Friday, September 27, 2013

The Beginning

If you would have told me a few months ago that I would start a blog chronicling my journey towards vegetarianism/veganism, I would laugh in your face.  I loved meat!  Deviled eggs are my specialty at family gatherings!  Brazilian steakhouse, yum!  Japanese hibachi, delicious!  But everything's changed.

One day in late August 2013, my sister texted me that she was watching a documentary on Netflix and it may turn her vegetarian (again). I wrote back something like, "Really?! Wow! That's intense," or another equally lame sentiment. I had the documentary "Forks Over Knives" in my Netflix queue for months and hadn't had the chance to watch yet.

I watched Forks Over Knives and then went straight to Vegucated. Then I started and finished "Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows" in over a day. Feeling rather ill, I contemplated the amount of suffering and pain I had been inflicting upon animals each year just because they're yummy.

Those couple days changed everything for me.

My husband and I adopted two awesome and adorable pittie mixes last year. We love them so much and treat them just like our little kids. After watching the suffering animals go through during the slaughter process, I couldn't stand to think about eating meat. I just kept thinking about my sweet pooches and how all animals feel pain and want to live, not die.

Since then, I haven't eaten meat. I started leaving more and more dairy out of my meals about two weeks ago and have slowly phased out things like cheese and eggs, which took a few weeks because I love eggs.

I haven't labeled myself as "vegetarian" or "vegan" because I've only stopped eating meat recently. I also feel like labels can be confusing and restrictive.
So for now, I am focusing on eating a healthy, whole foods, plant-based diet.  It's working for me and I feel better both mentally and physically.  At least I know that my own dietary choices are harming animals less (I'm a realist and understand that everything is connected to everything and I'm not totally off the hook) and that I am doing things in a way that makes me feel better.

Why have I switched from the messy carnivore I was towards a clean-eating, animal product-free consumer?  Here are my reasons:
- I was shocked by the reality of suffering animals go through during slaughter.  I don't want to be a part of that anymore.
- I was also shocked to learn about how the amount of meat I was eating could actually be affecting my health in a drastic way.  (Deep down, I knew these two things already but probably tried to block it all in my mind.)
- I am training for a half marathon and looking to eat healthy and get into very healthy lifestyle habits (I've tried before and done well only to fall back into unhealthy routines).

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly for me right now, I believe in the kind treatment of all animals and people.  Ethically and morally, I don't believe anyone or anything should ever suffer for my benefit. Eating this way brings my ethics and practice more into alignment and I feel good about that.

Here's to a happy journey!

*I do not judge ANYONE for their dietary choices. This is simply my own journey and gleanings from researching the world of healthy eating sans animal products.

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