I am a vegetarian. Good Luck
When one usually takes the first steps of a journey of a lifetime, one would naturally say that it could change their lifestyle, forever. While there are people raised not to consume what some see as a necessity, others make the decision to become pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan. This decision is one that receives a lot of “good luck” responses. It is great to welcome them warmly, but it is okay to admit it raised some confusion. Why would you ever need luck? Honestly some of the responses are quite hysterical.
The lovely siblings of mine are, well, typical siblings about it. My eldest brother always says that it is a phase. His other half, his girlfriend, consistently asked when I return home, “Are you still vegetarian?” The second eldest brother is very silly and forever jokes about me no longer consuming meat or fish. My little sister consistently teased. They do this all in fun and a loving spirit and I couldn’t imagine them responding any other way.
My mom is super supportive and makes sure that I am still receiving my proper nutrients with vitamins and food group substitutes. She told the rest of my family while they were preparing for a grand family dinner. My grandmother said, “Oh Lord! Not another one!” She was referring to my aunt who is pescatarian.
My friends are by far the most entertaining. The ones who I haven’t seen in a while always look at me as if I, my self, am green and asked, since when?
My favorite response was from my friend from campus how added to his since when, “Sit down and let me smack you in the face with a plate of ribs!”
While the responses were some for the books, my journey to get there was quiet serious, emotional and spiritual.
For about two years I have attempted to cut red meat out of my diet. My self-discipline only allowed pork to be cut out, well for the most part. I would fall to temptation and end up consuming a burger regularly, and when I did, my body did not agree with the intake. I found that cutting out meat, cold turkey, with the help of prayer and others questioning my values, is much easier than attempting to wean off slowly but shortly.
When telling friends and family, while planning any meal or snack, would the questions raised of why. The why is the most important thing and a story that I love to tell.
Millions of animals go through a cruel process of inhumane treatment to feed our hunger. Some are still alive while going through the processes. Cows are sent a shock that intends for them to be knocked unconscious but alive while going through slaughter. Unfortunately, there are some who wake before dead and feel all of the pain that is not meant for any living being to feel. Dozens of chickens are packed into cages so tightly that they can not even fathom the thought to spread their wings even if their lives depended on it. Many die in the cage due to suffocation by fellow chickens on death row. Chickens, if free, along with turkeys are feed very little and have to fight for food. The ones who survive the fights are injected with toxins to maximize the growth. Millions grow so large that their legs can not bear the weight and collapse. Many are trampled to death and suffer a long painful death.
At any point that I am asked, I enjoy informing people of the unnecessary cruelty that is put onto each dinner plate.
Many people who chose to adapt the new lifestyles for health and environmental reasoning also think about how compassionate they are. I decided to become vegetarian because of the cruelty that the animals go through. This decision actually allowed me to become closer to God.
On Dec. 26, 2011 a GoVeg commercial by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals captured my attention and moved me beyond measure. The commercial had people going about their normal days with blood dripping from the bags and items of products produced by animals. My stomach grew into a knot, my eyes couldn’t leave the screen, and I heard the voice of my friend ask, ”You say you don’t buy fur and leather and other stuff because it’s animal, but your eating a bacon cheeseburger.”
At that moment, I didn’t have anything else to do except pray. It was one of the most simple prayers I have ever said and the exact opposite of grace. I simply asked God to remove the taste of meat from off my tounge if it was meant for me to vegetarian.
I have not touched a single piece of animal based food since. I have found that it is apart of the complete package of the lifestyle that I have learned that I desire to live. My fellow vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian and simply animal-loving friends are making my journey a lot easier and plenty of fun.
I must say that it is one of the most rewarding feelings that I have ever experienced!