From Omni To Vegan
In this post I am going to take you on the journey that had me switch bacon for tofu and chicken for lentils. A journey that made me a more compassionate, happy, healthy being. A journey which transformed me from omnivore to vegan.
It was a normal family dinner. I was sitting there at the table, fork at the ready, spaghetti bolognese in front of me – one of my favourite meals – when it suddenly dawned on me that what was on my plate, what I was about to consume, was in fact… the flesh of a dead cow.
Now don’t call me stupid, of course I knew it was a dead cow. Beef comes from cows. I know that. But the reality of it all only really hit me for the first time then – an epiphany, if you will.
And that’s where it all began, a couple of years ago (in 2015), at your average family dinner.
I have been an animal lover all my life. Taking the dogs on walks, offering to look after the neighbour’s chickens when they went on holiday, going all high-pitched and giddy at the sight of newborn lambs in spring “awww, they’re so cuuute!” etc… you get the picture. However, I have also eaten meat my entire life. Both my parents ate meat, as did the rest of my family, so naturally I was brought up on the same diet. It was the norm to me. But it was only over the last couple of years that I realised what a horrible contradiction it was. The irony of it all. A so-called animal lover…who eats animals. Doesn’t make sense does it!?
So that is why I decided to give up red meat for lent that year. I succeeded, and unlike most who give up something for 40 days, I was not wanting to go back to it. I had not missed it at all, in fact I felt a lot better. So much so that I then decided to give up white meat as well – bye bye chicken – and become a pescetarian. This lasted for a year, until I found myself eating my last ever fish and chips, on the beach down in Cornwall last summer. I was now a full vegetarian. No more meat.
I kept educating myself as I went along, reading up on how damaging animal agriculture is to the environment, and how badly the animals are treated before death; exploited and abused. It just didn’t seem right at all. Especially the fact that I was brought up to believe eating meat was a healthy and essential part of the human diet. It’s true, I honestly viewed vegetarians (never mind vegans!) as iron deficient and weak. Society had indoctrinated me not only into viewing meat as essential, but also into believing that the animals lived out long happy lives before we ate them, that free range meant luscious green fields. I was so far removed from the reality of it all that in the supermarket I didn’t view the packaged meat for what it really was (the flesh of dead animals), but just as ‘beef’ and ‘pork’ and ‘steak’. The more I thought about it, the more sick I felt.
It was in February this year that I decided to become a vegan. I can honestly say it was the best decision I have ever made. I felt a very real change inside of me; my head suddenly felt clearer. A feeling of enlightenment, compassion and goodness. I was saving animals lives and reducing their suffering, whilst also saving the planet. I was finally the person who I was meant to be.
So I urge you to question yourselves. If, like I was, you call yourself an animal lover yet still eat meat, then please note the irony of this. If you care about our beautiful planet, then please look into how your diet impacts global warming. Educate yourself and do what you feel is right – the rest will follow naturally. I’m not saying become a vegan overnight, (well do if you want to of course!) but perhaps make small steps and changes, just like I did. Because I can wholeheartedly say you will feel a lot happier, healthier, and won’t look back.
Thank you for reading (my first ever!) blog post.
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Have a beautiful day!
~ Emma ~