News flash. Breaking news. Trend alert. I’m thinking of stopping being a vegetarian. But am I a bad person if I stop being vegetarian? I want to eat meat again but feel guilty.
Why I’m stopping being a vegetarian
A few months ago, I wrote this post about how some people hate that I’m a vegetarian. I mentioned how I just kind of decided to stop eating meat one day.
Having a vegetarian diet had been something I had thought about for, well, ever since I can remember. I always wanted to be a vegetarian for some reason. I couldn’t put my finger on why exactly. I had read about the health benefits, I had read about how horrible factory farming can be and how some animals are just treated so poorly. But I never thought I’d be able to do it.
Then one day, I was in Asda and I decided to not buy any meat while shopping and to try to go meat-free for the week I was on holiday from work.
I found it really easy to be honest because I never ate much meat unless I went out. I might have some chicken on a salad, or some chorizo in a sandwich but that’s about it.
When I went back to work after my week off, there were a few comments about how my vegetarianism wouldn’t last and being as stubborn as I am, I decided to keep ongoing.
I never had an end goal in mind. There were times when I wanted to stop at a year and for a long time I secretly told myself that after a year, I’d stop being a vegetarian.
But I didn’t. It’s been about a year and two months now since I stopped eating meat
Healthwise, I feel the same as I did before going vegetarian. I don’t make a special effort to pack on more protein or iron to compensate for not eating meat, I just eat what I eat and feel the same.
I’ve been on two holidays as a vegetarian and it’s been frustrating at times, but I did it. I’ve had a Christmas and survived, I’ve been out for meals and I’m still alive.
Why I want to quit being vegetarian
It’s not hard being a vegetarian, but it can be uncomfortable and there’s been a few things lately that have just made me think it’s not worth the hassle.
That might sound awful. To say it’s just not worth the hassle. But every vegetarian has a different reason for not eating meat. It might be they just don’t like the taste or don’t agree with eating animals, or for health reasons.
I just don’t think my reasons are strong enough.
99% of the time, being vegetarian is easy. And to be honest, I’d probably still eat vegetarian 99% of the time if I were to go back to eating meat.
Here of some of the reasons why I’m thinking of reconsidering my decision not to eat meat:
I go to a few menu tastings, and while I love the idea of being able to be the *voice of a vegetarian* while going to them and focus on that side, the truth is, I find it awkward most times. While the people running these events try to be accommodating to me, I always feel like a bit of a tit.
Like, they’ll really want to make sure I’m having a great time so keep asking me how the veggie options were, which I understand and I’m grateful for, but I’m the type of person that likes to blend in. I don’t like to stand out and this attention over my eating choices leaves me feeling embarrassed. Which I know is my problem, not theirs. But it’s just how it is.
It’s like, they bring out mainly meat dishes and you have to sit there not eating anything and although I know nobody ever judges me for this – I’m worried that I stick out like a sore thumb, or I’m worried that other people at the event or the people running the event will feel bad. I’m worried about other people worrying. LOL.
It would also be nice to be able to go and have the full experience of the menu, rather than only being able to try 20% of it.
Set Menu Meals.
I’ve had a few set menu meals as a veggie, and the vegetarian version always seems to be something small and rubbish.
A had this pie once that was just carrot and Swede. There was another time I had an onion tart that just had some rocket leaves thrown on top and another time it was a pastry with like onion and basil sauce inside. The meat dishes came with veg and potatoes and looked really filling.
But my dish was hardly enough food to keep me full at all!
Being on holiday.
I’m proper chill, I think. So when I’m on holiday with others, I’m not one to make a fuss about where I want to eat or what I want to do. I’m always like ‘well there’ll be some veggie options, so it doesn’t matter’.
I actually almost prefer it. Because I sometimes get overwhelmed by too many choices, so it’s nice to only have 2 or 3 dishes to pick from.
I went to Cyprus for 2 weeks with my family in September, and while there was always something to eat, I found it hard eating healthy as a vegetarian abroad unless I wanted a Greek salad, which I had way too many times.
The only other options were tomato-based pasta or cheese and tomato pizza. I didn’t really mind as it was only for two weeks, but I felt a bit blah a lot of the time due to a lack of healthy options.
Eating at other people’s houses.
I’ve only had to do this once so far as a vegetarian, and that was at Christmas.
We went to my Aunts for Christmas and I had to have my own stuffing, my own fake chicken, my own gravy.
I don’t think I would have minded so much if I was at my parents but I just felt bad as I felt like I was inconveniencing her, even though she gave me no reason to feel like that.
I feel the same health-wise.
One of my main goals around switching to a vegetarian lifestyle was to feel better in myself.
I had read how some vegetarians often feel better health-wise. They sleep better, have more energy and are more productive.
I just felt exactly the same. If my main reason for becoming a vegetarian isn’t actually working for me, is there any point? Another reason for quitting vegetarianism.
I guess I feel like I’ve just got stuck into a routine of not eating meat and then don’t know how to start again. Like, what do I tell people, are they going to judge me for stopping?
I start a new job next week and it would be a perfect time for me to go there as just Corinne. Not Corinne the vegetarian.
You see, I think I want to eat a vegetarian diet on a day-to-day basis, but when I go out, or when others cook for me, eat meat as and when I feel like it. Just be something that doesn’t eat meat often.
But I feel so conflicted about this, I feel bad about it. Like I’m trying to have the best of both worlds or that I’m basically saying I QUIT being a vegetarian because of the challenges.
I just want to be able to go on holiday and try the local dishes.
I want to go out for meals and not have to have the whole ‘is there anything good for you on the menu’ conversation with people who are trying to make sure I’m getting something I like, but I just feel like I’m fussy or picky.
I just think for me, right now, the cons are outweighing the pros. I want to eat meat again, but feel guilty.
I’m giving myself a week to decide if I am going to give up being vegetarian. Stopping being vegetarian is going to be a tough journey!
How to stop being a vegetarian
I had no clue how to stop being vegetarian. If you’re considering stopping being a vegetarian, it’s important to reflect on your reasons for wanting to make this change as I have above. Some people may struggle with maintaining a vegetarian or vegan diet due to unhealthy eating habits, changes in life circumstances, or a desire to try new foods. In some cases, past experiences such as trauma or eating disorders may also play a role.
If you do decide to reintroduce meat into your diet, it’s important to do so gradually and to choose high-quality, ethically sourced products. Consider eating meat earlier in the day rather than at night, and allowing plenty of time between meals. Remember that occasional lapses don’t have to derail your commitment to ethical eating and that ultimately, the decision to eat meat is a personal one.
Should I stop being vegetarian?
What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any experience of giving up vegetarianism? Am I a bad person if I stop being vegetarian?
Update: It’s 2023 now and I try to eat a mostly plant-based diet. I haven’t eaten any meat in months but have had dairy and fish now and then. I believe a wholefood plant-based diet is the best thing for me, but I have to be realistic about it so rather than going 100% vegan, I am just eating as many plant-based meals as I can but allowing some animal products on occasion. Mostly milk in my tea and some cheese. I can drink oat milk in coffee and with my muesli but it’s awful in tea!