powered by text files


The Vegetarian Experiment

Boxing Day 2005 — a point of inflection in my life, the day I started my vegetarian experiment. I’ve been asked recently as to if I’ll continue, so I thought the topic deserved a few words.

I stopped eating meat as an experiment. There was no moral imperative, no huge desire to save the world. It was a personal choice, partially motivated by a focus on personal growth.

I’m happy to try new things, thanks in part to Steve’s 30 day trial idea. Admittedly, I originally set my goal for 12 months with being vegetarian. Ambitious for someone who had declared themselves a carnivore when younger and who would have been happy to avoid vegetables and fruit.

I was expecting it to be more difficult than it was. I added in an escape clause to my commitment so it would be okay to eat meat while overseas if no other options were available. In reality, there are always other options. It is more a case of whenever practical.

There were very few incidents. I ate salmon at an important client dinner, as there weren’t suitable options in Oslo. I ate a bit of chicken in Beijing in a restaurant where there was no English menus, again dining with work colleagues.

The theory behind a non-meat diet is that there are health benefits. I didn’t calibrate my experiment very well, as I also started doing a lot more exercise around the same time. The best assertion I can make is that I’m no worse off. I suspect that I’m better off. I feel like I’m more alert and productive, and I’ve had an action packed year.

There are some down sides. Lack of choice at restaurants. Topics of discussion often centering on my diet. Nothing noteworthy really.

Now, 12 months on, I don’t miss meat. I have no desire to visit the butcher. And so, the experiment results in a change. I’ll revisit the idea again next Christmas to see if it continues.


For Steve Pavlina’s version of how he ended up vegan, see this article.