I just love Christmas. To me, Christmas is a season of peace, love and harmony. It’s a time that brings families and friends together to reconnect and find comfort and happiness being together. It’s also about respect for fellow man, appreciating and embracing one another’s differences. Every year, I take some time over the holiday season to reflect on the reasons for my choice to become vegetarian, and enforce my commitment and dedication to the vegetarian lifestyle. What reason, or reasons, helped you decide that vegetarianism or veganism was the right choice for you?
Was it Economic? A meat-based diet can be very expensive. Fresh produce bought in season can be very affordable, and can be prepared (dried, canned, frozen) so that it can be enjoyed later in the season.
Was it Ethical? Did you choose not to eat meat because of the meat processing techniques are incredibly cruel to animals? Do some research on the internet or the library, visit the PETA website, and you’re very likely to find more credible reasoning that affirms your choice.
Was it Environmental? A vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is more environmentally friendly – large ranching operations cause topsoil erosion, coyotes and other natural predators are destroyed routinely to protect herds of cows which are only slaughtered anyway later on, and commercial fishing operations are damaging the ocean’s ecosystems.
Was it to Improve Your Health? Eating a meat free diet has been shown to be a very healthy lifestyle, as it helps fight heart disease, reduces cancer risks, lowers cholesterol, helps lower blood sugar and reverse the effects of diabetes, lowers the obesity risk, and reduces the risk of osteoporosis, as meat consumption has been shown to promote bone loss.
And remember: just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy many of the same wonderful holiday treats you’ve become accustomed to, as long as they are prepared with your vegetarian or vegan lifestyle in mind. Many main courses, breads, cookies prepared with vegetable shortening, egg substitutes, whole grain flours and soymilks, numerous choices for vegetable dishes and salads can all be enjoyed by both vegetarians, vegans, and non-vegetarians alike during the holiday!
So remember the reason for the season, reaffirm your reasoning for your life choice, and be proud of it, and of yourself.