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Becoming a vegetarian: Quitting Cold Turkey

Staff Reporter

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 23:02

Richard McKinney | The Houstonian

Richard McKinney | The Houstonian

I’m quitting cold turkey. No, really, that lunch meat that hides in the bottom drawer of your fridge until you get desperate enough to peel back the film and make a sandwich (which is never as good as imagined), I’m giving it up. I’m giving up all meat actually. A born and raised Texan is going to attempt a vegetarian life – no more steaks for breakfast!

I’m already longingly reminiscing of the days when I would drive through McDonald’s and get a McDouble…or 12 (I’m fairly certain the prefix "Mc" means "greasy," what does that say about me?). Taco Bell seems like only a distant memory in the rear view mirror – how I long for a beefy five-layer burrito. I am committed to this though. I want to trail a new way for myself.

Sure, I may not be able to get enough to feed a small village with the change I find in my couch. In the end, am I really winning by finding the cheapest food? I mean, when I think of the way I would lust after a gas station chimichanga (which are actually quite delicious if you can get past the smell) reminds me of a gambling addiction. The smell of a deep fryer would make my salivary glands go into overtime. What I’m trying to say is that eating all of this fast food isn’t healthy for me. In the long run, I wouldn’t so much be saving money by buying cheap burgers; I would be spending more of my health. So, instead of trying to keep myself away from those places I will focus more on changing what I eat in general; in hopes of building a better awareness of my health.

This is going to be difficult, I can tell already. I have to change the way I look at food. Instead of focusing at the calorie count with a rather relaxed eye, I now have to look at what food contains. This may be even more difficult in college.

Junior psychology major, Terrinice Hayes, was vegetarian for five years, "It wasn’t hard until I got into college. Belvin didn’t have as many options as Old Main Market and most of them were not nutritionally beneficial," he said.

This is a big issue for this campus and an increasing issue worldwide – balancing nutrition with taste, efficiency, and even aesthetics. For those that don’t know, Belvin used to have a cafeteria in the basement. Yes, that place where people live used to smell like grease all the time – or so I’ve been told.

Through this semester I will keep you up to date on my progress (because I’m sure you’re all dying to know my diet). I will find recipes to help those vegetarians out there, report on resources available and focus on the pressing issue of how easy or hard this might be in college. Hopefully, if I’m successful, I can push myself to go full dietary vegan by April (we’ll reassess the reality of that goal a little later – I just love butter and cheese).

So, I’m quitting cold turkey. Good-bye drive through, hello produce aisle!

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