How did I become vegetarian and succeed not to talk about it?
OK, with this article, “succeed not to talk about it” isn’t true anymore. Whatever I wanted to share green feelings.
- I used to take the cannibal pizza at Dominos. Every Tuesday (Mardi Fou) with friends, we took large pizzas and played in front of our computers.
- I used to eat 500g of foie gras during Christmas.
I used to do food competitions with friends (1€ burgers at McDonalds, Le Coq d’Or, unlimited Spareribs at Amadeo, unlimited sushi at Sushi Ninja). The weak was the one who took a salad to calm its belly!
It was a good time! → What did happen then 🙄?
There is a beginning…
Everything has begun with a Netflix documentary: The game changers.
It’s a 2018 documentary film which shows the benefits of vegetarian/vegan eating for athletes. We follow different athletes in their diet. It supported with scientific and non-scientific studies.
If you finish the documentary, you’ll remember only one idea 💡:
If I want to be a champion, I need to eat vegan.
After a discussion with a diet specialist, Mathilde Hanuise, she confirmed it’s a wrong assumption. You must be careful with your proteins, but normally it’s a good path to begin with.
OK, if you check my abs, you’ll know that I’m not into any competitive fields 😅. However, I’m still scared of death and I begin to doubt seriously about my overconsumption of meat. Heart disease, obesity, stroke, cancers, diabetes. Your life span can easily get shorter.
I want to live a long life, what do you offer?
So, for a balanced meal ideally,
- 50% is based on vegetable,
- 25% is proteins,
- 25% is fibre.
It was not the kind of meals I was used to.
Tacos (Mexico City in Mexico).
Kebab lover (Medellín, Colombia).
If there was a buffet, I used to take this kind of plate (Antalya in Turkey).
The best paella I’ve eaten in my life (Asturias, Spain) !
→ Back then, you couldn’t find a lot of green stuff in my meals.
MEAT MEAT MEAT
I’ve been educated with a wrong assumption.
→ Meat means proteins, it means strength and power.
You add different marketing messages.
→ Be a male, eat a burger.
Then you add some French & Belgian kitchen traditions.
→ Une bonne viande, c’est notre terroir.
Society pushes us to become hardcore carnivore. We discriminate bobo and vegan. Some are a bit lunatic; I need to admit 🙄.
Your daily proteins can be replaced: beans, peas, broccoli, avocado, almonds, oats, tofu, lentils etc.
So, indeed we need a certain amount of proteins a day,
- 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man.
- 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.
You can reach that amount with 3 plant-based meals. Have you ever read an ad like this?
→ Be a male, eat almonds?
From carnivore to happyvor.
During our travels, Amanda was a bit disgusted by the meat she saw. In our countries, we hide slaughterhouses and butchery processes. We see meat only when it is beautifully packed.
In other countries, we can be more exposed. In the local markets, you can see rotten meat with flies, still, be sold. You can listen to the pig crying to survive. You see the slaughter, the stunning and the blood of the animals.
I won’t share videos like L214 here, but if you are interested, I can share some privately.
In Mexico, Amanda complained all the time that I stopped for tacos and burritos. Even myself, I felt bad when I devoured 6 tacos in 6 minutes…
So, to please my partner, we began to eat a bit more often in vegetarian restaurants. Vegan restaurants in Mexico are cheap and delicious. It was not like I abandoned my pasta al carne to eat green salad…
In Merida, we met a group of vegan / animal savours of our ages. We discussed a bit with them. All their arguments were rights and well-reasoned… I decided to try a vegetarian diet.
The tastes in my mouth begin to change. Before I needed a lot of sugar, salt, or fat to have a taste. Now I can enjoy a simple tomato.
Back in Europe, will I continue?
I was a bit afraid that vegetarianism would be impossible in Brussels. In Europe, healthy food prices always surprise me. 6€ for strawberries seem a bit excessive.
We learn to buy fruits and vegetables at interesting prices. Every Tuesday, we receive a basket of fruits and vegetables (organic & local) from labelleverte.be.
Finally, each month, we spend around 280€ on food for two persons. We can be in Perú, Bangkok or Amsterdam, we’ll spend generally the same amount. In Europe and US, we cook. Around the world, we go to restaurants 😜.
With time, I have become aware of my impact on the planet. My consumption and choices have a huge impact on the well-being of the next generations and on Nature.
Amanda and I have become vegetarian, but it is just a new step to help this world to heal. Next steps? Zero-waste, no flights, slow travel etc.
→ Just do what you think it’s best for your happiness.
We are not strict with our diet neither. We just have reduced our meat consumption by 99%. Meat and fish are now for special events.
I recently got a new long-term mission. So, we celebrated with fresh salmon!
- There are some events where I was forced to eat meat. In Cuba, it was already a struggle to find food. Or you love to eat white rice for 2 weeks. In the flight back to Belgium, meals were with meat. I hate to waste food, especially when an animal suffered for it.
- My French family might cook something special for birthdays or Christmas. I will respect and eat the leg of lamb which took 4 hours to prepare.
- I’m still a snack fan! Now, I order kapsalon or dürum with falafels!