It’s been one month since I stopped eating meat. I didn’t exactly intend to do this, although I’d given it a lot of thought. I don’t think the commercialization of the meat industry is at all ethical. I haven’t seen EARTHLINGS – I’m not sure if I could make it through the video. What I have seen is enough for me. I’ve done my research and concluded that it’s healthier to be a vegetarian than to not, provided you do it right, and now I have one month of experience to back that up. I have nothing against people who do eat meat, I just think that “because you can” is not a good justification for actually doing something, unless that something is skydiving. I’ve also never gone skydiving.
I feel good. For the first week I was hungry all the time, but not hungry in a weak way. I wasn’t lacking energy or sustenance. I felt perfectly energized and capable of going throughout my day. I just wasn’t used to not stuffing myself with grease and dead flesh, which pretty much made up my diet prior to switching to vegetarianism. I was full-on vegan for about a week but had to eat eggs a few times or else go a whole day without eating anything. What can you do. I don’t deliberately eat animal by-products unless I have to, and I’m cutting back on them. I guess you could say I’m half-vegan, but I don’t like being half-something. For the same reason I don’t consider myself a comic book fan. I love comic books, but it would be insulting to actual comic book fans to try group myself in with them with my very, very limited knowledge of them. So for now, I’m vegetarian with a curiosity to try being vegan for a little while. Labels are silly.
It’s not hard though, actually other than having to go to the supermarket all the time to buy fresh food, it’s really easy. It takes about two weeks to forget about meat. I don’t even miss it. Sometimes I crave a hamburger, but really, I’m just hungry. Grab an apple, craving goes away. Simple as that. I feel like I’ve accomplished something although I’m not sure how exactly this counts as an accomplishment, but I’ll take it. Look at me, doing stuff.
For the most part, people don’t understand why I’m doing this. My fellow vegetarians get it, completely. I don’t even have to give them my reasons, they’re just on board. That’s cool. Others? Not so much. They question, and don’t understand my answers. As a writer you develop a pretty thick skin towards criticism really fast, so this hasn’t been any more difficult for me than fielding off criticism on my work. I mean it also helps to be extremely arrogant and self-conceited but hey, that goes along with the territory, right? Right???
The facts remain the facts, however. Who are we, as humans, to torture animals, to essentially manufacture them into a life of pain and endless discomfort and terror just so we can excuse our laziness? We are, after all, animals ourselves. Gorillas don’t eat meat. Most animals don’t eat meat, actually. The animals that do eat meat also smell each other’s butts and kill their children so don’t try that trick on me. I mean if you’re living in a situation where you can either eat another animal or not eat at all, then by all means, eat what you need to. You’re probably doing it in a pretty humane way already. Most likely you don’t torture your supper at all. That is not the case for most of us in the western world. You don’t want to know what goes on in slaughterhouses, but maybe you ought to. In no possible way is any of this justifiable.
Ethically, I don’t eat animals. The benefits go far beyond just that. I feel healthier, more aware of the world I live in, I’ve gained a new respect for animals, and I think I’ve even become a better cook. That one I didn’t expect. I thought this would limit my cooking, but it hasn’t. I’ve gotten better at understanding what sorts of foods go together, how complementary tastes work, how to prepare a balanced meal, and how to try new things. I even like spinach now. *mind explodes*
Sure, it can be inconvenient. It sort of sucks to walk by someone barbecuing and not being able to do that as well, but why eat hamburgers when you can eat mushroom burgers instead? Seriously, mushrooms are the best. You know what else is good? Eggplant. And have you ever really, I mean really tasted a fresh apple and appreciated the flavour? Meat is really dull and bland. We have to decorate our hamburger with all sorts of spices, condiments, vegetables (that’s your cue, by the way, when you have to put fresh produce on your food to make it bearable, that perhaps all you really needed in the first place was the fresh produce), and bread. Nuts are a great snack too. Berries make wonderful breakfasts. So does grain and dried fruit cereal with almond milk.
There’s just so much food out there that’s truly delicious that we ignore because it’s more “convenient” to go to MacDonald’s or order pizza. Nothing against pizza, and vegetarian pizza is also good, even without cheese, if you load it up and don’t discriminate against vegetables you once thought were gross.
This isn’t an anti-meat post. It’s your body and you can put what you want into it. Just be aware. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is bliss at someone else’s expense.