Teen Vegetarian


Around 2 years ago, I learned about the mistreatment of animals in the meat industry and stopped eating meat altogether. During the first few weeks of being a vegetarian, I found it extremely hard to find options that I could eat at home and especially going out to eat. I wasn’t getting a lot of the nutrients I needed from the foods that I figured I could eat, and since I wasn’t taking any vitamins, I really wasn’t giving myself a chance at being a healthy vegetarian. After having this lifestyle for a while, I have found a ton of options that I could make at home. Lots of companies are dedicated to making plant-based “meat”. Any meat you could think of is probably made in a meat-free way somewhere, and there are tons of recipes online that are great imitations of popular meat dishes

I also started taking vitamins like B12 and iron supplements to make sure I was getting all of the nutrition I needed. I’ve never been weak, or suffered any negative side effects from not eating meat, I actually feel a lot better physically and morally. I do get negative feedback all the time from being a vegetarian, because people either think it’s weird, or they’re worried about my health. I completely understand people’s concern; websites like  http://thenationshealth.aphapublications.org/content/45/10/36 talk about all the nutrients teenagers need in order to live healthy lives, and they say that all these nutrients can be found in meat and animal products. I have done a lot of research about this topic, and I have even talked to my doctor about my family’s concerns. I’m going to be fine, and it makes me feel so much better that I’m not contributing to the awful things that the meat industry does.

Even though in the beginning it was extremely hard to find options that I could eat, along with the choices that have been on the market for years, new plant-based “meat” products are being introduced. A lot of fast-food restaurants have also been trying to break into the meat free market. At Taco Bell, you can replace the meat they use for beans with no extra charge, and you can do this for any of their products. Burger King has had a veggie burger, and now they are making a Whopper with the Impossible Burger Company, and it is very similar to what a regular Whopper would taste like. KFC is testing a plant-based chicken, and if that run goes well hopefully it will be in all of their restaurants. Even at DAHS, they started serving veggie burgers during lunch every Tuesday and Thursday. I really love seeing all the new breakthroughs, and I can’t wait to see even more in the future.