Being a vegetarian or an ovo-lacto-vegetarian, if you want to be technical, wasn’t something I decided over night. Before fully committing to this life I went through almost 5 years of thinking and researching to make sure this was something I could keep up. I also went through a month of slowly transitioning from eating red meat, to white meat, to only fish and finally becoming what I am today.
I used to love steaks, chicken, fish, you name it! I always loved animals and knew I was eating them. Seeing it being prepared and cooked never truly bothered me because once it was just torn apart flesh, I could never picture it walking and living.
But I kept questioning myself “If I say I love animals as much as I do, why am I eating them? Am I just being lazy?”.
One day I heard someone talk and it really hit me. What if I was only allowed to eat meat if I could hunt or fish and kill the animal with my own hands? I decided I could never do it willingly and the next day I told my parents what my life was going to be from then on.
This is not something I need to tell people unless I’m going to eat at their house. It’s also not something that needs to be discussed for me because it’s already part of who I am. I don’t ask someone why they eat meat so I don’t expect someone to ask me why I don’t but I respect the curiosity and I don’t have a problem with giving them an answer.
To address a lot of the issues some people have, here are some questions vegetarians hear a lot and what I answer them.
You don’t eat meat? No meat? Really?
I usually say I don’t eat animals because somehow this makes people understand the concept better than just simply saying “I don’t eat meat”.
Because I love eating vegetables, fruit, beans, mushrooms, etc…. Because I feel a lot healthier this way and because I prefer living without the need to kill an animal.
What about fish?
You would be surprised to know how many times I hear this and my answer is always the same. “Fish are animals too”.
Don’t you miss eating meat?
I would lie if I said I never think about the taste but the absolute truth is that I don’t crave it. I never miss meat and I never think about eating meat but if my mom cooks something I used to love eating, I will, for a few seconds, miss it. But I will not have the urge to eat said food.
Aren’t plants living things too?
Yes, they are. I never said I don’t eat living things. I just don’t eat creatures from the animal kingdom.
Humans eating meat isn’t a part of the food chain? Isn’t being a vegetarian breaking the balance of life?
There are going to be animals to eat the animals I don’t eat. Some carnivores can and will eat cows or chickens so, I don’t think I have to do it for them.
How can you get enough protein? Aren’t you worried about iron deficiency?
First I have to say I give blood and have been doing blood tests that prove I am healthy so, no concerns here.
For protein I eat soy and meat substitutes and I still eat eggs and drink milk but beans, legumes and lentils are a great way of getting your recommended dose of protein. For iron, you have broccoli, tofu and green leafy vegetables. But to answer this question fully, I have to let you read THIS post and THIS one.
Is it ok if I eat this in front of you? (points at a giant steak, burger, fried chicken leg…)
Yes! Go ahead! It doesn’t bother me one bit to see people eating meat. First because I used to eat it and love it, second because it’s your diet and it’s your lifestyle and lastly because I don’t have the right to judge anyone on who they are or stop them from doing something.
I know there are so many fanatics that like to tell you how wrong it is to do whatever you choose to do in life and, in that sense, there is a huge number of radical vegetarians but I have to defend that:
Vegetarians are not assholes, there just happens to be some assholes that are vegetarian.
And the famous: OH LOOK! They have french fries! You can eat that, right?
Usually people don’t mean to judge you. They just genuinely want to know. But it’s just always funny.
Now tell me, do you have a question? Do you answer any of these frequently?
Note: I am by no means an expert on nutrition or on any other topic mentioned in this text. These are my beliefs and my opinion alone.