I'm Going Meatless for World Vegetarian Day--Are You?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  194 comments   :  21,818 Views

Today is World Vegetarian Day! And while most of us have already eaten at least two meals and maybe a snack or two, there's still one meal left to go meat-free.

While a 100% vegetarian lifestyle might not be for you, we can all benefit from going meat-free a few meals a week. Chances are, you probably only eat meat one or two meals a day as it is.

Forgoing meat can really benefit your health. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, vegetarians have lower rates of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and asthma. In the world's "Blue Zones," where people reach age 100 at higher-than-normal rates and live longer, meat is often used as a side dish or condiment.

So will you go meat-free for the rest of today (and perhaps a few more meals each week)?

I've gathered some of SparkPeople's best meat-free resources to help you get ideas:

Trying to Eat Less Meat? Here's Help

Want to Live Longer? Me, Too!

Meatless Meals Benefit Your Health

How to Feed a Vegetarian

How to Meet Your Protein Needs without Meat

My Meat-Free Fridays blog series

Will you go meat-free today? What is your favorite meat-free meal?

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  • 194
    ALL the way....lets redo and refocus on this goal for 2014 - 1/10/2014   1:03:37 PM
  • 193
    No way. - 6/29/2011   9:19:59 PM
  • PATTIE441
    Hi! I will definitely go meat free today. Sometimes it's hard because my husband is totally meat crazy, but he's getting slowly used to my different changes. Loved your blog! - 5/24/2011   10:34:21 AM
  • EJ1983
    I've been a vegetarian for 14 years. Now my parents are doing the "Meatless Mondays" - 4/15/2010   9:13:42 AM
  • 190
    Eating meat is like most anything else..if in moderation and not grain fed, will not hurt you occassionally. I prefer to eat mostly fish and I eat vegetarian twice a week. "Beef" cattle are used for leather products, glues, pet foods, and crossbreeding with dairy cattle to make calving easier. - 3/23/2010   12:12:10 PM
  • 189
    I went veg for a couple of years when I was younger,{ after reading Diet For A New America by Anthony Robbins- yikes!} I had just moved to California where it's easy and inexpensive to be veg and I really liked it, I felt "clean", unfortunately thats when I realized I was anemic, I was fainting all the time! So I went back to eating meat. Now I probably eat red meat once every couple of weeks,{I stick with naturally raised organic beef } vegetarian once a week and the rest of the week I eat light meats, fish and chicken mostly. It's taken a while to figure out what works best, but I think I have it down now. My roommate is a life long vegetarian, so we have plenty of veg cook books which are awesome! You have to make sure your not eating the same boring stuff all the time or it does feel like your missing out, but believe me when you cut down on the meat your body feels better, and it's always good to experiment with different types of fruit and veg. - 3/23/2010   11:24:20 AM
  • 188
    After spending two weeks with a Vegan I saw the benefits of less meat. I decided to be a flexitarian. I only eat certain meats. Living in Asia this can be difficult but I feel much cleaner. Luckily I will be moving home in less than 2 months.

    I have also heard that eating less meat is better for the environment than driving a hybrid. - 11/21/2009   9:16:15 PM
  • 187
    I missed this but I could never go full meatless, I could easily cut out red meats and I already don't eat pork but I love fish and chicken. I'm also not going to make my kids eat a diet that strict of no meat, I offer them a complete wide variety diet of veggies, fruits, whole grains and healthy cuts of meat and let them decide what they do or don't want to eat. - 11/8/2009   9:57:38 AM
    I've been a vegetarian since Spring of 1980. My transition to vegetarianism was probably harder than most. I had an uncle who raised cattle who gave us all the beef we wanted; we just had to pay to get it butchered. Growing up we ate steak, pot roast, Swiss Steak, home made stew and biscuits, etc almost every night. I was very much a meat and potatoes kind of guy and I didn't like most vegetables or salad and wasn't used to eating fruit or grains. At first I almost lived on boxed macaroni & cheese dinners and ramen noodles (was a poor college student). Over time I learned to like many new foods and now I eat and enjoy a far wider range of foods than I ever did as a meat eater. Being a vegetarian forced me to be a more adventurous eater.

