*As a side note, I had originally decided to become a vegetarian at this point in my life because I felt I was at a good point, and mostly because I had very little meat in house, and it was close to my normal monthly grocery shopping. It’s purely coincidental that it’s happening right at Lent. I think it’s kind of funny, so I guess I’m killing two birds with one stone!*
I’m becoming a vegetarian.
I’ve been seriously considering this for a solid year now (and most of my past) but I want to announce that I am finally following through and becoming vegetarian. Right now it’s up in the air about whether I will start as a pescatarian (only eating fish) for now, so that it’s easier when I go to restaurants, and easier to transition. I hardly eat fish now (I have some frozen shrimp in the freezer, and have some tuna cans, but unless I’m in Florida I don’t eat it nor prepare it. Even most of the time I go to sushi I eat vegetarian sushi).
In middle school I became a semi-vegetarian, not eating red meat or pork. For a year in that duration – that lasted till I returned to Brevard in 2005 – I didn’t eat chicken (I gave it up for Lent and it stuck). When I did it before it was purely for a dietary reason. I felt it would be a better lifestyle to get it out of my diet. It helped a lot, but when I started back at Brevard, where they had drastically limited the vegetarian options, I caved and went back (the super omelet/stir fry bar that was most of my meals was taken away). I don’t really eat that much red meat now, and because of those 8ish years I have grown to love meat substitutes (both packaged and recipe) and normally if there is a vegetarian option at a restaurant that’s just not vegetables thrown on the plate I will choose it because I like it. Over the past couple of months my meat intake has drastically been reduced down and now I probably eat meat about 3-4 times a week, at the most.
I have decided to become vegetarian this time around not only because it helps me be healthier, but also that of ethics in the meat industry. I don’t mind if someone eats meat, this is purely a personal choice. I believe that we were created to be able to eat meat and use it as a main intake of the nutrients we need, what I do mind is how industrialized and horrible the meat industry has gotten. I’ve done massive research on the subject, and have been consistently disappointed in the food that I eat, and feel that I can not trust what happens in the production, whether it be the way the animal was raised, to what it was fed or injected with. I can’t even really guarantee “organic” meats unless it is coming from a farm where I know the farmer, which is a leading factor in this decision.
There is no excuse for what we have done to the meat industry and the cruelty that we put these animals in on their time here on earth. I’m not a PETA enthusiast, nor do I even condone almost all of their strategies, but I do feel that I can not morally eat something when I know how it had to live an outrageously, unnecessary life for me. Another added issue is the massive environmental impact mass production of animals have. I feel that all around, in my life, this is the right decision for me.
It won’t be easy, but I know it can be done. I stopped eating meat once, and I feel that I have sufficiently reduced the meat intake for long enough that it will be an easy transition for me. I will mess up, I will cave (mostly when eating out), but that’s ok. It’s a learning process that will only improve in time.
I had chicken in my salad today at lunch, this being the last of meat I have in the house. I’ve been working on trying to slowly replace all of my meat and not buy more for a while now so that I won’t have to waste food and money.
And one quick note on soy products and dairy, I understand that they are not the best, but I do enjoy them, and don’t have the time, money, skill, or equipment to make a lot of it on my own. Maybe someday I will be at a point in my life where I can stop eating those, but those days are not for a while. I only buy organic dairy, and I know that it is just as bad for the animal, but as I said, this is a slow learning curve that I hope maybe someday I can also get out of my life. Right now I mainly drink rice or soymilk, so that only time I eat dairy is in the form of cheeses, yogurts, and butters.
If you have stumbled upon my blog and have any experiences you have had with any sort of vegetarian lifestyle, let me know! I love hearing other’s opinions, and tips.