You know how it is with New Year’s resolutions:
You think about all the things that would make you a better person, and come up with the same things every year: more exercise, more time for the important things in life, meditating, give up smoking, save more money, clean out those stuffed closets, and so on and so forth. I’m no exception, my list is long, and amidst the predictable failures I’m very proud if and when I manage to make just one of my resolutions a reality. We all know how it goes, all too often, just one month into the new year, most of our resolutions are already distant, washed out memories again.
But some do stick. For example, exactly on 1.1.2017 I started a regime of doing exercise multiple times a week. Today, almost two years later, I look back with pride on how I stuck with the plan.
I feel stronger, healthier and more beautiful.
Exercise has become a natural part of my routine, and I hope I’ll never have to make a New Year’s resolution involving exercise again. It’s just become a part of my daily life.
And now, after long deliberation and hesitation, I finally took another step which I knew I needed to take for quite some time now. It’s a decision that was long overdue:
I stopped eating meat.
There, I said it.
Meat was a part of my diet up until very recently. I didn’t eat much, but I had it frequently, and to be honest I was okay with it. Until I realized it became less and less okay for me. I made several attempts in the past to cut meat from my diet, but I never really managed to pull through. At some point there was always that one sausage that I didn’t have the strength to resist.
So many of my friends are vegetarians, some even vegans – why was it so difficult for me to go vegetarian? I tried so often, and always failed. At some point I decided that I was going to at least reduce my meat intake substantially, and to not buy meat anymore. Well, that didn’t really work out all that well either. Until recently. A few weeks ago, I started to think about my New Year’s resolution in earnest, pondered what big decision I was going to make at the turn of the year. Pretty soon, my impuls was clear: I was going to stop eating meat.
And why wouldn’t I?
I though about it, really thought about it, and there is just no reason to keep eating meat:
It’s wrong from an animal welfare perspective.
It’s bad for the environment.
It’s bad for the health.
It’s just plain bad.
Adopting a vegetarian lifestyle was the logical next step in my life. I do like the taste of meat, but that is the only reason that supports the consumption of meat, and that simply is not enough in light of all the cons. Once I hit upon this clarity, I also realized there was no point in waiting until 2019. In fact, I tried to stop eating meat that very day. I wanted to be radical in my decision.
Well, it didn’t quite work out that way.
It was difficult in the beginning, and there were some moments of weakness and setbacks. On of those setbacks stood out for me. I had already live meat-free for quite a while at that point, but I was overcome with such longing for meat that I ordered a big meat platter. The food arrived, I took a bite…. and felt disappointment. It didn’t give me satisfaction. And that was the moment. Something changed in me then, and I never felt that particular craving for meat since. I’m actually asking myself how I could have found it so difficult to not eat meat in the past.
I’m not here to make anyone feel bad about themselves, and I’m certainly not one to moralize. I pretty fresh on the vegetarian scene myself, and I’ve had more than my fair share of false starts. I guess I’m trying to point out that while it is easy to ridicule the concept of New Year’s resolutions, and while it’s certainly true that the best moment to make a necessary change is always now, I still found it very useful to know that the year is coming to a close. It just motivated me to reflect. No other time of the year motivates us as much as the year’s end to think about how we’d like to improve our lives. The most important thing, as always, is to give it a go. It may still take a while, but all of a sudden, if you don’t give up, you may find yourself successful in a way you never thought possible.