    STINKY_DIAPER: it is true that we are omnivores. Humans can find food to eat almost anywhere and in some places people eat nuts and tubers and other places they eat seal meat and whale blubber. We live on all the continents except Antarctica because we can eat such a wide variety of foods; whatever is available we can probably survive on. Physiologically we are much closer to herbivores than carnivores. Our jaws, teeth, and digestive tract are more similar to herbivores. Comparing the health of peoples eating traditional diets ranging from nearly meat-free to nearly all meat the less animal products in the diet the healthier the population. Moreover, chicken, fish, and eggs are not necessarily healthier than beef; they all have cholesterol and can have more or less saturated fat depending on the respective meats.

    - 10/16/2009   5:32:09 PM
  • 185
    I see no reason for a flesh bearing being to be killed so I might eat it..............And Skinny185 lay off those donuts and pastries.. - 10/15/2009   8:30:29 PM
  • SKINNY185
    I am Vegetarian all my life and still I am over weight. - 10/10/2009   1:09:58 PM
    I'm in college, so $$$ is low. Plus, I'm am major environmentalist so I know the effects of raising animals for meat. My nutritionist told me that most Americans get too much protein and that being vegetarian is fine as long as you are careful. I'm not a full-pledged vegetarian, but I don't eat red meat. When cooking for myself or at a restaurant (or anytime I have a choice) I go for no meat. I do drink milk and eat eggs, but no one is perfect. Occasionally I have tuna, but that is rare. Beans, legumes, milk, eggs, and protein from veggie sources are my protein buddies.

    That being said, if you like meat, go ahead and eat it. I'm not here to judge! I'm here to get healthy, fit, and happy.....just like everyone else!!

    Go SP!!!!! - 10/9/2009   8:26:17 AM
  • 182
    Meat is unhealthy no matter what type you get, i have been vegetarian for awhile and it has only been beneficial. Humans wouldnt be overrun b cows, less cows would be born if there were less of a need for them. Being vegetarian is good for animals, the environment and your body. Watch a video and see how the animals you eat are treated, they are in disgusting environments and are pumped with hormones. When you eat meat, you consume those antibiotics and hormones. Think about it. - 10/8/2009   7:42:55 PM
    No I will not give up my meat. I always pick lean andheathly meat. - 10/8/2009   8:31:00 AM
    For me every is vegetarian day, isn't it nice to have a choice? - 10/8/2009   7:53:00 AM
  • 179
    You know, I went veg about 4 years ago. Recently I tried to switch back to a more open diet, incl fish, etc. And have been very digestively off-balance, enough that I've decided to return to veg again indefinitely.

    Interestingly, I had difficulties with my iron levels before becoming veg and after three years of veg, had a blood work-up and I was the most NORMAL I have ever been.

    I'm veg for all reasons- health, moral, planet, cost. Some people I think can do this more easily than others. But I can tell you I grew up in the Midwest with a very meat based diet, and it was not a problem. I don't miss meat at all anymore. - 10/6/2009   8:03:32 PM
  • 178
    I used to be vegetarian, and I was sick all the time. Now I eat meat periodically, and now my body is much kinder to me plus it's healthier. - 10/6/2009   4:19:24 PM
  • 177
    If we didn't eat meat we would be over run by cows. There is no other use for a meat cow other than meat. - 10/6/2009   3:29:28 PM
    I missed this, but nope. I took too much college bio to do anything other than embrace the fact that humans are omnivores. Our digestive system was designed to eat both meat and plants, and I try to have some of both.

    I have known far too many vegetarians who eat nothing but cheese sandwiches, so this article is great anyway! I should send it to my one friend. - 10/6/2009   12:14:29 PM
    We didn't see this, but eating meatless is just a little too tough for us. If we don't have meat, then it's usually something with cheese which is even worse (can't do low fat cheese...just not right). We do eat mostly chicken or ground turkey, a little pork. Only read meat is an occassional hamburger. We both have trouble with getting enough protien as it is...and neither of us has ever liked tofu type stuff, that leaves beans which you can only have so much of. Wish we could do more meatless, but I don't see us ever liking veggies enough to do them 24/7. - 10/6/2009   12:09:09 PM
    I have been vegan for a year this month, both my husband and I. - 10/6/2009   12:27:59 AM
    When I "was good" with my eating, I ate a lot of Boca Burgers, beans, fish, etc. Very very little red meat including turkey and chicken. When I did eat lean pork or beef, I got sick - my stomach was upset and my heart was not happy either. Because I'm anemic and lack B vitamins, not to mention gaining a lot of weight from filling up on nuts and seeds, I started to eat meat again. I need to find a balance. But I must admit I felt "lighter" when I didn't eat meat, but unfortunately lacked energy and was always cold and hungry because not enough protein, hence overeating nuts and seeds. - 10/5/2009   9:34:50 PM
  • 172
    No, I missed vegetarian day. I was a vegetarian when I met my husband. I became one for health reasons. I remain one until I became pregnant. I couldn't get enough iron in my diet so I went off the wagon so to speak and I have never went back. One of the reason is because I got tired of cooking two meal. My Hubby was a major meat and potato type of guy. Fast-Forward a decade and he enjoys more vegetarian, but he will not give up meat completely.

