I'd like to start by explaining that I decided to go vegetarian back in late December 2015 purely for my love of animals and the benefits my new actions would have on the environment. Now I'm definitely not going to sit here and lecture you on the facts and figures or the benefits of becoming vegetarian or - in actual fact - tell you what to do in any way. That's a pet peeve of mine. It is not my place to make anyone feel guilty (or anything at all) for eating meat, I'm not sure who would have the authority to do that actually, but I do just want to keep a note of my experience of being vegetarian for one year just for myself as a somewhat diary entry and hopefully someone would find it enjoyable to read. The biggest thing I have noticed about becoming vegetarian is that I, and the people in my life are so much more aware of food now. Whether that's coming into university in the morning and my friends asking me what I had for dinner the night before, or deciding where to eat for a dinner and drinks occasion, or simply my mum's weekly food shop. Everyone around me shows an interest in what I eat and a lot of the time we're all amazed at how simple it is to be vegetarian. That was 100% my biggest worry when I made the decision - what if I couldn't find good, tasty food to eat and I ended up missing meat? But in the last year, my knowledge on vegetarian food (quinoa?!) has increased dramatically, and how simple it is to find food at supermarkets/restaurants that even have my friends and family wanting to try a bit. I'm quite lucky that I'm not the only one in my social group/family to be a vegetarian so I'm never really a hassle to cater for at dinner parties and special occasions, even my granny said to me at Christmas that "the shops really do make things for people like you these days, don't they?!" (you can always count on your gran to make you feel like a leper hahah!). But it's true, there's more options becoming available for us veggies all the time. Just look at the veggie burger for example! The most non-vegetarian meal out there, i.e. a burger patty, has been tweaked! Speaking of which, veggie burgers are my go-to meal when I go to a restaurant, I like to think of myself as a connoisseur these days. (Just a wee joke, don't ask me my favourite, I could never pick.) Of course knowing, not in any detail of course, that the reasons I became vegetarian are really doing some good makes me feel really happy too! But most importantly, it's peaking the interests of people around me and making them that slight bit more conscious of what they're eating and exposing the readiness of good nutritious food, not even necessarily vegetarian food!, that's available to them.

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