I made the journey to becoming a vegetarian a year ago and want to share a realistic picture of how it all started…
It began with my exposure to the idea on YouTube. I have watched YouTube for years and saw more and more of my favorite creators becoming vegetarian or vegan. I was fascinated by the idea and drawn to the lifestyle.
While in college, I tried to make the huge jump and become vegan. This lasted about a week… I was living on a college budget, eating on campus most of the time, and had no idea what I was doing. However, this sparked a change in my meat consumption. I started to realize I liked my Subway sandwiches better with just veggies, and my Moe’s tacos didn’t need chicken in them.
I drastically reduced the amount of meat I was consuming. I then moved out after college, completely on my own, with no meal plan to fall back on. Grocery shopping was up to me and I began only purchasing vegetarian products. However, I would still have the occasional chicken or beef while eating out. Then, I met a game changer.
I started dating someone and from the first date told them I was “basically a vegetarian.” Well, it was true right? I covered my little bit of slack up with the word ‘basically.’ However, he supported me fully. We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings on our first date and this was the first time someone actually worked through the menu with me to find a vegetarian option in a meat-centered culture.
From then on, every time we went out to eat he would check the menu ahead of time to make sure I could eat. The best part is… I never ate meat again. It’s been a year as a vegetarian and I realize looking back that I just needed that initial support to set me into motion. I just needed someone to make it just as much of a priority as I had been trying to make it.
Now, I would love to say I have watched every video about the meat industry and am an ethical patriot for the cause, but the truth is I’ve never watched a single video. I’ve seen clips and have a basic understanding of what goes on, but I never felt the need to watch.
I think I innately have the desire to preserve animals and did not need an extremist to convince me of such. I also never want to become someone who uses these videos to preach to someone. I have my beliefs, and I know everyone else is entitled to their own on the subject.
So morale of the story… you will probably try and fail at becoming a vegetarian several times before it sticks. But you have your best shot at success with someone backing you up and not questioning your decision. Fortunately, my family also supports my decision so that makes the process a million times easier. If you can’t seem to find that person in your life, I would direct you to the YouTube community. There is a whole world out there of people who get it, even if those closest to you do not.