Thursday, September 9, 2010
Proud to be a Vegetarian
At first, I was reluctant to label myself. After all, if I went around calling myself a vegetarian and then decided I wanted some turkey on Thanksgiving, I just knew there would be people that said "So much for you being a vegetarian." After a month of no meat whatsoever, lots of research and lots of recipe experimentation, I am comfortable enough (and proud) to say I am a vegetarian.
Since the day I made the decision to stop eating animals, it's like a switch has been flipped. Sort of like all the things that I always wanted to do, I now feel like I am able to do. More on that later. Why did I decide to become a vegetarian you ask? Although I made the decision in a moment, I think it was actually something that was bound to happen sooner or later. All my life, I have gotten grossed out by eating meat. I would always need it to be very well done and I could never discuss the animal my food was coming from while I was eating. If the cow or the pig or the chicken was brought up in conversation, I would always lose my appetite, sometimes unable to even swallow the meat that was in my mouth. Even though I felt this way, something always stopped me from taking the leap and becoming a vegetarian. I was concerned about how I would get enough protein in my diet. I was worried that I would eat too many carbs. I thought my food shopping bill would go up (it has, but for other reasons...more on that later.)
So this "denial" about the food I was eating was how it was for many, many years. Then one day, Mark and I were food shopping, ironically at Meat Farms. We had filled our basket up with produce, cheese, juice and lots of other yummy stuff but we hadn't picked up any meat and we both knew that there was barely anything left in the fridge at home. We went to the meat section and looked around but nothing appealed to us. I turned to Mark and said "How about we stop eating meat?" He agreed. We decided to try it out for a week.
Since then, I can not read enough/watch enough/get enough information on being a vegetarian/eating organically/buying locally/animal rights and how all those things tie in to living an eco-friendly lifestyle. I have tried new foods, watched documentaries that made me think and changed lots of my habits to reflect a greener way of life. Now that I have finally made the lifestyle change that I think I was always meant to make, it seems like all the changes that seem like nuisances (like NEVER buying bottled water, using reusable bags and spending a bit more for organic dairy products) are now completely doable, if not necessary. I have lots more to say about these topics so I'll probably be posting a lot more in the future but I'll leave you with this: I look at my dog Gatsby, who I love as if he were a child that I gave birth to and I know that somewhere in the world, someone is eating a dog (yes, people eat dogs and dolphins and cats and lots of other animals that we love) and I know that I can never again eat another animal.