Why Vegetarianism

At the beginning of 2020, I decided to stop eating meat and become a vegetarian. This decision wasn’t made overnight; I’d been gradually eating less meat over the years, so it seemed like the right thing to do. I wanted to share my reasons for making this change and maybe even inspire you to consider the benefits of reducing meat in your diet too!


Switching to a vegetarian diet for me, was mainly an environmental choice. Animal agriculture is one of the largest industries contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as deforestation, water usage and general pollution. The production of meat requires vast amounts of water, land, and energy, to produce food that already has equivalent and far less damaging alternatives. Also, raising livestock for food, not only consumes more resources but leads to significant methane emissions, another potent greenhouse gas. By cutting out meat I’m helping to decrease in these harmful effects on our environment.

Personal Preference

Reducing meat in your diet is one of the most effective ways to bring down your personal carbon footprint, and considering I never really liked eating meat much, it was easier for me to switch. Of course, there are a few exceptions to my dislike of meat: pepperoni, hot wings (more for the hot sauce than the wings themselves), some fish, burgers, and curry. But when I thought about it, I realised I mostly liked the surrounding flavours and accompaniments more than the meat component itself.

For me, vegetarian alternatives usually do the job too, if not better, with the exception of the elusive pepperoni, of course! I haven’t really been using meat alternatives like Quorn, instead I mainly opt for just meat-free meals.

For many people, meat in meals is deeply engrained in their lifestyle and enjoyed far more. That makes it much harder for some people to change than others, so for that reason, I wouldn’t suggest everyone goes vegetarian. Simply making the conscious choice to cut down meat products in your diet and try alternatives is a good move.

Other Reasons

Aside from the reasons mentioned above, I have a few other reasons why vegetarianism makes sense to me:

Ethical: I believe animals shouldn’t be treated with cruelty (who would!) or raised for food unnecessarily. This is often an “out of sight, out of mind” thing for most people, but when you take a closer look, you can’t help but feel guilty… I will admit though, like everyone else, because I don’t see this first hand it’s not a major factor.

Health Benefits: Adopting a vegetarian diet has been linked to some health benefits, including lower levels of cholesterol, lower risks of heart disease, and a reduced risk of some forms of cancer. This is mainly due to cutting the intake of red meat and processed meats, and increasing the intake of fruits, grains, seeds and nuts. Animal products tend to be generally higher in saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, and preservatives. Whereas non-meat foods are generally higher in fibres, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

If you are thinking about making the switch yourself, the NHS guide on a veggie diet is a pretty good resource. Make sure you get those essential nutrients and all that!

One of my favourite YouTube channels, Kurzgesagt, has a few research-backed videos that do a really good job of explaining the different aspects of meat’s impact both on the world and on your body. I highly recommend these, even if it’s just to inform yourself:

Going meat-free benefits personal health and the environment by reducing resource use, cutting animal agriculture pollution, and providing a healthier diet. Whether you’re going fully vegetarian or taking small steps, each effort improves health and the environment. Thanks for reading!