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Vegetarianism | The first month and why I made the change

10 June 2017 | Post A Comment

My whole life I have loved eating meat. I am a huge fan of a roast dinner on a Sunday and steak is my favourite option when eating out. Family meals whilst growing up have always centred around meat and it's been difficult to think of any other way of eating.

But as the years have gone on I have also slowly grown an unease around eating meat. I started to feel really uncomfortable thinking about the obvious double standards our culture lives with. There was national outrage at the possibility of horse meat being found in certain burgers and yet this nation eats 2.6 million cows a year. British society is disgusted by cultures where it is normal to eat guinea pig or dog without even questioning our killing of pigs, sheep and chickens for food. Simply because we have been conditioned into thinking that some animal's lives are more important than others. 

It is not uncommon for a shocking fact to slip into the awareness of a typical meat eater through social media or a campaign on the level of cruelty to animals leading up to slaughter. We hear the reasons people chose not to eat meat and disregard them with opinions that are not researched or based on fact. We have all caught a glimpse of an animal activist film showing the real cruelty of a slaughter house in a way that is almost impossible to ignore. 

But most of us do ignore it. I ignored it. Because eating meat is easier, it's what is expected and it's really tasty. It's easier to pretend that what we are doing is fine than to open our eyes to the truth of our eating habits and make a change that benefits anything other than ourselves. 

I have not eaten meat for over a month now and the thought of eating it again already feels so wrong and immoral. Yes, I would love to taste a steak, but I don't want any part in the cruel treatment and murder of cows. It is so much simpler and easier than I thought. 

To any vegans reading this, I am very aware of the cruelty that is also involved in the production of dairy and eggs and would love to take the step to being vegan, eventually.

For me, giving up meat is a pretty drastic diet and lifestyle change. I struggle with life enough as it is with various mental illnesses and whilst this change is a positive focus it also provides some extra stress, which I find difficult. I am currently finishing meals with a heavy feeling of anxiety that there was meat in the food that I didn't know about and have had anxious dreams about accidentally eating meat. For these reasons I am going to stick with vegetarianism and give myself a little longer to adjust whilst continuing to be more aware about the dairy that I am consuming and continuing to educate myself on the dairy and eggs industries whilst working towards a vegan diet.

3 weeks ago I would have said that the following 2 things were true facts about myself.

1. I love animals
2. I eat meat 

I now realise that these two facts can't possibly exist together. It now seems delusional to me that I ever thought that they could. If you believe these two things to be true about yourself as I did, I understand how uncomfortable it is to begin to consider how your love of animals may be negated by the fact that you chose to eat them.

If you want to find out more about these industries and educate yourself on what is really happening away from the public eye I would recommend this film and this article as a starting point.

Regardless of your current diet and viewpoint on these issues I would love to hear your opinion in the comments