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take the world veg week challenge!

Like feminists and religious folk, vegetarians tend to get an unfairly bad reputation (those extremists ruining it for the rest of us, yet again). Tell someone you’re a vegetarian and they immediately start qualifying why they’re not, with each excuse just as tired as the last.

Although I’ve been a vegetarian (to various degrees and for various reasons) for about 10 years, I’m certainly a lot less committed than I used to be. I even half-joke that these days, it’s more out of habit that I don’t return to meat-eating, as well as the choice paralysis I would endure when faced with a menu where I wasn’t forcibly limited to only a few dishes. But whatever reasons each vegetarian or vegan has for their self-imposed dietary limitations, the truth is that there are a multitude of benefits to eating less meat and I’ve never quite understood how someone wouldn’t be able to identify with any of them.

October 1st to 7th is World Veg Week, and omnivores are being encouraged by Animals Australia to go without meat for the week and they’re offering tips and recipes for both vegetarian and vegan diets to those who sign the pledge here. And if you need a bit of convincing, you can get the bullet points as to the benefits for the animals, your health and the environment right here!

Even if you’re not sure that you can really live without meat or dairy-products, remember that this is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Eating less meat is beneficial to all of us and to this precious world we live in, and unfortunately people tend to lose sight of this when they feel attacked for their choices. But if everyone went without meat for one day a week, or had one less meat-based meal per day, this would make a huge difference.

But don’t take my word for it, check out the Animals Australia Unleashed website for tips on making the switch, meal ideas and recipes, a list of vegetarian restaurants around Australia, and take the pledge!

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