Those of you who have been following me for a while will be aware than I started on a new journey at the beginning of this year.
I finally decided that it was time for me to stop eating meat.
I’ve always enjoyed vegetarian food, but I’ve resisted being a vegetarian my whole life for various reasons, most of them centering around the incredibly annoying, holier than thou vegetarian “omnivore bashers” that I encountered as a teenager. I’m sure you’ve come across them. They are the ones who try to “convert” others, stick their nose in your business, tut loudly and tell you how wrong you are for eating a hamburger, that you’re really stupid/evil/bad for eating meat, and come around the school canteen with nasty posters of dead animals as you’re trying to eat your chicken salad in peace. (A twisted part of me would still want to eat a nice rare steak in front of them just to prove a point about personal choice!)
I’ve been through periods of my life where I was focussing very much on my spiritual work, and I ate less meat and animal products, but I’d never made the transition to actually call myself “vegetarian.” I just wasn’t comfortable with it, and vegan? Well, that just seemed too extreme.
Last October, I was lucky enough to meet a group of new friends at the pagan Wheel of the Year celebrations organised by the wonderful Darci Swift. We were each asked to send out love and blessings to whomever we wanted during the ritual, and one lady, Lindsay, said some poignant and heartfelt words, sending blessings to animals that were to be eaten.
Her words were very beautiful and peaceful, and I could tell that she was coming from a place of love and compassion for life rather than judgement or condemnation towards those who chose to eat meat.
The words resonated with me to such a degree that I finally felt ready to take make the transition to become vegetarian at the beginning of this year.
I spent many hours researching the subject online in order to get to grips with my new lifestyle, and came across a good number of articles about the health risks of dairy produce. Upon researching in more detail, it became apparent that several chronic conditions I suffer with may all have their roots in an allergy to dairy produce, so I made a decision to drop that from my diet too.
In a nutshell (if you’ll pardon the pun), I found myself practically vegan, much to my surprise, and actually loving it! It opened my eyes to all kinds of yummy foods I’d never considered and the dietary adjustment was relatively easy. I’ve always preferred cooking my meals from scratch, and I don’t miss meat at all, nor do I feel the need to rely on “meat replacement” products.
Having removed dairy from my diet, and introduced soya which agrees with me very well indeed, my health and wellness have improved dramatically, and happily my carbon footprint is significantly reduced.
And as an added bonus, I’ve lost 7 pounds! Woohoo!
The last items on my list were honey and eggs. I’ve made my peace with giving up honey (once I finish the last jar in my cupboard; waste not want not!) and I’ve phased eggs out, replacing them instead with flaxseed when baking.
I’ve never been a hypocrite, and I certainly don’t condemn anyone in their choices to eat meat, dairy produce or animal products, nor would I impose my beliefs on others. After all, my cat Evey is a carnivore and she can’t survive without meat. Not to mention that in the past I have eaten a large variety of foods ranging from foie gras and lobster to kangaroo steak and crocodile jerky, and I may still squish the odd spider if it startles me in the shower!
But right now, I’m done with meat, fish, dairy and animal products.
Bring on the vegetables! 😀