I am a vegetarian and love it! Before you freak out, let me tell you a little about it.
Did you know that there are different TYPES of vegetarians? Yup, there are. I'm going to give you three types, though there are more.
Semi Vegetarian: I'm a semi! This can mean different things for different people. For me, I dont eat meat in my house, I eat fish though, and when I'm out a do sometimes eat meat but I always look at vegetarian options first. For others, it means eating meat occasionaly, but quite rarely. For another, it might mean that she eats only one type of meat... it all depends on what you choose. :)
Full on Veg-Head: lol there's an official name, but I dont think its neccessary for this tip. This is someone whol will NOT eat meat ever at all.
Vegan: These vegetarians also never ever eat anything that is an animal product. Thats right, no eggs, cheese, milk, etc.
I'm only listing three because other types are pretty similar but night say no to just eggs and meat or etc. So as you can see, there are many different options for being a vegetarian. Develop one thats right for YOU.
Something else you should no- certain ingrediants have animal products in it- geltain (contained in marshmellows, jams, frosted cereal and more), Carmine (red dye made from bugs, in anything red or pink), lard (fat), and vitamain D3 (made from oils).
People become veg heads for different reasons... it could be that you LOVE animals and cant bare to have them killed or in bad conditions (DYK- chickens are usually kept in extremely small cages, being pooped on by the ones above, often never seeing the outdoors or in warehouses, uber squahsed. Cows live in huge lots, with zero space. Both animals are fed crap so that they get uber fat... so fat that their legs break holding them up. Calves are sometimes fed cow's blood because it apprently helps them develope....And much more.... )Or maybe you're more concerned about the PEOPLE who raise or work in slaughterhouses (one of the most dangerous jobs in the world). Still others might be more concerned about meat's effect on the planet (did you know that the methane in cow's farts can generate into tooons of pollution?)... Maybe it's a combo of the above.
So HOW do you be a vegetarian?
First, make sure you have your family's support- otherwise it will be really hard.
Choose your type, but remember to be flexible/polite. At a someone's house, dont be rude about it. If meat's the main meal, it's OKAY to take it (except if you havent had meat in a long time, it might not go over well to your stomach in large portions. We had a friend who ate steak after not eating meat for months who threw up a couple times afterwards,,, just be careful!)
Look out for alternatives. These include tofu (Personally, I hate it, but you might like it :) ) and fake soy mean (really yummy. You can find these at any grocery store or Target :) If you live in the UK, you have THE best brand- Quorn. Im jealous :) ).
Keep your diet good. Without meat, you wont be getting all the vitamens you need, so supplement with beans, lentils, nuts, and supplement pills (FOR YOUR AGE!)
Stay strong and remind yourself about WHY you're doing it.
Find recipes you like. This really is quite easy... I LOVE what my mom makes oh my gosh. :)
-Sausage is made from... well this is how they make it: At the slaughter house, random bits (including insides and hooves, etc) fall to the floor. These are swept up, mashed together and there ya go!!
-Gelatain contains horse, dog, cow, pig, rat, and whatever random bits they have on hand. yummy.
-You often will not be JUST eating pig, cow or whatever. You might be eating rats too. And poop. Workers are forced to work at very high paces, which degrades their ability to keep out rats and clean the poop off meats.
-The waste (aka urine and poop) from cow lots are dumped into GIANT pits, which become lakes. These often leak, going into streams and sewers and end up in water supplies.
-For more info, read Chew on This by Eric Schlosser; the Omnivore's Dilemma by Richie Chevat (or the adult version, by Michael Pollan )
-Watch these really short videos!! www.meatrix.com
Obviously, the facts given will be different if you wat FREE RANGE and/or ORGANIC eggs, and meats, so keep that in mind. ALWAYS try to buy free range, local, and organic.
Well, um, I hope you enjoyed reading that!