I am a vegetarian/mostly vegan. I do eat organic eggs once in a while and if I’m out and see an interesting dish with a bit of cheese or dairy in it I may decide to go for it. But on a normal day, I’m a vegan.
I became a vegetarian as a child for one reason. I grew up in farm country and used to love stopping at the side of the road to see cows, sheep and horses. We had chickens that laid eggs and we fostered baby animals that needed a helping hand to get them out into the wild.
In grade 3, a teacher thought it would be a good idea to take this group of 8 year olds to a slaughter house. I’ve never really dug back to find out why they thought it was a good idea, but that was the day I started battling with my parents about eating meat. The day I left the house at 15 years old, was the day I became a vegetarian for good.
I became a vegan as an adult for a few reasons:
If you’re feeling brave today – you’ll click the links and find out more. I understand how difficult that is. For me, it was really about wanting to live a life where I’m not responsible for contributing to suffering and to outright cruelty and like my views on consumerism, I couldn’t justify contributing to an industry so blatantly bad for the environment and the overall degradation of the human psyche and of the planet. I also believe most of us feel the same way, and would take the same path, if we cared enough to look at the facts.
I’ve had people tell me I can’t be a vegetarian, that I need protein - people not as healthy as me. I’ve been excluded from family gatherings because they were BBQs and ‘what would I eat?’ and every year at this time I’m bombarded by questions about how and why. I’ll tell you honestly, I am not a militant vegan at all. I have never started a conversation about veganism with anyone. This is my first blog on the topic and I’ve been blogging regularly for 2 years.
Meat eaters are generally uncomfortable around vegans. So for that reason – I’ll share this last link to a comprehensive article for vegans and vegetarians as we enter the holiday season.
It’s always good to have an answer in your back pocket (and maybe a carrot stick or 2) at this time of year!
As I tell everyone who asks me about my diet, I see it as a personal choice and I understand the temptation to eat meat. It smells amazing, it’s packaged in a way that removes for us any connection to what it actually is and how it got so clean and purchasable in that styrofoam tray. It’s also a very difficult choice for someone to make and sustain when people in their lives question them continuously for making it.
May the graces of courage, insight and compassion be bestowed upon us.