I Am Not a Vegetarian

National Headquarters  | January 21, 2020
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Op-Ed by Jan Wolf
Edited by Adriana DiBenedetto

Tzu Chi USA in partnership with Living the Change will be bringing you stories of real-life journeys and struggles in reducing our everyday impact on the climate. You’ll find these accounts inspired by honesty, sincerity, faith, a deep love for the Earth, and the desire to embrace compassion – the way Living the Change seeks to engage every individual.

I am not a vegetarian, but I have changed my diet and reduced my consumption of meat.

What really helped me to start on this path was an initiative by an NGO — the Albert Schweitzer Foundation — which invited me to participate in a voluntary Vegan Taste Week a few years ago. It’s a very well-designed campaign in collaboration with ProVeg, where I got beneficial hands-on advice every day to guide me through the week

I eventually failed to do one full week as a vegan, but I at least made one week as a vegetarian. The most difficult part for me was avoiding milk and other dairy products. Vegan milk replacements tasted quite different and were more expensive. 

One beneficial change I have made, however, is that I’ve reduced meat consumption when I eat out by asking for more vegetables and less meat when I order, and more often, I decide to order a vegetarian option.

What motivates me is the science behind it, such as the Eat Lancet Report, which makes it clear that reducing meat is good for your health, the environment, and of course for animals, too.

For me, it is hard to go vegetarian completely, as I am so accustomed to certain things which I enjoy a lot, so at this point, all I can do is reduce, but not refuse entirely.

Learn more about Ethical Eating Day and Living the Change to see how you can make a difference.

Jn Wolf– Contributor

Jan Wolf is a Tzu Chi Volunteer from Frankfurt Germany. Jan has been involved in disaster relief activities in several European countries and is engaged in Tzu Chi’s global activities with the United Nations focusing on environmental protection and climate change.

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