9 Things I’ve Learnt Since Becoming Vegetarian

9 Things I've Learnt Since Becoming VegetarianI’ve been vegetarian for about 2 months now, and it’s been going really well. Along the way, I’ve learnt a few things.

  1. People will be offended by your choice.
    I have no idea why this is. But people will try to convince you that you’re an idiot for not eating meat, that humans are made to eat meat etc etc. That’s fine, but I’ve never tried to convince anyone else to be vegetarian, I’ve never chastised anyone else for eating meat, and yet I find I’m constantly having to defend myself. It doesn’t seem right to me, but there we are. Live and let live, right?
  2. Vegans will still hate you.
    Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand veganism, and there are aspects of it that I’d be willing to try. However I don’t understand why vegans attack vegetarians so much, when we are taking steps in the right direction. Very bizarre.
  3. You have to check food labels when shopping.
    This was something I wasn’t very good at to begin with, and I’m still getting to grips with it: remembering to check that what I’m buying is actually suitable for vegetarians. Sounds simple, but it can be surprising what isn’t actually vegetarian. Which leads me onto my next point:
  4. There’s a lot of surprising foods that aren’t vegetarian.
    I already knew you couldn’t eat jelly sweets and marshmallows anymore because they have gelatin in them, but did you know that parmesan cheese isn’t vegetarian?! My heart broke a little. Parmesan, gorgonzola, camembert and a few others are made with rennet, a substance taken from the stomach of cows. Luckily, there are versions of all these cheeses made with a vegetarian version of rennet, so my cheese-eating habits don’t have to change so much. 
  5. Tofu is gross.
    Like seriously, I don’t know how anyone can eat that stuff. It’s like rubbery, overcooked egg-whites, but worse. Ew. Do not recommend.
  6. There are so many different options.
    Giving up meat doesn’t mean you live off of beans and tofu (blargh). Quorn does a huge range of meat replacements, and while they don’t taste exactly like meat, they do taste pretty good. Supermarkets also do their own version of meat replacements. So really, all you’re doing is taking the meat out of your current meals and changing it for the vegetarian version of itself. Also, if you like mushrooms, I recommend trying out recipes with mushrooms replacing meat. I actually often prefer that to fake meat!
  7. It won’t ruin eating out.
    If you’re worried about going out to eat, don’t! Most restaurants offer a really good range of vegetarian meals, and you’ll often find yourself trying something new. 
  8. I’ve started eating a little healthier.
    Mcdonalds, KFC, Burger King etc. are all off the menu! And in fact I’ve found myself craving more vegetables with my meals, and fruit as snacks, which is pretty unusual for me! 
  9. I love it!
    I wasn’t sure if I would find it difficult, as I plunged straight in at the deep end, no meat, no fish, no gradual introduction.  I haven’t found it hard, I haven’t really missed meat, I’ve discovered so many new recipes, and foods I didn’t know I would like. And I feel good about it!

Have you, or would you, try vegetarianism?

Have a lovely day,
Rosie x

Diary: Easter, Babysitting, & Vegetarianism

Diary: Easter, Babysitting, & Vegetarianism - Red Lipstick RosieHow can Easter have come and gone already?! The year is flying by, as usual. I hope everyone had a lovely Easter, regardless of whether you celebrate it, or just enjoy the long bank holiday weekend! I’ve not been one to celebrate it much; when we were kids we did Easter egg hunts with our grandparents (which of course, we loved), and while I was at a religious primary school I took it all very seriously. These days we exchange chocolate, but that’s about it. As you get older, it becomes more about the long weekend anyway! I spent mine with family.

I had to babysit my two little cousins – who are utterly adorable – which was something I was a bit nervous about. There’s something a little unnerving about being completely responsible for someone else children; despite the fact that I’m 22 years old, a fully qualified adult (ha ha) who has lived away from home, being in charge of caring for 2 small children makes me feel like a highly under-qualified child. Of course it was fine, it was only for a few hours, and they are very sweet and play nicely, but that’s just another factor to worry about! Children are so inquisitive, their minds always active and seeking stimulation. When there are two of them, you have to find a way to entertain both without one feeling bored or neglected (hats of to parents, you do this full time!). I actually really enjoyed myself, it’s so lovely when a child looks to you for comfort or reassurance, or just wants you to share in something they’re interested in. 

We went up to my grandparents to do an Easter egg hunt, as my sister and I used to when we were younger, which was lovely, helping them out with their clues. A lot of my extended family on my dad’s side were there, as an early celebration for my aunt’s birthday (as well as Easter), so it was nice to see and catch up with everyone. And the little ones got to run around with my younger brothers and baby cousin, blowing bubbles and enjoying the sunshine together. I also got to see my mums family; we all sat around having takeout, and talking. It was lovely.

My mum cooked the most amazing roast dinner the other day. I’m sure everyone thinks their mums cook the best roast, but my mum really does do the best one! We had roast lamb, which is my most favourite. However, my boyfriend has recently become a vegetarian (for over a month now), and I think I’ll be joining him. He’s wanted to do it for a couple of years, and finally thought enough is enough. And I agree with his motives, it does seem wrong that we kill animals for food, and while once upon a time that was a means of survival, the worlds a different place. So my conscience can’t take it much longer. I don’t want to be one of those people that pushes their ideals onto other people, so I will not try to persuade anyone to do the same, and won’t judge people for continuing to eat meat. It’s a big thing to give up when it’s such a staple part of everyone’s diets. Luckily, there are so many alternatives like Quorn (which thankfully I actually like!), and I love vegetables anyway. So in the next few weeks, I’m going to cut meat out from my life. I’ve already started collecting recipes for it (a weird hobby of mine), and I’m actually looking forward to it. There will be things I’ll miss (like the aforementioned lamb – sadly no meatless alternative to that one)[EDIT: I have since discovered that you can in fact get lamb replacements, along with a whole host of other meat replacements I didn’t know about, from Quorn! Thanks to Motherhood IRL for the info!], but I can still have so much, meatless sausages, chicken (which is actually really good!), and mince. And I can still have my mums best roast dinner, just without the meat, and that’s not so bad.

I hope you’ve had a lovely week,
Rosie x