3 Months (and Counting) as a Vegetarian

Back in April I made the life choice to become a vegetarian. I did so by reducing the amount of meat I ate each week until the end of April when I finally quit eating meat altogether. I finally did so because I couldn’t stand the thought of animals being abused, neglected, and forced to spend their lives in a crate or confined area, Fast Food Nation certainly helped with this visual! But I also realized that being an environmentalist and a meat-eater was kind of a contradiction. Eating meat contributes to rainforests being cut down, particularly in the Amazon; it’s also a waste of freshwater resources, and contributes to increased greenhouse gases emissions = yikes! I’ve also learned about the different animals that I was consuming and how intelligent they are! Cows grieve, experience stress, and can be happy.  Same with chickens and sheep. My dog has these same experiences, and I would never think about eating her, so how could I justify eating a cow or chicken that experiences the same emotions that I do!

This last 3 months have been both a struggle and a blessing. Here’s my small list of Pros and Cons.

Cons

-I’ve had to plan and think out more of what I eat

-I don’t always get to participate in family dinners because they contain meat

-Ignorant people asking me where I get my protein from. Trust me there is plenty of other food that has more protein per ounce than meat does!!

-Sometimes it would be nice to have a steak

Pros

-I’ve had to spend more time planning my meals and thinking about what goes into my body. (YES, I realize I also listed this as a con, but it’s also a pro too). I spend more time thinking about my food and things I’m consuming. I think I know more about what goes into my body before I became a vegetarian.

-I’ve discovered a ton of new food that I love! Asparagus, zucchini, brussel sprouts, different types of onions, peppers, soy milk, almond milk, and so on. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m more open minded about the foods i’m trying or what, but all the healthy stuff tastes sooooo good lately. I’ve also been cooking food that I may not have thought about before, such as avocado dark chocolate brownies.

-When our family goes out to eat for dinner at place that are dominate by meat (such as Outback) I’ve been able to try new foods that I may not have tried otherwise

-I know i’m making a positive difference and every time I crave a steak I just remember the good thing i’m doing

-I get to educate people on their choices too. For example, my family has not yet moved to the vegetarian side (yet), but they did buy half a cow from a local farmer that only slaughters one cow a month, that’s only 12 cows a year compared to the mass meat and dairy industry! So in my mind, that’s still a huge improvement.

I still have a lot to learn and am still growing, but I still feel like i’m making a positive impact and doing the right thing.

The Games I Play

So I’ve been an avid Blackberry lover for 5 years, but I finally was persuaded to get an iPhone. I was determined to hate it, but it just so happens that I love this piece of technology, minus the texting. I still hate texting because I can’t feel the buttons, but that’s irrelevant at this point. Since having my iPhone, i’ve downloaded apps like it’s going out of style, but while downloading everything under the sun I came across 3 apps that I think are pretty interesting. The games are called Rescue Reef, Rescue Safari, and Fluff Rescue. The names are pretty self explanatory but it’s what the premise of the games are that I find so interesting.

In the Fluff Rescue game, their are too many dogs and cats and you need to rehabilitate them so they can get adopted. You don’t breed the dogs or cats because there’s already way too many of them for you to even rescue and take care of. This is true of real life, you shouldn’t breed cats and dogs because they are already way overpopulated. Example, over 2.5 million cats and dogs are euthanized a year because there’s already too many, yet breeders continue to pump more cats and dogs into the world, only to be abused, neglected, and eventually euthanized. It’s a very sad cycle that happens daily. But again, the beauty of the game is to rescue stray cats and dogs so they can be loved and taken care of and eventually adopted to live out the rest of their life with their forever family. There is no promotion of breeding these dogs and cats, at all!

The Rescue Reef and Rescue Safari games are very similar, except the scenery changes. In these two games you rescue, rehabilitate and then breed the different species to bring the species back from almost extinction. Again, this is true of what’s happening on our decreasingly beautiful planet. We are expanding and sprawling into rainforests and highlands, and technology and transportation are allowing us to expand into deserts and tundras. There are many consequences of expansion: we encroach on animal habitats, away animal food sources, pollute waters, and these animals eventually die off or are shot because they are “in our way”. This has happened to species in rainforests, deserts, the mountains, and so on. So the game premise is right in line with what is happening on the planet. People are finally starting to realize this impact and trying to rehabilitate species back from extinction. It’s funny because the basics of these games are what I did at Nat Geo a year and a half ago in the education department.

These games are called kid strategy games by iTunes and I like that they are educating people, not even just kids about the the overpopulation of domestic household pets and the the almost extinction of those species around the globe, including those underwater. I love these games!