Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy. – Pope Francis
I’m not religious and I don’t normally observe lent (and when I do, I usually cave within a week) but this year I’m doing something which I’ve been wanting to do anyway, so hopefully I’ll see it through to the end (and beyond). Even though it’s possible to make a lifestyle change whenever you feel like it, I quite like the idea of starting at a designated time, especially since lent is seen as a time for renewal. The first benefit I’ve noticed is that my housemate and my mum are both doing the same thing at the same time, so it won’t only be something for me personally but it will be something to share with them. Since it’s meat that we’re giving up, I’m really looking forward to cooking and eating together, trying out new recipes and finding and recommending things we like.
I’m not planning to be permanently vegetarian, but even after lent finishes I hope to cut down substantially on meat and animal products. It will be challenging, I do eat meat almost every day but I think the hardest part will be consistently cooking interesting, varied and satisfying meals (especially ones that will keep my non-veggie boyfriend happy), but I just can’t see myself missing meat all that much and dying for a bacon cheese burger by the time lent is up.
It’s not only the horrific things that go on in the meat and dairy industry that push me towards vegetarianism – it’s partly that, but I also believe it is a healthy choice as well as an ethical one. On top of that, I can’t help but find vegetarian food irresistible. Going into a butcher’s shop doesn’t exactly tempt you to buy, but seeing fresh, colourful fruit and vegetables on a market stall? If only there was more room in my fridge.