Sustainability Tip: Celebrate World Vegetarian Day and Gandhi’s birthday by going vegetarian the easier way!

Vegetarian cooking can feature a plethora of vibrant produce as pictured above! Credit: No Meat Athlete

By Kaitlyn Scanlon, Alliance Intern from Oregon State University ’26

Does vegetarianism feel daunting, overly expensive, or just plain hard? Are you tired of endlessly searching for an easy way to make the switch? We have just the guide for you! “The Most Laid-Back Guide to Going Vegetarian You’ll Ever Read” (by Matt Frazier from No Meat Athlete) is sure to satiate all your most burning questions and concerns about vegetarianism with simple, viable solutions. Here are their excellent tips summarized:

  1. At first, don’t try to “never eat meat again.” Instead, decide upon end-dates for eating pescatarian, subtracting red meat, whatever it is you’d like to give up first. By giving yourself the option to switch back after 10 or 30 days, you take off the pressure associated with a cold-turkey vegetarian endeavor. 
  2. Transition slowly, from four legs to two legs to no legs. Matt Frazier just cut out pork and red meat for one whole year at first. After adapting to that change, he gradually stopped eating poultry and dairy over time, all because shifting to a vegan diet becomes much easier when done incrementally.
  3. Plan for each new phase when going vegetarian. Once you decide what to cut out, make a plan to finish up or give away what you have left. Be sure to seek out new protein sources to replace what you’re no longer consuming. Lastly, Frazier suggests planning out a whole week’s worth of meals that exclude your chosen food but incorporate other foods like meat alternatives (like Gardein) or fish to ease the transition.
  4. Give yourself a break! Splurge on some fun, vegetarian-friendly food to get yourself through the tougher parts of this shift. Go for substitutes and indulgences that will offer pleasure when you’re missing what you’ve cut out.
  5. Try new foods. Explore your local farmer’s market and grocery stores for fruits and vegetables you’ve never tasted before and get creative with new recipes! Discovering unique tastes and textures lessens the appeal of the foods you’re cutting out while simultaneously broadening your palette.  

Their ending sentiment? Lower those high self-expectations and take it easy while surmounting this lifestyle change. Going vegetarian won’t be fun and easy all day every day, so taking it slow and smooth from the start is the way to go! The Alliance is all for adopting a more planet-friendly, sustainable lifestyle — here are some quick facts from the Guardian to encourage you!

Did you know that we humans eat about 253m tons of animals a year, twice as much as we did 30 years ago?”

Shockingly, “the UN calculated that the combined climate change emissions of animals bred for their meat were about 18% of the global total – more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.” That was all the way back in 2006!

Lastly, the Guardian shared that “a meat diet is generally considered twice as expensive as a vegetarian one.” A plant-based diet doesn’t just benefit the Earth; it also pads your wallet!

For this year’s World Vegetarian Day, take these easy tips and compelling facts to heart by giving the lifestyle a try! We promise you won’t veg out — you’ll be getting your veggies IN!

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