Opinion: Vegetarianism is easier than you think

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HUNTER WIECKOWSKI, Staff Writer

Meat is an important, and delicious, part of the American diet. But there are some people, myself included, who decide not to indulge in animal flesh. To many people, a vegetarian diet seems intimidating, but it is not as difficult as one might think.

Vegetarianism is a broad spectrum. Many choose to omit any animal products such as eggs, milk, and meat, while others, called pescetarians, exclude all meat except fish.

No matter where they fall on the vegetarian range, the most common question asked to vegetarians is, “Why don’t you eat meat?”

Everyone has their own reason as to why they choose not to. Most either have moral problems with killing and eating animals, or they find the vegetarian diet healthier. Personally, I do not have a specific reason as to why I do not eat meat. I just prefer not to.

A meatless diet can be beneficial for your body, but be cautious. Most of the protein in an average person’s diet comes from a form of meat products. Proteins are the building blocks of life and are an important part of your diet.

Pescetarians like myself still eat fish, so that is where most of my protein comes from. Others can find protein in foods such as beans, nuts, tofu, and supplements.

Perhaps the biggest challenge vegetarians face is the lack of support from others. This can be a huge challenge, especially for young people who still live with their parents. If the people who buy and cook your food do not want to provide meatless options, a vegetarian diet may be hard. I experienced this when I made the pescetarian switch.

There are more meatless options than you might think. When one pictures a vegetarian diet, the first thing that comes to mind is probably salad. The reality is, there are so many other foods a vegetarian can eat. Pizza, pasta, ice cream, trail mix, popcorn, California rolls, eggs, and a huge variety of other food.

Vegetarianism can be a demanding lifestyle, but it is not as impossible as many people think. There are many different protein options besides meat, and with a supportive family, a healthy vegetarian diet can be very possible.