Over the past week, I observed the behaviors I plan on changing. I took a tally of how many times I ate meat each day:
Eating meat is so easy because it’s one of the main parts of every meal! It’s an easy option to pick at dining halls because it’s familiar, whereas some of the vegetarian options, like tofu and quinoa, are different. It’s also convenient when going to lower Farinon or Simon’s to ask for a salad or sandwich with meat in it. But I’m optimistic about trying new things, and I’m excited to find new vegetarian options that I never would have expected to enjoy. And I can add chick peas, black beans, and hardboiled eggs to salads and hummus to a sandwich to get protein, and it’ll still taste as good as anything with meat on it. Luckily, I’m not picky.
This week I was also careful to note how much packaging I used. I realized that most of it came in the form of plastic bottles. I’m really bad at remembering to fill and carry around my water bottle, so I’ll usually buy a water bottle as part of my meal. I just need to remind myself that if I buy less water bottles, less will collect in a waste pile in my room, and I’ll have less to clean up when I straighten up at the end of the week!
Because I’m focusing mostly on meat for this challenge, I decided to look up an article about people’s beliefs about the healthiness of meat. Many people refuse to convert to vegetarianism because they believe that they already have healthy diets and they do not want to risk losing key nutrients or become anemic by cutting out meat. While the authors of this study agree that vegetarians must find other ways to consume key vitamins and nutrients normally present in meat, they write, “clinical anaemia does not appear to be more common in those who consume no meat than among omnivores, at least in Western countries” (37).
For the next few weeks, I plan on eating meat only three days a week. After about three weeks, I’ll try to cut meat out completely, but only if I feel like I’m ready to make that step, and only after I do further research on healthy meat alternatives. As for my water bottle habits, I have no excuse to not cut out plastic bottles completely. Starting today, I plan on using my own refillable water bottle every day.
Lea, Emma, and Anthony Worsley. “The Cognitive Contexts of Beliefs About the Healthiness of Meat.” Public Health Nutrition. 5.1 (2002): 37-45. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.