A Year Without Meat

Last April, our family decided to go a month without consuming anything that required an animal to die. My wife and I have not stopped.

I never craved a steak, but I ate my meat like a good midwestern boy. I had a vegetarian cousin, and I honestly never even thought to talk to her about her choices. We would have Thanksgiving, and she seemed to survive just fine. Being vegetarian was not a thought in our household.


It honestly took me ten or so months before I fully embraced salads. I eat a lot of protein bars and drink protein shakes. We will occasionally have plant-based alternatives for dinner, but a salad never felt like a meal to me.

I found the prepackaged salad mixes that you can find at your grocery store can be good without adding chicken. However, it helps to add the greens to keep me full and allows me to eat only 80% garbage instead of 100%.

Where’s the Beef?

I am amazed at how easy it has been for me to eliminate meat from my diet. When asked how you avoid meat, it’s a simple response.

I have friends that forget that I don’t eat meat because it rarely comes up. So when we’re at home, we make vegetarian meals. When we go out, there are always vegetarian options.

I had one issue when I was on a road trip, and my son wanted McDonald’s for dinner. Unfortunately, the McDonald’s we visited didn’t have a vegetarian item besides fries. Of course, you can get a cheeseburger without the meat, but that sounded sad.

So I instead embraced their sundae.

I don’t recommend becoming a vegetarian to only eat ice cream instead of hamburgers, but sometimes it can be a nice treat.

I get a little sad when I can’t get a Portillo’s Hot Dog or Italian Beef Sandwich. Sometimes I think about just having a nice Italian sub or delicious sushi. I originally planned on not giving up fish because of sushi, but fish sustainability is as much of an issue as other “meats.”

I am not thinking about possibly having meat. Sugar, on the other hand…

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