Whenever I tell someone I don’t eat meat, particularly meat-eaters, I get the usual looks that say “You poor soul, how do you survive?” Or, “What planet are you from?” My answer to them is always the same: “Every meal you make with red meat, I can find a substitute and prepare a meal that tastes just as good, or even better.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bragging; it’s just a fact.
Over the years, using lean ground turkey, I’ve made everything from burgers to lasagna to the delight of a 6’4 ft husband and 4 children. In fact, my no-red-meat meals inspired my youngest boy, a freshman in college, to write an essay for his English class, which earned him an ‘A’.
Even with the rise of health consciousness, there are still many who think that people who don’t eat meat are peculiar, or just downright weird. I don’t waste a lot of time trying to convince them of the health benefits of not eating red meat. During the conversation, they can tell that I’m passionate about the benefits of not eating red-meat. I end the conversation with a smile and say “Whatever works for you! I hope you’re just as passionate about your choice to eat meat?” At this point, I get the “deer in the headlights” look. Trying to convince someone to give up meat, when they’re not ready, is a futile effort. I’ve found that the best method to educate someone is to lead by example.
If you’re considering a vegetarian diet or reducing your meat intake, you can get some helpful information and tips on the USDA website.