How and Why I Became Meat-Free

I want to share with you the story of how I started my journey into changing my way of eating. First, back in December of 1999, I met a guy, who today I call my husband. He does not eat pork or seafood (eats fish with scales). The reason being because of his religious beliefs and out of respect, I would never cook them at home. I started eating them only at other people’s houses or restaurants until one day I decided to stop completely. No more pork or seafood for me!

A few years passed and now we’re living in another country as a family of five (Our family grew kind of fast because we have twins.). One day while I was at a red light a man passed right in front of my car with a goat– dead and skinned– hanging from his hand. I looked to my right and saw two little goats jumping and playing in an empty parking lot, and I just couldn’t handle it. That day I decided to stop eating the rest of the meats which in my head only included cow, chicken, and turkey (basically beef and poultry). I kept eating fish.

On another occasion I went to a supermarket almost at time of closing. They were cleaning the meat/poultry/seafood section. I noticed that they put everything together in the shopping carts. The chicken on top of the fish, the meat on top of the turkey… The blood from one thing dripping onto another… It was just gross! No more animals for me!

Then we moved again and here’s when I experienced my first pressures about my way of eating. People pushing me to eat meat , making comments about protein, and I felt really bad when they would invite me to their homes and I would only get rice, beans, and salad— and they would just bring the chicken and put it on my plate. So I started eating chicken again only at other people’s houses. Yes, I admit I cave in to the peer pressure.

Then we moved again and I decided to start learning more about vegetarianism/veganism… I started reading books, watching movies, even doing 21 day vegan challenges. Finally, one day out of the blue I stopped eating fish but kept eating chicken. It seemed like the one thing that would get me stray from my vegetarianism path was chicken. I thought to myself, “You had stopped eating chicken and went back to eating it again. You can do this. Forget about the comments and the pressures. It is a sentient being. You have made the connection before and you can do it again.”

Sentient
adjective

: able to see, hear, smell, or taste

Full definition of SENTIENT
1: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions <sentient beings>
2: aware
3: finely sensitive in perception or feeling

(“Sentient.” Merriam-Webster.com.)

I think the way chicken is presented today made it more difficult for me to make the connection, the Animal on a Plate connection. But I did it! I can proudly say that I don’t eat any meat. I didn’t accomplish this in one day. This has been a transition for me with many ups and downs. I’ve learned not to let anybody sabotage my way of eating and to handle the pressure and comments. Not long ago, a day after my 40th Birthday I stopped eating eggs and dairy. What is my goal with food? To be a kind and compassionate eater.

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What you eat is for you to decide but most important “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

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