Two years ago, I decided to become vegetarian together with my partner. It tooks me those two years to become a 100% vegetarian. I was still eating meat at restaurants in the beginning, or being pushed by my family and tempted by traditionnal food such as «raclette» or «foie gras» during Christmas time. I had to put myself to the next level each time. First stopping meat at home and during the week, only allowing meat in restaurants. Then stopping meat even in restaurants. Warning my relatives about the diet change, explaining to them, waiting for them to change their way of thinking and to accept it. Stop eating fish. This was a slow pathway but in the end, I am proud I achieved this without forcing myself. I want to advise that it is not by straining yourself that you will succeed, but by questioning yourself about the sense of everything you are doing everyday. It is about stopping burying your head in the sand («faire l’autruche» in French) and facing the facts. We are in perpetual denial and contradiction in our lives and I wanted to change that.

Below, you can read through the 10 reasons that have made their way into my mind until I finally manage to be an accomplished vegetarian:

1 - Impact positively the environment. When you move from a meat diet to a vegan diet, you reduce your impact on the environment of 50%. It is even more impactful than riding a bike instead of a car everyday to go to work!

At the link below you can find out a detailed infographic about why animal agriculture is the most destructive industry of the planet:

Cowspiracy Infographic

Some particular funny fact is when we learn at school to take a bath instead of a shower, whereas we are not teach not to eat a burger which needs 3000L water, equivalent to 2 months showering. Furthermore, it is important to notice that 51% of the global greenhouse gas emission is due to livestock and their byproducts whereas transports is responsible for only 13% of them. Farming needs space.

2 - Respect the animals. Who is able to kill an animal nowadays in our Western countries? Not that many of us, and even fewer without a twinge of disgust or a terrible feeling. But that does not prevent us from savouring them and at the same time raising them on giant, unhealthy farms, where they are mistreated all their lives. The animals that we prefer to find on our plates are subjected to experiments, gene crossbreeding, and unsustainable living conditions. By reducing global meat consumption, we will return to human-sized farms more suitable for better living conditions. By stopping your meat consumption, you will strive against eating animals born, raised and killed for the sole purpose of satisfying the palates of a few unethical humans.

3 – Value equity between animals People would be shocked to hear that I used to eat a lot of horse steak in my childhood, prepared with love by my grandmother or my parents. Or people will be shocked to see Chinese people in some region to prepare traditional dishes with cat or dog meat. But why is it shocking to eat a cat meat and not beef? Because cats are cute and cows aren’t? This is tantamount to animal racism. By becoming a vegetarian, you are defending the equality of animals and refusing the right of life and death and the right of exploitation that man grants himself over livestock.

4 - Protect fisheries. Human activity clearly endangers fisheries. 3/4 of fisheries are exploited nowadays. Especially, the species that are not consumed but are caught in nets and then thrown back into the sea half-dead is a real problem. Finally, fish farming is exploiting animals in the same way as farming is doing, with abusive use of antibiotic, animals crowded together.

5 - Have a positive impact on your health and your body. According to sources in the movie the Game Changers, a plant-based diet. The change of diet can be pretty much motivated by this quote from world-record holding strongman Patrik Baboumian: “Someone asked me, ‘How could you get as strong as an ox without eating any meat?’ and my answer was, ‘Have you ever seen an ox eating meat?’”.

6 - Avoid most of the diseases of the century. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health the number one source of saturated fat is dairy.

7 - Save money. In France, instead of «vegétarien» we sometimes say «végéradin». Pronounciation is roughly the same, but radin means stingy which means that some people are vegetarians because they don’t want to spent money. And indeed, being vegetarian is a good way

8 - Place yourself as a minority and feel like an outlaw. One of the best lesson with this situation was that I experienced what it feels like to be among a minority. People will be mocking at you because you are a vegetarian like they can make jokes if you are jew or if you have red hair. But you don’t mind! Because you found good reasons to do it. For me, I was feeling for the first time like: «Hey man, I am not doing what you asked me all my life without questioning! I am the one who is right about this question, and I will show it to you».

9 – Eases meal preparation. I hated (and still hate it I guess) cold meat dishes. After cooking a farm chicken in the oven for the family, you have to eat the leftovers the next day and the day after that. A nightmare! Another bad side with cooking meat and fishes is that it perishes, and very quickly, faster than fruits and vegetables. So with a vegetarian or vegan diet,

10 – Avoid spread of animal diseases Indeed, with the current coronavirus pandemic, it is essential to take into account the risk of transmission of new diseases by animals. The coronavirus is known to In addition, you will be surprise to learn that animal domestication is at the origin of common diseases in Humans. Tuberculosis and measles are linked to the domestication of bovines. Influenza, often labelled as avian or swine, is of course a disease brought by porks and ducks.

Vegetarism and veganism have so many advantages, especially in the globalization.

Now, I am on my way to veganism. I am reducing drastically dairies in my daily routine, but I am still eating eggs weekly (pasta included). I get rid off cow milk and yoghurts and replaced them by soja or other plant-based dairies. But as a good French person, my hardest struggle is to cease cheese consumption. So far, I couldn’t manage it. My proteins are increasingly coming from Tofu, Seitan and tempeh, some meat equivalent full of essential proteins.

Finally, I would like to highlight to you that veganism / vegetarianism is not a fanatical religion. Most of the people have followed just maybe one of the reasons I described above before becoming vegetarian or vegan. And that’s enough to make the change. This change is powerful, and it is your choice to make it and to feel powerful as well after all. It is possible to save lives by staying home (#coronavirus), so why not become a vegetarian and save the planet? It is sometimes the very simple things in life that have such a big impact on what surrounds us. No one is going to make a change if we don’t change first!