Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Go Veggie With Style This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Custom User Avatar
I am a vegetarian. Many people are quick to stereotype vegetarianism as bizarre behavior, appropriate for those on another planet. I treasure our Earth, and since we only have one, we should protect it and the wildlife that populates it. But that’s only one reason to be a vegetarian.

Vegetarians may live longer, healthier lives. There is a ­correlation between red meat consumption and diseases ­including osteoporosis, kidney stones, gall stones, ­diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, gum disease, and even acne. From an economic standpoint, it requires less land, money, and energy to produce foods for a vegetarian diet. While there are many benefits to being a vegetarian, only a handful of those who attempt to adopt this lifestyle succeed.

The most important quality is dedication. We are surrounded by meat. It would be easy to forgo vegetarianism at any moment and devour a steak. This is why vegetarians must be staunch and zealous.

Creativity is almost as important as commitment. It’s easy to tire of eating nothing but ­salad. But with a little creativity and some soy products, almost any meal can become vege­tarian-friendly. Many ethnic cuisines also offer abundant flavorful options. Studying these cultures is an excellent way to generate new ideas. Another is to go to a restaurant that specializes in vegetarian food. This can spark a plethora of creative ideas.

Since creativity is a necessary attribute, it is no coincidence that many vegetarians work in creative fields. Many brilliant individuals were vegetarians, including Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albert Einstein. Some current famous vegetarians are Madonna, Paul McCartney, ­Natalie Portman, Pink, and Milo Ventimiglia.

Not everyone wants to be a vegetarian. Accepting this is part of being a vegetarian with style. Forcing your beliefs on others, by subjecting them to long lectures on the nutritional benefits of not eating meat or shoving PETA fliers in their faces, is disrespectful. Stylish vegetarians should also be able to gracefully decline a meaty dish without offending their hosts. Another differentiating quality between the stylish and the un-stylish vegetarian is the ability to stick with it. The latter group can typically be overheard saying things like “I’m a vegetarian – I just eat chicken,” or “I haven’t eaten meat in ten days. I’m a vegetarian.”

Being educated is also important. Do your ­research about different types of vegetarians, and learn as much nutritional information as possible. Your goal as a stylish vegetarian is to be healthy, not trendy. Don’t become a vegetarian solely ­because a celebrity says it’s cool. People who do rarely stick with it for long.

Being a successful vegetarian has been easy for me – I’ve been one since I was born. My family is vegetarian, so no meat is available in my house. However, constantly being surrounded by others who eat meat, and sometimes those who are not accepting of vegetarianism, can be a challenge. To be successful, I’ve relied on personal traits like flexibility, since I’m often in situations where the food choices aren’t ideal.

A common mistake is quitting before your body has adjusted to the transition. It can be difficult to stay committed in the beginning because of temptation. How­ever, this fades over time.

Another common mistake is quitting because you’ve been misinformed about the ­nutritional wisdom of being a vegetarian. That’s why it is vital to be educated. Countless people will tell you that it’s impossible to obtain the nutrients and protein your body requires without meat, but they are incorrect. People actually need only 44 to 55 grams of protein a day, and that is easily found in a vegetarian diet. Many meat eaters are consuming triple that amount, which is not beneficial; on the contrary, it has been linked with Alz­heimer’s disease. Vegetables can also supply all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs. However, if you’re still not convinced, you can take a multivitamin.

A society in which people have the constitutional right to live freely is well suited for vegetarians. If you need further convincing, read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. In a style comparable to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Schlosser passionately exposes the dangers of eating meat. For great recipes, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman has got you covered.

Vegetarianism is an important cause that more people should support. PETA estimates that every vegetarian saves over a hundred animals a year. Not only is being a vegetarian healthy, but it also has a positive impact on the world.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




Join the Discussion

This article has 156 comments. Post your own now!

Clinton_C. said...
yesterday at 11:41 am
Ok just for context i do not hate any type of vegetarian/vegan diets or any people who might decide to become one but being a vegetarian does not take being zealous its just being stubborn and unhealthy im my opinion and again im not trying to hate on vegetarians i just in my OWN opinion think vegetarianism is quite a dumb concept
 
countrygirl28This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 29, 2014 at 7:55 pm
First of all, I love your article. It is well-informed and thought out. I am a vegetarian, as well, and have been for for about a year and half. It is very easy for me since I don't even like meat. I hardly ate it before I became a vegetarian, and now I don't eat it at all. I am positive that I will never eat meat again. It's just not appetizing to me. Plus, I am a HUGE animal lover. The ironic thing is that I acutally raise lambs for human consumption through FFA, so people ask me h... (more »)
 
Monique17 replied...
Jun. 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm
You just contradicted yourself. You think it is wrong to eat animals, yet you raise them just so that they will be killed? Absolutely disgusting. And just so you know, killing an animal IS animal cruelty.
 
Clinton_C. replied...
yesterday at 11:32 am
Not unless you need the animal or if its attacking you yourself
 
countrygirl28This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
yesterday at 11:08 pm
 
countrygirl28This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
yesterday at 11:08 pm
 
countrygirl28This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
yesterday at 11:08 pm
 
countrygirl28This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
yesterday at 11:10 pm
 
countrygirl28This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
yesterday at 11:12 pm
 
countrygirl28This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
yesterday at 11:12 pm
 
countrygirl28This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
yesterday at 11:12 pm
 
countrygirl28This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
yesterday at 11:13 pm
 
countrygirl28This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
yesterday at 11:13 pm
 
RonnieAguilar69 said...
Oct. 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm
I think being vegetarian is a bit to extreme for me because I need my protein. The mind has its way of craving meat (well for me) but I believe any one can go vegan if they tried hard enough and saved more animals!
 
madeline.rass replied...
Dec. 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm
But you really don't need as much protein as you think. I'm on varsity swim at my school, so I need lots of protein. I'm a vegetarian. I don't even really have to go out of my way to get the recommended 63 grams. Just a Greek yogurt, a couple glasses of milk and some peanut butter.
 
TheSihlouettedMan said...
Jun. 12, 2013 at 9:07 am
I personally believe all animals were put down here for a reason. (You're only justified by killing them if you use them) But, I find a few things that I'm not so sure of in your article. You mentioned many diseases, but those sound a bit more like attacks on the many meat eaters out there. Let me be honest, that's a matter of a consistent diet; not all meat eaters have a healthy life style nor do all vegetarians. I often hear that it is hard to get a higher grade of protein as well,... (more »)
 
TheGirlWhoAteTheWorld said...
Jul. 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm
I am also a vegetarian. :) I am really glad to know that someone is writing about it. This is an excellent article! :D
 
sunshine925 said...
Jul. 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm
i desperatly want to be a vegetarian...but my parents won't let me!! lucky you! good job on ur article!! :)
 
KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm
Good article. I've never been a vegetarian, but it sounds interesting-- maybe I'll give it a try sometime. I read Fast Food Nation and well, let's just say I never want to eat at a fast food restaurant again. The worst part was that a few days after that, they were serving chicken patties and chicken nuggets. . . 
 
james14 said...
Mar. 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm
i am also a vegetarian!!!! i tried it for lent, but i think im gonna keep doing it for the rest of my life! great article btw!
 
Site Feedback