Does Vegetarian Diet Mean No Meat Ever Again?

To eat a vegetarian diet or not.

That's a tough decision for some people to make.

In our culture most people eat "meat". Beef. Veal. Chicken. Turkey. Pork. Deer. Elk. Buffalo. Fish. Lobster. Clams. I'm sure carnivores and omnivores could grow the list much longer.

So how does a person decide to become a vegetarian - or decide there is no way that could ever be possible!

Simple. Values and choices.

Ask yourself what is most important to you.

Friends and family and the whole social network of barbecues might contribute to some of the best times of your life.

Hunters and fishermen and women must enjoy the outdoors and the comraderie because they're out there in droves during hunting season. Deer, ducks, or whatever. Primal urges are strong.

On the other hand, there are the animal and environmental issues around raising animals to be eaten.

There are those who can't understand the lack of concern for the planet and future generations. Plant based or a vegetarian diet seems to provide an answer to many of those concerns.

Most folks have friends and family so the question becomes to stay with the tribe or break away? And does joining or leaving the group mean running with omnivores or vegetarians? Both sides do come and go.

But that isn't the only area up for discussion about choosing to eat or not to eat a vegetarian diet.

Do you value your health? Do you believe what you eat makes a difference? Are you trying to minimize or reverse an illness or disease?

Plant based diets provide nutrients for health without the drawbacks of diets that include animal products.

Of course, you'd need to educate yourself before you'd begin trying to make any changes. There are books by medical doctors and dietitians. (Ornish, Barnard, and McDougall to name just a few.)Your own physician may be supportive or may direct you to someone who can help you with a healthy meat-free diet.

One more consideration is the middle road.

Have you heard the term flexitarian? Or semi-vegetarian?

Those terms are for people who follow a vegetarian diet much of the time. But when they go out with friends or get a craving - they eat what they want. Guilt free.

I think it's a good solution for people who aren't ready or just don't want to make the commitment. Maybe that early winter deer hunting trip is too close to the heart to let go of. Family traditions are important.

Values again.

Vegetarian most of the time. Ah, but turkey for the holidays with all the trimmings and all the family and the memories and traditions. That's a flexitarian way and for many its a workable compromise.

Some of us feel better physically and emotionally eating a vegetarian diet. But that doesn't seem to be true for everyone.

Values and choices.

Our values guide, even drive, our choices every day. Not just about what we eat, but they are the foundation for every decision we make.

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