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The Challenges of Becoming Vegetarian

Updated on May 6, 2009

In order to determine if vegetarianism is difficult, several factors need to be kept into consideration. Perhaps the most relevant factor is will power. As a previous meat eater, will you be able to say no to a juicy steak? Will you be able to say goodbye once and for all, to hamburgers and chicken nuggets? Are you willing to check all the labels of foods you commonly eat to ensure that there are no hidden meat products?

If you said yes to all the above without hesitation, then perhaps you are pretty ready to become a vegetarian and will readily overcome the biggest challenges.

Challenge number 1: Determining what type of Vegeterian you will be

Today, there are different types of vegetarians, so you will have to decide what type of vegetarain you will be. They all have in common the fact that no meat is consumed. There are Lacto-vegetarians that will consume dairy products but no eggs, there are Ovo-lacto-vegetarian which will consume dairy products and eggs, there are Ovo-vegetrains that will nt eat dairy products but wlil consume eggs, there are Vegans which will only consume plant food and there are Pescatarians  which will not eat meat but will consume fish.

Challenge number 2: Saying no to meat once and for all

Usually, the stronger the aspiring vegetarian feels about eating the meat of innocent animals, the easier the transition from meat to vegetables, grains and fruits will ultimately be. After all, if somebody thinks of it with intensity, imagining yourself eating a cow that just days ago was living in a pasture and possibly even had a name, is ultimately, a great appetite suppressor.

Watching videos of how animals are treated before being slaughtered (viewer discretion advised) is also a great enforcer to become vegetarian. Every time an aspiring vegetarian has nostalgic thoughts about their favorite meats, all it takes to ban them once and for all,  is to take a look to one of the many videos produced if not too graphic and that once mouth watery image of a steak is gone, very likely replaced by a nice dish of green beans! 

Challenge number 3: Finding Good Protein Replacements

Another major struggle for vegetarians is finding alternative foods that will be good sources of protein and iron. Beans, cheese, eggs and Tofu are just a few of the many popular foods that vegetarians resort to in order to meet their their daily nutritional requirements, without the risk of lacking some of the most important nutrients. This means that you will have to do some homework and read labels and learn how to calculate what your protein requirements are. However, today becoming vegetarian is easier than ever as there are many products sold for vegetarians and any restaurants serving vegetarian meals. 

Challenge number 4: Being Respected by others

Vegetarians need to fight another issue: the one of being accepted. Not all people fully understand the needs of vegetarianism and some may tease vegetarians and will talk about how good meat is and how irrational they are to refuse to eat it. Others may insist that you eat meat when invited over to their home and will appear offended when you refuse it or worse, will show lack of respect when you decline their food.

Challenge number 5: Keeping it up

The first weeks of becoming a vegetarian may be the most challenging. You will have to say no to all the meat temptations that may come along the way. It usually gets easier as time goes by because  as you get used to the idea, you also get creative and may come up with great dishes that will not make you miss the meat. Find it too challenging? Worst-case scenario, consider becoming a ''Flexitarian'' those that are basically for the most part vegetarains but that will give in to meat every once in a while.

Becoming vegetarian over all is not difficult. It helps a lot to consider the many health benefits are associated with this diet. If you have a strong will power, care deeply about animals and care less about other people's opinions then the street to becoming a vegetarian will be pretty smooth with hopefully little or no bumps along the way. 

Famous Vegans and Vegetarians


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    • b4murray profile image

      b4murray 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Voted up

      I have become vegetarian. You often have to remind people"Yes that means I don't eat any meat"... I don't find it too difficult.

      Vegan would be difficult Though.