Thinking about going vegetarian?

Grant gives insight and advice into going veggie one year into giving up meat

by Grant Denton

Admittedly, in my first few weeks of uni, going back to eating meat did cross my mind. I distinctly remember sitting in TGI Fridays for my mate’s birthday, begrudgingly eating the shittiest thing I’ve ever ordered at a restaurant – roast peppers and onions in a tortilla wrap; it was unbelievably dry. Despite this, I knew I’d feel guilty “breaking veg”. Here I am a year and a half later… still veggie.

Although I initially gave up meat because I couldn’t hack feeling a tinge of guilt every time I left Lidl with a 5kg bag of chicken, there are many other fantastic reasons to give up meat.

First of all it is really cheap. Seriously, I could get at least seven or eight VKs in the SU with the money I used to spend on meat every week. Some of my friends have asked whether my meals taste bland. I can assure you the delicacies I concoct are far from plain. Since turning veggie I’ve become a much more creative cook. I’m now comfortable using an array of spices and condiments to really bolster the flavour of my meals.

My favourite dish to cook is a mixed bean chilli (without the mince obviously). Another one I love (despite my bad experience at TGI Fridays) is frying up some onions and peppers, adding some tomato puree with a bit of cumin and paprika, then bunging this mix into a couple of tortillas with guacamole and sour cream; that one really hits the spot. I’ve also noticed I rarely feel bloated after eating meals anymore.

If you love going to the gym I bet your dying to know where I get my gainz from. I’m no Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson by any means but it certainly is possible to gain muscle on a vegetarian diet.

You know the huge guy in The Green Mile – the late Michael Clarke Duncan – he was a veggie. Eggs and whey protein are probably the go-to products for vegetarians who like to work out. For vegans (people who don’t eat animals or animal products) it is harder to get protein, but it’s not impossible.

The Myprotein vegan blend contains 22g of protein in each 30g serving! It consists of protein derived from peas, brown rice and hemp.

Although this sounds like it would taste vile, the blend is chocolate flavoured so it’s actually rather delicious (as far as protein shakes go). Also, if you’re trying to lose weight going veggie could make your life easier. Your saturated fat intake is likely to decrease significantly if you stop eating red meat.

So far I’ve debunked the myths that your meals will taste awful and you’ll forever be puny and weak on a vegetarian diet. All the while you’ll be saving cash.

Could there be any more perks to veggie life? Actually yes, there is one more benefit. Here comes the guilt trip. You have been warned. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s more than the emissions of all forms of transportation put together. So if you want to do something truly great for the environment, cutting out meat isn’t a bad place to start. I’d recommend watching Cowspiracy (a documentary on Netflix) if you want to know more about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment.

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  • Really happy that this is a more accepted thing now – been vegan for a year and meeting so many vegetarians who kind of share the same ideals is really promising, especially for the concentration of them at our age!