meat. Here is how I am trying to address the previous concerns I had about ditching meat:
- I found that my progress in the gym was not affected in the slightest. In fact, I am now in the best shape I have ever been. I decided the best way I could convey this was by making a vegetarian time-lapse body transformation video, documenting my progress while training on a plant-based diet.
- Since adopting a plant-based diet, I found myself forced to try cooking new dishes and not reverting to my previous repertoire of just a handful of meat-based recipes. I discovered a whole new world of exciting, fresh, healthy and colourful dishes that look and taste incredible. I created Instagram and Twitter accounts to show how varied and tasty a plant-based diet can be.
- Regarding masculinity, I feel incredibly fortunate that our society has evolved in such a way that a modern view of masculinity is no longer in line with the typical old fashioned way of thinking. Most now view critical thinking, passion, compassion, and moral standing as true measures of what makes a man, rather than basing masculinity on something so trivial as eating a hamburger. As well as meal ideas and fitness tips, I hope to show on my social media pages that a typical ‘lad’ like me can become vegetarian or vegan and find that modern society will not only accept, but admire your decision.
I am delighted that an increasing number of people are becoming vegetarian and vegan and that it is no longer viewed as an ‘unusual’ lifestyle choice. Each person who makes the transition is helping to contribute towards further popularising the diet and making it ‘normal’ and therefore inspiring others to make this compassionate decision. I do not feel people should be pressured into making the choice but I do believe everybody should be fully informed of the facts in order to make their own minds up about whether or not to eat meat.