How to lose the craving for meat

You went vegan or vegetarian - but now you start to crave meat all over again. The craving gets worse with each passing day. You don't want to quit, but you are suffering very much from the cravings. This happens to many people and eventually it led them to quitting. OR perhaps you want to go veg but can't give up meat. What can be done? Here are some tips.

1) See meat as what it really is.

Last time, while watching a video, there was this man who said how we will be horrified if we opened our fridges to find a human leg falling out. But if it was a chicken's leg, we will be thinking "delicious!". Why? Why is it like this? Why do we chew into one and get disgusted by the other? It's due to not seeing them clearly as they are.

A human leg is not very different from a chicken leg - it's made from the same carbohydrates, fats, proteins, nerves, capillaries, veins, arteries, layers of tissue and skin, muscle, bone, blood, tissue fluid, sweat, pus etc. - albeit different compositions of each. When you visualize meat in their respective compositions, as what it really is made up of, it can help you remove the craving for meat. Who wants to eat nerves, blood vessels and sweat?

This is the 1st method: Seeing meat as what they really are: in their respective compositions.

2) See meat as a decomposing lump from a rotting corpse
After an animal is killed, its body parts immediately start to decompose. It will help to know how decomposition works. In the whole decomposition process, you will find that some images really disgust you - say for my case it was the worms crawling under the skin. If someone were to cut out that area of wormy flesh and serve it to me, will I want it? Definitely not!

This is the 2nd method: Seeing meat as coming from a decomposing corpse.

3) See meat as having a face / facial features
We don't really see the faces of the animals we eat, nor do we see them in their whole body often. They are almost always turned into circles, squares, balls, cylinders, or crushed into bits or sliced. We don't see their whole organs, their eyeballs, their ears, their face etc. I remember when I was young I hate eating anchovies and prawns - I didn't want to eat them because I could see their eyes and was very disgusted by the intestine / shit inside them. I also cannot stand prawn with their legs still attached. Basically, they have to be turned into something unrecognizable as an animal before I will eat it.

If you are turn-off the way I was, from the prawns, anchovies, fish, or other seafood or small animals served whole, you can use this method. For larger animals, this method is not that useful, but can still work.

This is the 3rd method: Seeing meat with their original faces

4) Visualizing animal suffering and nurturing compassion
A lot of vegans stayed vegan because they nurture the compassion in them. When you see the meat, visualize the animal when it was still alive and the suffering and pain it went through and you can feel compassion arise. If you have compassion for the animal, you won't eat it's flesh.

This is the 4th method: Nurturing compassion by visualizing suffering

5) Transforming the thoughts of craving
We can only crave for something when we think about it. If we see or smell it, but don't continue thinking about it, we can't crave for the meat. Or when we are extremely busy with work, and only have thoughts of work, we don't have these cravings. Transforming the thoughts for meat into other subjects, like productive ideas and actions for promoting veganism can help.

This is the 5th method: Transforming the thoughts of craving

6) Avoiding garlics, onions, leeks, chives, scallions
This may be something that not a lot of people can do, due to the wide usage of these plants as flavouring foods. Without them, foods are blander. But it could help cravings if you try. Why avoid these foods? This is due to their strong pungent flavour which can mask the smell and taste from other foods including meat.

When you omit these in your diet, your sense of smell and taste sharpen and you can more easily tell the difference between non-vegetarian and vegetarian foods - say meat dishes won't smell or taste nice at all, there is a dull, unpalatable smell or taste to it. When you realize that the meat smells bad, naturally you will lose any taste for it.

This is the 6th method: Avoiding these 5 pungent flavouring plants.

I hope these methods of dealing with cravings will help you, and you will be able to continue on your vegetarian or vegan journey.
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