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July 4th is Independence from Meat Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then get ready to be liberated because it's Independence from Meat Day!  Give your grill a break this Fourth of July!  Let's get right into celebrating Independence from Meat Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

Well, this holiday was actually set up by the Vegetarian Awareness Network in Tennessee and it seems that they timed things perfectly. You see, today is also National Barbeque Day which is perfect for most people on the Fourth of July, so there's a bit of rivalry going on there. But obviously they want people to step away from the meat at least one day out of the year, even if it is a day when a ton of meat is usually eaten.  And personally, I'm a big meat eater but it never hurts to try something new, right? Plus a lot of us probably eat too much meat as is. A healthy diet is all about balance and if trying new, non-meat dishes today can help bring some balance back to your eating habits then go for it! You might find a new recipe that you love and can start lowering the amount of meat you eat on a regular basis. Or you just might switch teams and go the way of the vegetarian or vegan.  So what can you eat instead of meat? There is seitan, which is wheat gluten, and you can always eat some beans (if you didn't eat too many yesterday ;)). And you can also try out a variety of soy products like tempeh (from Indonesia), tofu or even a soy paste. If you cook it right, you may not miss meat that much... but I'm sure you'll be able to tell the difference.   So let a few more animals live today and explore some new recipes!

HOW TO CELEBRATE 

So, how can you celebrate today?  Well, all you really have to do is avoid eating meat all day. So look at what you normally eat and try to come up with substitutions. If you have any vegetarian or vegan friends I'm sure they'd be happy to give you some ideas and might even cook for you. People love seeing their friends try new things and being open to a way of life that's unlike their own. So it really shouldn't be hard for you to make it through today, as you'll have plenty of suggestions whether online or in person.  You can even head to a site like VegDining.com and check out vegetarian restaurants and stores in your area. I'm looking at my area and it looks like they recommend Chipotle, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, Pei Wei Asian Diner and Jamba Juice to name a few places I'm familiar with. Of course it's still up to you to choose the vegetarian meals and ingredients, but this lets you know which places even offer vegetarian options.  And if you have a bunch of vegetarian and vegan friends then why don't you have a little competition today? Let them know that you're on a hunt to find some of the best vegetarian meals with ingredients that are almost impossible to tell from real meat. Then have your friends make a bunch of different things for you to sample. Try them one by one and see who...
1. Is the best cook and...
2. Has a recipe that truly tastes like it has meat in it.
The winner gets the pride of knowing they're awesome and you just found a recipe you can eat anytime you don't want to eat meat.  Have a great day you meatless eaters!





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