Before I became a Vegetarian, I looked the other way. Although I didn’t eat large quantities of meat, I didn’t know how to cook without meat nor did I know what I would order at restaurants. I just turned it off. It was too much of a hassle.
But one day I obtained a pamphlet about the use of animals as food. The photos seared into my brain. I kept the pamphlet but ‘put it away’. Closed my eyes. But when something is seared into your mind…it never lets go. So after a couple of years I found the pamphlet and began to THINK. To think about the animals that are killed by the droves. To think about how ‘they’ must feel.
Not long after that in the Summer of 2000, I was driving down the road and saw a mother cow rubbing up against her baby. That was my turning point. I thought to myself, “they have feelings”! If they can love, then they can hurt. That moment I began to try to go without eating animals. I no longer called them meat, I called them what they truly are: animals, beings. For the most part I did just fine in my journey to become Vegetarian. I would cheat now and then, especially at Thanksgiving. Turkey was the last animal to stop eating. Gravy is cheating as well. But for some people, it’s just what one does on their road to completely stopping. It is not a road that I condemn. I commend even the people who are trying to stop by simply eating LESS meat. Eating less meat each week or even whole days will save animals lives. Meat demand is high. If people ate less meat, the demand would lessen and fewer animals would have to die. I understand that farm animals consume MUCH more water than people realize because the demand for meat is high. If the amount of meat consumed was reduced, (reducing the population by less demand) this may prove part of the answer to the need for human water consumption!
I am a Vegetarian, not a Vegan. I do consume both dairy AND non-dairy substitutes. Whether I one day go Vegan remains to be seen, but consuming non-dairy alternatives works just like the meat scenario: the less the demand the more lives saved.
If one becomes Vegetarian it is wise to do your homework when buying eggs and dairy. Find a farmer who treats his/her animals well or find a good natural foods store and ask about the farms or those who own the farm. I like Happy Eggs. A link to a video will follow at the end of this post. Of course the Happy Eggs are pricier, but having a clear conscience is worth the price to me. I have my own hens/eggs, but they do not always lay eggs due to weather extremes, therefore I must then buy them at the store. I have a lot of land where they roam free. They are a joy to watch and care for.
I will be posting Vegetarian and Vegan recipes each week to help anyone on a journey to go meat/animal free or dairy/egg free. It’s a journey I have been most happy with as each year passes. It’s a process that may take time, but have patience with yourself. Grow at YOUR pace. It’s not a race, it’s a lifestyle.