The idea of becoming a vegetarian has been percolating for some time now. A few years back, I watched a documentary on HBO about how pigs were (mis)treated and slaughtered. I cried my way through it and vowed I would stop contributing to this cruelness by cutting meat out of my diet.
The next day I had bacon for breakfast.
I have continued to resolutely ignore everything that I learned, and already knew, for some time about how animals are treated. Oh sure, I’ve been on the stop animal cruelty bandwagon where dogs and cats and bunnies and ferrets are concerned. I’ve touted SPAY/NEUTER! and ADOPT! and RESCUE! At the same time, I was chowing hamburgers and completely ignoring the voice in my head whispering that if I was really an animal lover, it would mean making a scary change; that I need to feel the same empathy and concern for cows and pigs and fish as I do for the “cute” animals. (btw, I think cows are pretty adorable.) Finally, I’ve hit the wall. Finally, I’m at the point where the cries I hear in my head from these animals treated with such cruelty is drowning out the “need meat, me meat-eater” voice.
I’ve decided that, initially at least, I’m going to be a lacto-vegetarian, which means no meat or eggs but I’ll still consume dairy. My hope is that eventually, I’ll lose the lacto, and maybe even make it to vegan. But right now, I don’t know what to expect. There’s so much I have to learn, like what ingredients in foods do I need to avoid so I don’t eat animal by-products? What are the best nuts to eat? Can green beans count as a nutritious veggie? I’m visiting the websites and trying to grasp as much as I can, but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. That isn’t, however, dampening my determination. As resolved as I was previously to ignoring the suffering of these animals, I am now resolute in my desire to not contribute to their death.
Let me be clear here: I am NOT judging other people’s choices. The last thing I want is to be holier than thou. We all walk our own path and that’s how it should be. No, this isn’t about other people — this is about me, and my need to be able to look in the mirror with a clear conscience and know I am genuinely trying to make a difference. And this includes more than food; I’ve also been switching to greener products when I can (toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, cleaning supplies, recycled TP and paper towels and notebooks, etc.). I feel like I’m taking the first steps on my journey to become who I want to be.
Young me, the girl who believed making the world a better place was possible, would be very happy about this. That tells me I’m on the right path.
(Still, please wish me luck, lol.)
♥ ♥ ♥