Why Is It So Hard To Eat Less Meat?Reading Time: 2 minutes
About two years ago, I decided to eat less meat. It sounded like an easy enough thing to do that has a big impact on the environment. I just wasn’t willing to be labeled a vegetarian, and that was surprisingly difficult.
Ironically, the physical bit is the easiest part of eating mainly plant-based.
You can live on a plant-based diet for a couple of days without your body or taste buds even noticing it. But when you try to do it deliberately while buying lunch and dinner in London every day it starts to become a challenge. The local food scene seems to want you to join one of two groups: the full-blown vegetarians or the meat lovers.
At first, I always ended up eating more meat than I wanted to. I think it’s down to statistics: picture yourself at a restaurant where 8 out of 10 main dishes contain meat or fish. You are more likely to fancy one of those dishes than one of the 2 vegetarian ones. Buying a sandwich for lunch isn’t much better: you either REALLY love falafel, or you eat a lot of meat or fish. Once you get more serious about avoiding animal products, you have to start eating in different places, with different people, i.e. join the ranks of vegetarians.
EATING LESS MEAT IS MORE A JOURNEY THAN A DECISION..
It starts with at least reading through the vegetarian options on the menu. You eventually order them unless they are terrible. And then, you might even select restaurants because of their plant-based dishes. For those of us that don’t like to ‘identify’ as vegetarian or vegan (or ‘flexitarian’, ‘reducitarian’, ‘pescetarian’, or whatever) going through this can be tough.
THANKFULLY THERE IS A WAY OUT
I now only eat meat or fish when I crave it, which isn’t very often. When it comes to going out, I changed two (small) things to make that possible.
One of the most important experiences for me was the time when I first ate outstanding vegetarian food at a restaurant where I normally wouldn’t have ordered it. That was mind-blowing, it really changed how I think about vegetables.
It made me realize that ordering the vegetarian options at amazing restaurants is the opposite of a sacrifice, because great chefs make great food – meat or not.
The other thing I changed is that I now suggest the restaurants I want to visit, instead of going to the places that are suggested to me. That sounds like a lot of work – but thankfully we’ve made it easy for you! Our restaurant search tool shows you restaurants that others have ranked highly for TASTE and VARIETY of their vegetarian food. And these restaurants also suit our meat-loving friends, because we understand that you may not want to change your entire life.