I have been a true vegetarian twice in my life. The first time, I was 11. It was more for ‘political’ reasons then, if you will. I realized that hamburger was ground-up innocent cows, and I decided that in a protest against such cruelty, I would no longer consume it or any other meat from any other animal. It lasted for a couple of years until one day when my Mom left me alone as she often did and there was nothing in the house but bologna. That round slab of mystery meat was the end of my first vegetarian days.
The next time I became a vegetarian was right around the time my son was born, in September of this year. Meat made me hurl every time I even thought about it while I was pregnant. I hardly ate any meat most of my pregnancy, and started eating other proteins like seeds and beans. I started reading about natural health, which lead me to read about meat consumption, which lead me to watch food documentaries, which lead me to become a vegetarian once more. I couldn’t have made a better decision and here’s why:
- I do not enjoy meat. Even when I ate meat for years, I would always have to ‘hide’ the meat in something else. I would mix it in with pasta or cover it with my mashed potatoes. I didn’t like how it looked, and didn’t much enjoy the taste. My main reason for consuming it was only to have a source of protein.
- I don’t trust meat. I don’t trust the source and I don’t trust the hormones and antibiotics. I especially don’t trust that it won’t somehow make me sick.
- It’s easier to eat healthier when I don’t eat meat. I stopped eating fast food months ago, but when I’ve thought about stopping somewhere like Subway when I was running late, that idea is quickly shot down when I think about the facts that A) I don’t eat meat and B) fast food chains don’t use organic produce what-so-ever.
- It was a natural progression. I started my path to natural and healthy living by deciding to buy organic. I started out by buying organic products I already used and realized that many foods and goods that I purchased were a waste, costing me money I didn’t have. I cut back on convenience foods, then cut back on milk (almost entirely eventually), then cut out meat. It’s easy to cut certain things out of my diet when I research how they can affect my health.
- It still feels like the right thing for my body. I feel different. I feel healthier. I probably eat more protein now than I did when I consumed meat, anyhow since I am no longer avoiding protein. I am more creative with my meals, incorporating healthy ingredients that I once would have never thought of. It’s a truly amazing journey thus far.
Are you vegetarian/vegan? What are your reasons for consuming meat or for not consuming meat?