If I lived alone, I would probably be a vegetarian. I was a vegetarian for a year or two before I got pregnant with my first child, but started eating meat again because I craved it. That’s the only time in my life I would say that I "craved" meat. In general, I tend to gravitate to the vegetarian items on a restaurant menu and if I’m making a meal for just myself, it doesn’t usually have meat in it. But cooking for one is rare in my house. I have a husband who likes meat, and two children who need at least some of the protein that meat provides. My daughter is great about eating alternate protein sources like beans, but my son won’t touch them. In order to provide a balanced diet to my family, I make meat dishes at least a few times a week. And I’m slightly lazy, which means I’m not going to make one thing for them and something different for myself. So I end up eating meat whether I really want to or not.
I would consider myself to be a part-time vegetarian, also referred to as a "weekday vegetarian" or flexitarian. It’s a movement that’s gaining new ground, designed to encourage people to go meat-free on certain days of the week. A few years ago, the Meatless Monday movement was started, which now has support from celebrities and other prominent figures.
So what’s the reason for encouraging this style of eating? The effect on the environment is reason number one. "According to the United Nations, the livestock industry produces 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases." Therefore, consuming less meat could mean a positive effect on global warming.
Encouraging part-time vegetarianism is also easier for most to incorporate into their lives than becoming a strict vegetarian. I give strict vegetarians a lot of credit, because it’s not always a convenient lifestyle. It’s easy to see how some people could be intimidated by that style of eating, but would be more willing to just try and cut back on the amount of meat they consume.
What do you think? Is part-time vegetarianism something you’d be interested in trying? Why or why not?
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