Thursday, January 8, 2009

Greatest obstacles in becoming a Vegetarian

In this article, I am going to share on what are the main obstacles we may face and ways to overcoming them.

Effort needed
One of the main obstacles is the lifetime changes involved and the discipline that is needed to become a vegetarian. We are often afraid that whether we are able to stick to the decision. No one likes to fail and feel like a loser.

The solution? A 30 days vegetarian trial. Just try it for 30 days and get back to the old eating method if you don't feel like it. With this 30 days, you will eventually get a feel of what it takes to be a vegetarian and usually you will able to experience the benefits by then. Anyway, it is just 30 days. It will pass regardless whether you do anything or not.

Value Association
Another challenge which you will face is the your value association between meat and vegetables. In our society, most of us place a higher value on meat than vegetables. For example, you may not mind paying $16 for a Australian Ribeye Steak at Botak Jones but a Vegalicious Burger for $13 at Green Room Cafe, may make you cried out “Its so expensive!”.

Negative associations on vegetarianism
Around us, many people have the belief that vegetarian is for religion or people who are trying to reduce their sins. One personal example is my girlfriend's mum's reaction to my conversion into vegetarian. She asked my girlfriend if I had done anything wrong recently. ^o^ Interesting isn't it? As you can see, there are so many negative associations with being vegetarian.

So how to overcome them? Firstly, one has to work on how they associate price with things. For example, guys may find girls incredibly stupid for spending more than $500 on that Prada bag. On the other hand, girls will think guys are super childish for spending more than $500 on that game station set. Its all about value association.

Think about what you are paying for and the values you are getting when you are deciding to buy the dish. Are you paying for their cooking skills, creativity, preparation work, ingredients and the health benefits. Or are you paying for the so called 'class', the saturated fats and the convention belief that meat should worth this price. Personally now, when I look at the price of a steak, I get disgusted by the fact that I am paying them for killing the cow.... Yucks.

Try watching this video, give it some thoughts and let it run through when you decided to have meat on your plate again. If you have decided to eat on, by all means go ahead and I respect your decision. The important thing here is being conscious of what is happening and make a decision on it. Choosing to be ignorant will only hinder one's growth.

Protein Myth
Many of us (including me) are also taught to believe that we are unable to get the necessary amount of protein from vegetables alone. It is nothing but a myth. This shows how ill-informed we are in this society and what the marketing gimmick has made us believed. You can easy get protein from nuts, beans, grains, seeds and in vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower and many more... So have fun with your vegetables and fruits, there is no need to fear of protein deficiency.

Don't expect your family to give you the all out support just because you feel that it is the right thing to do. Actually, one should be ready to expect most resistance from your closest family members and friends if you are going to becoming a vegetarian.

Why is that so? Reason being that they will most probably perceive this as a dangerous symptom that usually scare human race. Changes. Many of us are highly afraid and resistant to it without knowing. Your family members and close friends thought that this may threaten their current lifestyle (what to cook, where to go for family dinner etc) and the world they used to know.

The scariest thing is the thought that you may want them to change with you. That will be extremely horrifying. Especially if you go on telling them why they should change, why ain't they changing, how wrong are they... They will definitely resist the idea as we do not like to feel wrong or be made to do anything. This may not be the right time for them now.

So how do you reduce the resistance and even get them to support you? First, you have to convince yourself if you ready want to go on this path. You have to show determination and resolute. If you can't believe yourself, who will believe you? Tell them that you will like to try vegetarian trial for just 1 month to see the result. Also inform them that there is no changes needed in their cooking ways. They can continue to cook the vegetables with prawns or meat but please reduce dishes which are mainly meat based as you will not be eating them. Of course, it will be best if you are able to cook on your own.

As for your friends, meet them for dinner in places where there is variety of food. Don't force them to eat vegetarian with you. Everyone has their right on their choice of dietary ways. If they start to discourage you or chide at you, you may want to think again on having them as friends. If they can't even support you in this, it is a lousy friendship you are having there.

Lastly, lookout for groups who are of the likewise mind. Join vegetarian communities, forums, check out on cds, anything that can support you along the way.

So these are my take on the obstacles and hope it will help you if you thought of going on the dietary path that is not of the mainstream. Good luck and have fun ^_^.


  1. You are great, so nice of you to share :)

    Others would love you and the animals will love you too.

    Cheers :)

  2. Thanks Crystal ^_^
    I am glad to share them. Didn't want others with similar obstacles to think that they are all alone.

    Bless you