Monday, January 18, 2021

How I Became a Semi-Vegetarian

I remember coming home from elementary school and sitting in front of my dollhouse when a strange thought popped into my head saying, “I should become a vegetarian.” Where would a thought like that come from? My higher-self, of course, but it was suddenly ignored because another thought followed, “No, that’s not healthy.

As I grew up, when someone talked about vegetarianism and veganism, all I heard was how unhealthy it was, especially from tv. I watched a tv series, where the sister became a vegan, fixed her family a vegan dinner but it looked like slop. Another show made vegans seem strange and their food also looked distasteful but as I became a college student, I learned that was only how vegans and vegetarians were being portrayed.

I began to study all about this lifestyle and learned all the benefits you can get from eating more plant-based foods which scratched out any lie I was told. Of course, I am not here to say that you or anyone else should stop eating meat because you must do what’s right for you. One thing that is healthy for one person, may not be healthy for another. I’m doing what’s healthy for me.

While studying a plant-based lifestyle, I didn’t go right into it. I was still eating what was cooked for me. I even wanted to get a veggie pizza one Friday night but everyone else eats meat in my family, so that wasn’t going to happen. Becoming a vegetarian, in my opinion, can be easier if you have your own money and can buy your own food but I didn’t have a job yet. I ate what was convenient at the time which is okay.

I made a plan in my journal of how I would become a vegetarian, for instance, I figured to eliminate certain foods little by little until it becomes easier to eat that way. For example, I figured I would become a pescetarian before I became a vegetarian. A pescetarian is basically a vegetarian who can eat fish but my plan didn’t play out the way I expected it to.

In 2015, right after Ramadan ended, my mom and I walked to a food service organization that provides free groceries for local people in need. We didn’t go to them all the time but sometimes we needed a little help within the month because although we were living in an apartment, we were still recovering from being homeless in the prior years before, so luckily, we had this organization that helped us fill our little tummies but to our surprise, this was the first day we saw nothing but veggies covering the room.

We came home that day with bags of veggies. We discovered how to play with recipes to make a satisfying meal out of plants and it was surprisingly delicious. That year, my whole life changed for the better. After getting veggies from that place for a few days of going, I never placed a piece of fried chicken in my mouth.

Eating more plant-based is a preference for me and I’m in love with it. For you to understand me a little bit better, I am technically a semi-vegetarian. I cook vegetarian meals (and sometimes vegan.) Like mentioned before, you wouldn’t see me eating a piece of meat, but I sometimes don’t make a big deal of little things like if I buy some french fries from McDonald’s which a strict vegetarian living in American wouldn’t do. I’ll let you know if anything changes with my diet but until then, I am a semi-vegetarian.

Love always,

PrincessHiyah Akanqi


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