This week is national vegetarian week, so I thought I would talk about my personal experience with vegetarianism.
Since my first year of uni I have used soya mince instead of beef, and in first year that was mostly because I didn’t like the smell of cooking mince, and I ate other meat and fish. Through second year I did the same but also tried to replace meat in recipes where I could until just before I started third year I decided to go pescatarian. Then in my first term of uni this year, we did a module all about food supply and sustainability, which made me go fully vegetarian.
Supply and sustainability is the biggest reason why I am a vegetarian. Of course, I am also concerned for animal welfare and my own health but for me, the most convincing argument for vegetarianism is food sustainability. Here are some things I learned over the module that helped convince me:
- While 800 million people worldwide have no access to safe, clean drinking water (source), we use 70% of the water available to humans for farming (source).
- To produce 1kg of beef, 25kg of grain is needed to feed the cow and a staggering 15,000 litres of water (source).
- If all grain were fed to humans instead of animals, there would be enough to feed an extra 3.5 billion people (source).
- Every year, areas of forest double the size of Belgium get converted into farmland (source).
- The greenhouse gases emitted by farmed animals worldwide are more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together (source).
After learning things like this, I personally could not continue to support an industry that is so damaging to the environment, people and animals. Particularly considering the issues of starvation and dehydration that people still face in the world, while we have plenty! I would also recommend some of the great vegan/vegetarian documentaries that are on Netflix- my favourites (of the ones I’ve seen) have been ‘What the Health’ and ‘Cowspiracy.’
Being a student vegetarian is also great because meat is expensive! My weekly shops are so much cheaper, particularly if you just use more veggies instead of meat replacements (although I do love a southern fried bite by Quorn). You can check out some of my budget friendly vegetarian recipes here and here.
I hope you have enjoyed this week’s post and if you have any questions, we can have a chat in the comments below.
Until next time,