    Just because you eat a plant base diet does not mean your going to be thin and fit.

    Eating meat is not a moral issue for me. I grew up in the country and I know how it get to the store. It don't come from nature is those cellophane packages.

    I have started serving more vegetable base meals. Now about 2/3 of our meals our vegetable based. I still have my fav vegetarian cookbook really enjoy Lentil patties when I have a craving for a burger. - 10/5/2009   4:25:34 PM
    Stinky-Diaper (and others who don't understand)--For many people, vegetarianism/veganism isn't just about personal health, but about doing what we believe is right for the planet and other beings with whom we share it.

    Every day is meatless for me, and has been for more than 20 years. I've been vegan for 12 and am raising two happy, healthy vegan kids.

    It's very possible to eat both healthily and ethically. - 10/5/2009   12:05:30 PM
    Not a chance. - 10/5/2009   11:31:05 AM
  • 169
    I have been eating WAY more veggies and fruits (berries mostly cuz my dentures make it difficiult for many w/ "skin") since joining Sparkpeople! I eat a green salad everyday w/ shrooms and kidney beans and tomatos, etc. I have soup and this is usually where I get any meat at all. BUT I do have a meat entree 2 times/ week! But this is much improved from what it once was!! And some days...no meat! - 10/5/2009   11:12:59 AM
  • 168
    I stopped eating my animal compatriots in 1980 (felt too much like cannibalism). Every day is veggie day! - 10/5/2009   10:51:43 AM
  • 167
    I've never understood this whole Vegetarian kick. We're Omnivores!

    I can understand wanting to eat healthier, but turkey, chicken, fish, eggs - all VERY healthy when mixed with a dash of common sense and cooked slowly over a medium heat.

    Red meats and pork - THOSE are the culprits! - 10/5/2009   9:44:32 AM
  • 166
    at least 1/3 of my meals are meat-free anyway so this wouldn't be a problem. - 10/5/2009   12:17:31 AM
  • 165
    We usually have meat free days a few days a month. - 10/4/2009   9:34:51 PM
  • 164
    I am a vegetarian. Don't fool yourself that all vegetarian diets are healthy. I am a fat vegetarian. I do not eat meat, but I ate a lot of cheese, breads, sugar…

    I am now not eating anything white or with a face.

    Good Luck.
    - 10/4/2009   8:26:44 PM
  • 163
    I've gone back to mostly vegetarian, occasionally I'll have a wild-caught fish to get more protein, the one thing I struggle with. Overall I feel much better. In our house a favorite is vegetable lasagna without noodles. Pitas & veggies with hummus, veggie burgers, and "HG famous bowls" are high up on the list too. - 10/4/2009   8:12:04 PM
  • 162
    Every day is veg. for me!!! :-) - 10/4/2009   6:38:34 PM
  • 161
    Being the heartless carnivore that I am, going meatless is a major sacrifice for me. However, I have begun having meatless Monday at least once a month and it hasn't been that bad. I didn't know October 1 was vegetarian day so no, I didn't go meatless that day. I would have though. My favorite meatless meal is spaghetti with pesto and olives. - 10/4/2009   6:22:50 PM
  • 160
    I stopped eating red meats because with the medication I take it was liteally
    making me sick. I stopped the red meats and have experienced great results.
    I learned when my body doesn't want something it is for a good reason! I am
    trying to eliminate chicken, that is the only meat I do eat. But I am also
    learning with the medication I have taken for almost 23 year, it binds to protein!
    So at this point chicken will be my friend as my main protein binder! Until I can
    completely help my medical situation. ONE DAY AT A TIME! - 10/4/2009   12:11:17 PM
  • 159
    Meatfree since '98, vegan for the last 6+ years.
    Favorite meal is probably seitan stroganoff. Mmmm.

