Becoming Flexitarian: A Beginner’s Guide to Semi-Vegetarianism

By: Nathan Thornton

Trying not to eat that much meat: it’s not for everybody. After all, people have been eating meat since Fred Flintstone times (the brontosaurus burger, when that rack of ribs flipped over his car) through old-timey king times (huge crazy turkey legs, an ox) right up until today (those buffalo wings Dana’s boyfriend always brings, other kinds of meat).

But with all of today’s top “health trends” and “bumper stickers that say things like ‘If You Love Animals, Don’t Eat Them'” it might be the right time to consider flexitarianism. It’s a very personal choice, and not a decision to be made lightly. Flexitarianism is a life-changing lifestyle that has the potential to change your life. So before embarking on this bold and exciting journey, consult with your family, your family physician, your secret family in another part of the country and whatever doctor you see there. Then kiss your old life (and your former meat-intake level) au revoir! (this is a common French expression many flexitarians use that means “See you next time, amount of meat I used to eat!”).

What does it mean to be a flexitarian, you ask? We’ve used that word a bunch of times already, so it’s a little annoying that you’re just now asking. But it’s when you only eat meat sometimes and it’s the perfect way to combine the smug, self-satisfied feeling you get from not eating meat with the smug, self-satisfied feeling you get from eating meat and it’s so simple we can’t believe you’re not already doing it.

Benefits of a Flexitarian Diet:

It’s good for your heart. People who don’t eat meat very often sometimes have an enhanced capacity to feel love.

It’s good for animals. Many animals will feel more relaxed around you when they don’t think you’re going to freak out and start eating them.

It’s good for the environment. Look around you. What do you see? Massive piles of meat bones everywhere, right? As a flexitarian, you’ll have way less of those. Plus, it seems good for the environment.

It builds stronger friendships. You know how when you’re hanging out with your friends, you never have anything interesting to say? Imagine the excited looks of interestedness you’ll see when you tell them you’re trying to become a flexitarian!

It can give you the ability to pass through solid objects.
We got an email from a reader who told us just that. His name was papaboner6969, and we’re still in the process of verifying it, but it’s an incredible testament to the power of flexitarianism!

Common Questions about Identifying Meat and Trying not to Eat that Much of It:

Is this meat? One of the first things you need to consider is whether something is meat or not. So, does it taste like meat? Oh no, you just ate meat! You should have figured out whether it smelled like meat first. It’s a common rookie flexitarian mistake. Okay, today’s a wash. You’ll be more flexitarian tomorrow, probably.

Seriously though, is this meat? Great follow-up question. Sometimes something can seem like meat and not even be meat. See how much you’ve already learned and grown as you’re following your flexitarian path? It’s true, this can be a confusing conundrum for new flexitarians. Here’s a tip: a lot of times, meat is brown. This is called red meat, and it’s one of the kinds of meat that flexitarians will want to be pretty careful about. A quick word of warning: Potatoes are also brown. However, they are not meat – they are a completely different kind of food. Although it seems like you should already know what a potato looks like. Why are you making this so hard for us?

How much meat should I eat? Hoo boy. We were afraid of this one. Think of it this way: Do you ever watch that thing on the Fourth of July where that guy eats like 100 hot dogs in a minute? Seems like way too much, doesn’t it? Or think about a Buddhist monk who eats one grain of rice a week. You shouldn’t have to be that severe, should you? “Flexitarian” doesn’t have to mean “flexible.” Or actually, that’s probably exactly where the word comes from, if you think about it. Huh.

When should I not eat meat? This is the best question. We’ve all been waiting for you to ask it because that’s the easiest part — there’s never a wrong time to not eat meat. Or to eat it! Think about this: You already sleep at least 12 hours a night, right? And you hardly ever eat any meat during that time, do you? So you’re already halfway there! Now you only have to find a few more times during the day to not eat meat. Popular times include: while showering, tooth-brushing, eating ice cream or corn, dinner with the Patels, doctor’s office visit, and while singing along with your favorite song on the radio. And if we didn’t already mention showering, then showering. If you’re looking for even more opportunities to avoid eating meat, just take longer showers. After that, you can eat meat whenever you want! Congratulations. See how different the world looks through flexitarian eyes.

What should I eat instead of meat? Doesn’t matter.


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