• Sumo

Making the choice to become a vegetarian is not one that should be made lightly. It’s not the most difficult life change you could possibly make, but it’s certainly not an easy one. After deciding to cut out meat or even to go full vegan, there’s an odd time period where you’ll flip back and forth between excitement for your new life and disappointment that it’s not your old life, but eventually you’ll shift fully toward one option of the two. That’s why celebrating your commitment is so important. Why is that exactly? Let’s discuss.

People enjoy eating for a wide variety of options. Naturally you have the need to stay alive, which is always nice, but then you get to more personal reasons like the need to eat when bored, the need to eat when depressed, the need to eat when the TV is on, etc. For me, I most enjoy eating when I’m with a friend or a group of friends at a restaurant or someone’s house and food has become an event. I enjoy the community aspect of food more than the food itself (sometimes), so for me, finding that positive feeling is important with my food.

This relates to vegetarianism in that by associating the diet and the food with something immensely positive to us specifically (good time with loved-ones), we have a greater positive feeling all around for the diet itself and our reasons behind it. Just staying consistent with a diet is great, but then what do you either lose or gain every year or every week or what have you when you either keep up with it or fall off the wagon? There’s little incentive either way beyond the obvious though less noticeable feelings.

Let me explain that a bit more there. People are naturally inclined to do things that bring them personal fulfillment in some way and specifically love outward recognition for this. They like to see something tangible for their work or sacrifice, otherwise it may be difficult to really feel worth it in the first place. Sure, a good deed’s reward is having done a good deed, I get that, but how many people actually follow that logic?

But I’m not saying that’s a bad thing! No, the point I’m making is that for many vegetarians, the reasons for the diet may be to eat healthier, save animals, and help the environment, but those things are actually pretty difficult to quantify with a noticeable difference on the outside, even the healthy eating part. Not eating an animal doesn’t reward you with more bunnies hopping by your door every week, helping the environment doesn’t eliminate a rainy day from your weekend, and even eating healthier doesn’t give you special powers. All of those reasons are good, but we want a reward, it’s just how we’re built as humans.

Enter the celebratory anniversary of becoming and staying vegetarian/vegan/whatever. This adds in a definite reward that can be seen, experienced, and referenced as time goes by. You ask any vegetarian or vegan and I will guarantee that they can tell you almost to the exact day how long they’ve lived that lifestyle. This isn’t necessarily just a means of being smug (in some cases, sure). Rather, this is genuine enjoyment from knowing when a life changing event took place and celebrating the continuation of this change. That’s absolutely a positive!

So there you have it, the reason behind celebrating the day you become a vegetarian. It’s important to remind yourself how far you’ve come and how great it’s been, but it’s also important to just get a reward now and then for something that doesn’t inherently have a reward you can see. How many of you celebrate your veg day? And how do you do it? Leave a comment and let us know! It may even help us know how better to celebrate for ourselves!