    Also, talking about "tasty cows" in a response to a blog post like this is just in poor taste. And omnis talk about vegans being rude and in your face. Pttth. My dad mooed and waved hamburgers in my face for about 6 years before stopping. Maybe it's stuff like THAT that gives veg*ns "bad attitudes". - 10/4/2009   11:42:12 AM
  • 158
    We really do not eat that much meat. Maybe we will have meat once or twice a week for dinner. Hardly ever for breakfast(usually oatmeal) or lunch(PBJ). I have to say that I do love bacon though :( - 10/4/2009   11:36:13 AM
  • 157
    I do have some meatless meals, but I seem to really need the type of protein found in meat. Overall I'll eat less if I have a small (3-4oz.) portion of meat at dinner than if I skip it altogether. I do go light on red meat and am working on incorporating more fish into my diet. The latter is time-consuming because it needs to be eaten fresh, requiring several trips to the store during the week, and I hate shopping! There's a butcher shop opening in my town that might make such trips a little easier. - 10/4/2009   10:39:19 AM
  • 156
    I have been Vegan since January of this year and have already been reaping the benefits of of being meat free and also animal product free. This is the best thing I have ever done for myself. - 10/4/2009   10:10:44 AM
  • 155
    go meat free!! :D i love being a vegetarian! - 10/4/2009   9:40:55 AM
    I consider Chicken and Fish vegetables.
    My family is very meat-centric. I would never consider being a vegetarian.

    What I would like to see is more availability and cheaper cost on healthy meat. Farm raised chicken and grass fed beef are very expensive, but much healthier. I wonder how many studies compare vegetarians to modern meat eaters vice those who eat
    "whole" meats. With all the studies coming out about the health qualities of meat (Bacon is very good for you -- in moderation) I find it hard to believe that Vegetarianism is the healthiest choice.

    Meat as a side dish makes sense. A US serving of meat is around 8-10 ounces, 2-3 times a normal serving size. Moderation is difficult, but necessary. - 10/4/2009   9:11:05 AM
  • 153
    I'm late reading this & commenting; no, I won't go meatless. - 10/4/2009   8:55:32 AM
  • 152
    Pasta Primavera--great vegetarian meal! - 10/4/2009   7:51:18 AM
    I am already vegan! My favorite meat free recipe has to be (hands down) Isa's Chickpea Patties. I usually replace the chickpea's with red lentils though for more iron. They are delicious, and even my meat-loving relatives love them. - 10/4/2009   7:31:05 AM
  • 150
    I am not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy vegetarian meals. I have a recipe for black bean flautas that's out of this world, in fact, I may have to post it and make it available to the public... but what I really wanted to say is that I have found a new vegetarian product that is available in most Safeway stores (in the lunchmeat and cheese section, believe it or not) and should be available in most, if not all Whole Foods stores. It is called Gardein, and consists of several entrees made up of textured vegetable protein. One is called "Meat Free Skewers" and you can either grill them or cook them in a little olive oil in a skillet, add a little of your favorite BBQ sauce, and you're good to go. There are also "Tuscan Breasts" and "Santa Fe Good Stuff" which look and taste like chicken breasts and breasts stuffed with black beans and corn salsa. They've also had a dish that looks like "pulled chicken" with BBQ sauce that is just delicious. I've got several meals' worth in my refrigerator now, and I eat them quite often, in fact, most nights. They're not only just plain good, they're also very convenient and high in protein. - 10/3/2009   11:14:46 PM
  • 149
    I have been a vegetarian for 6 years now. And I never looked back .
    If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian. ~Paul McCartney - 10/3/2009   10:20:13 PM
  • CHEWY3
    I missed vegetarian day, but I will have a couple of meet free days next week. - 10/3/2009   10:09:44 PM
  • 147
    I typically go meatless on a regular basis - so I went meatless accidentally. Though perhaps now I feel inspired to make it a week or even longer. - 10/3/2009   9:58:55 PM
  • FOX2566
    I like veggie meals...and our household is incorporating more of them in our diets. I want to have red meat only once a week now, and a hearty flavorful veggie meal adds a pleasant variety to the daily routine! - 10/3/2009   9:13:15 PM
  • 145
    I like meat. I eat meat. But I don't have to have it every meal. I do eat meatless meals - even meatless dinners. Some meals meat is almost a condiment - added for flavor more than anything else. Other meals it's the main event. If I'd known about the day ahead of time, steak would most likely have been planned for dinner, just because! - 10/3/2009   8:26:18 PM

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