This is a bit of a different post for me. I usually focus on grooming or lifestyle, however this blog is going to be a bit more personal. Take a seat though, because it’s a lengthy one.
For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I don’t eat meat. Now this isn’t something that has been super straightforward, and my decision to stop eating meat happened earlier this year. But what you might not know, is that I’ve actually not eaten meat, longer than I’ve eaten it. Let me explain…
I first stopped eating meat when I was 12. Yes, 12 years old! It seems crazy that someone that young could actually make a decision to cut out such a big part of their diet. I remember firmly when it began. I was in school, with a friend who had been a vegetarian for a year or so, and she made a comment that I wouldn’t be able to do what she does. This may be a ridiculously stubborn part of my character, but I decided to cut out meat just to prove people wrong. Sounds ridiculous, right?
The plot thickens when I started struggling with not being able to eat some of my favourite foods. I began to research the meat industry, and what happens to animals before it lands on your plate. Let’s just say, it’s not pretty. It put me off completely and I firmly cut out any meat from my diet.
Now, I’d not eaten meat for around 7 years, but for some reason, I started craving it again. If anyone reading this doesn’t eat meat, you’ll know that after a couple of weeks you actually forget what it tastes like and all cravings go. I’d found myself at university, surrounded by people who ate meat, who would cook meals with each other, and who thought it necessary to pressure me into eating meat. A lot of things started playing on my mind, the cravings came back, and to cut a long story short, I started eating meat again.
It wasn’t that straightforward though. I remember the first time I tried meat after not having it for so long, and to be completely honest, it wasn’t great. It made me feel physically sick and it felt wrong. However the damage had been done, and I couldn’t go back now. For the years to come I found it convenient to eat meat again, I went travelling and didn’t have to worry about it, but something still didn’t feel right. I couldn’t actually have conversations about animal-cruelty and my feelings on the cause because it almost felt hypocritical.
This brings us onto this year. I’d been playing with the idea of not eating meat again, but just struggled to stick to it. Then one night, after a couple of glasses (bottles) of wine, it dawned on me that I wasn’t okay with the principle of eating meat. Being fully transparent here, I got upset. In a drunken state, I made a vow to not eat meat, and I’ve stuck to it ever since.
The question I asked myself time and time again, was whether I would be able to kill my own food to eat it. With the answer being no, I didn’t think it right to go down that route. Tie that in with the fact that it’s quite frankly cruel to eat meat, I’m not going to look back.
You might be asking yourself ‘why are you telling me this‘? Well, the reason is because when people ask how long I’ve been vegetarian for, ‘5 months’ doesn’t seem like a good enough answer. Yeah, there was a bump in the road, but I’m back on track. There was almost a slight shame when I stopped eating meat, as if I didn’t want to be judged for being ‘the fussy eater’. But y’know what, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
I’m happier, healthier and feel generally better about myself for not eating meat. Now this isn’t me trying to convince anyone else to go vegetarian, or to ever push my views on anyone, because I firmly believe that you need to do what’s best for you. I don’t eat meat because I think it’s wrong, for me. What I want to get across is that it doesn’t matter whether you eat meat or you don’t, or whether you only support ‘Meat-Free Mondays’, what matters is that you’re doing what’s best for you.
It’s personal for me because of the higher cause, animal cruelty. I’m totally against any harm to animals which stems onto why I don’t eat meat. I don’t think it’s right that I could be so passionate about harm not being done to dogs, horses, monkeys, or any other animal. Yet I would still be supporting the slaughter of cows, chickens and pigs. Each to their own though, I know everyone has different views on this.
No one should ever be ashamed of not eating meat, I realise this now. Some people might find it silly, or ridiculous. But I know the benefits my diet choice has on animal agriculture and the how it helps toward stopping animal cruelty, and I’m proud of that.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. Don’t forget to tweet me @HisHabits.