Diet, Lifestyle

Vegetarian – Take 2

I’m a little hesitant to share this post, as I’ve never wanted to come off as preachy here – I don’t respond well to evangelical and preachy presentations, so the last thing I want to do is come off that way myself. Rather, I hope to share my story as I’m learning how to take care of my body, hoping that my story can help someone else learn how to take care of him/herself. I also love to cook, and the joy of cooking is sharing with others, so no better place to share than here! All this being said, please know I don’t mean to preach to you as I share this ๐Ÿ™‚

This past weekend, I was very lucky to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef – it was an incredible experience! I went with the company Wavelength – which I highly recommend, if you make here to go. The boats are staffed with marine biologists and you learn so much in a day about the Reef and the ecosystem in North Queensland. It is pretty amazing how the three seemingly separate ecosystems (rainforest, marsh and reef) are codependent.

I learned that what we see of the Reef in advertising is manipulated (not just models are photoshopped) and that the coral reef should be earthen tones, not florescent bright colors. (Edit: for those asking why, check out this article) I was actually pretty surprised to learn that when coral is bright colors, it’s actually bad, and means the coral is stressed and/or bleaching. Bleaching is when the temperature of the water is too high for the coral to survive. There have been several serious bleaching events in the past few years, and the Reef is disappearing, each bleaching event happening closer to the one previous.

So what does this have to do with being vegetarian you might be asking at this point. I learned, or I should say, the lightbulb turned on, after hearing all this over the weekend. I’ve heard and read many times in the past year that the meat industry is a major factor in rising global average temperatures. You know, the argument about methane cow farts. ๐Ÿ˜† There’s a lot more to it than that though, and I encourage you to check it out!

Here’s where I don’t want to come off as preachy – I’ve made the choice based on both my dietary issues, and now adding my concern for the environment. I just wanted to share why I’ve decided to try vegetarianism again – moving forward, I’ll share recipes that fit the lifestyle as well as the way my dietary issues change (for better or worse).

I’m far from an expert on all this, and if you’re interested in learning more, definitely look into it. I’ve watched some documentaries on the meat industry – they worked until they appealed to emotions, then I switched off. I’m not necessarily in this for animal rights (though it’s a nice bonus) but rather to see what it can do for my dietary health. It’s a change I can make, and it’s a small way for me to make a difference for the environment, you know, along with my metal straws and reusable cups ๐Ÿค—

The Great Barrier Reef was amazing – like nothing I’ve ever seen before. But it was also pretty striking that you could see that a lot was not thriving – so much was bleached and over grown with algae. The best part though is that it can be fixed, it can be repaired. Parrotfish (some of the prettiest fish you’ll see in a coral reef) work to keep algae under control, and help create places for new coral to grow. It can be fixed, so long as bleaching doesn’t continue to get worse. Here’s the only preachy thing I’ll say – be aware of your impact on the environment, and use fewer single-use items, so we can all enjoy the planet a little more, and a little longer.

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