Much of the time, people turn away from a vegetarian diet because they begin to fear that if they give up meat, they won’t have anything left to eat. The fear of losing something you enjoy is a realistic one, but the fear that by cutting meat out of your diet you’ll be cutting out everything you ever enjoyed eating is just absolutely silly. The truth of the matter is, just because you’re giving up meat doesn’t mean you’re giving up everything. It’s time to take a second and make a list of the meatless foods you already like.

Let’s start at breakfast, shall we? I mean, it’s the first meal of the day and some would argue that it’s the most important. So you have your cereal. Hmm, there’s no meat in any cereal I ever ate… In fact, I’ve looked up and down the cereal aisle and while I’ve found quite a bit of sugar, I haven’t seen a single box of Meaty-Os or Steak Crunchies or Pork and Sausage Charms. So looks like your cereal is safe. Toast? Well that’s just bread and butter and/or jam. Glass of milk? Glass of orange juice? Cup of coffee? All without meat. Pancakes, waffles, crepes? Those all go best with fruit and syrup, none of which requires meat. Eggs, also, don’t technically contain meat, so what are you missing? Naturally, bacon is the clencher here, but fortunately for us there are bacon substitutes and replacements, such as coconut bacon.

It appears that breakfast is pretty safe, but what of lunch? I’m a big snacker during lunch and find sandwiches to be a vital part of my meal. A sandwich involves pretty much anything that you can eat being stuffed between two loaves of bread, or wrapped up between a tortilla if that’s more your thing. But a sandwich doesn’t require meat to be tasty! I’ve enjoyed a simple cheese sandwich many days, or a much more elaborate hummus, spinach, and sun dried tomato wrap. Actually, let’s go back to hummus there for a moment and remember how delicious and meat-free it is with some crackers or pita chips. Oh, and chips of all kinds seem to get by without meat. Most bagged snack food tends to be free of animals, save for pork rinds of course. That means your Cheetos, Doritos, Fritos, Funions, pretzels, crackers, chips, and popcorn are all safe from the great meat cleansing. Scared yet?

Well, dinner is where meat usually takes center stage, so it’s rightfully the make-or-break point for a lot of people. Hamburgers, hotdogs, steaks, porkchops, meatloaf, the list just keeps going. Except there are meatless options for all of those. You can eat a gardenburger. You can get a tofu hotdog. You can even grill a tofu steak. Soy-based products are miraculous in their ability to mimic just about everything, so any big meat dish you think you can’t live without, well you have substitutes to help you out. Otherwise, soups? Most of those don’t require meat at all. Pasta also doesn’t see meat as a necessity. Mexican foods? You can nix the meat no problem. Indian dishes? Even easier. Chinese? You may have to part with your orange chicken but the majority of Chinese dishes are pan-fried noodles, fried rice, and stir-fry vegetables.

Oh, but then we come to dessert, the last safe-haven for many people. Ice cream, cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, chocolate bars, pudding, on and on and none of these items have meat in them. Looking back over a day, it appears that you aren’t losing much of anything. And if you already like a variety of fruits and vegetables, well congrats because those don’t have any meat in them! Anyone can become a vegetarian, but you do have to sit down and make the decision. It can seem scary to give up meat, but you’ll discover very quickly after looking things over that meat doesn’t need to play such a big part in your mind. Your life won’t actually change that much, and no one’s asking you to become vegan immediately. Give the vegetarian lifestyle a try and then we’ll work later on convincing you to lose the eggs and dairy, too, though day is not today!