The “V” word.

“But why?”

“Are you trying to lose weight?”

“Did they force you at school?”

“But where do you get your protein?”

“So…what do you eat?”

“So you eat rabbit food”

“Can’t you eat meat just for one day? Just one bite? Then You can continue being vegetarian tomorrow?”

“You don’t eat meat? Are you allergic?”

“Vegetarian? What’s that? A person who eats many vegetables?” (mind you, an actual doctor at a hospital asked me this question)

“God gave us animals to eat!”

“It’s a phase, you’ll probably grow out of it”

I have heard it all. I could go on and in till the day I die tbh. It’s funny most of the time…

But then other times it’s just plain exasperating, exhausting.

Vegetarian.

What is that???

A person who does not consume meat, chicken or fish, while a vegan is a person who doesn’t consume, wear or use any animal products whatsoever (milk, eggs, cheese, leather products etc).

I became a vegetarian early on in 2013.

Why?

My conscience was killing me. I just didn’t want to, couldn’t continue to, eat dead animals.

It always horrified me to think that an actual living thing ended up chopped up and sitting on my plate, especially if I’d seen it in it’s previous very-much-alive form. I’d shake my head furiously and refuse to eat it. Most of the time. But then the usual store-bought chicken or meat was used and it was easy for me to disassociate it from its previous living form.

After what felt like an eternal internal battle, I decided to consider converting to a vegetarian diet. Which was a little terrifying. It seemed like an overwhelming decision and lifestyle change to make. Living my life one way for so long, only to try something completely different. Food is also so closely tied with culture and social interactions. Dinners and gatherings became awkward. Family and family-friends were rubbed the wrong way when I’d politely turn down dishes at gatherings, while endless arguments with my parents, friends and classmates ensued. It was frustrating. Why didn’t people get it?

It was such a small price to pay, though. I gained a higher sense of inner peace, and harmony with the world around me because I was no longer taking part in the abuse of animals. This decision wasn’t just about me.

I was angry for a long time; at myself for having lived in ignorance and denial for so long, at everyone else for not seeing the truth behind the meat industry and then, acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that we don’t all see things the same way and I had no place forcing my beliefs onto others.

It’s funny how we’ll guard our pets with our lives and take to social media to express our horror over violence against animals such as dogs/cats/elephants etc when in fact, we do the exact same thing. If you consume meat, you are supporting an industry that kills and abuses animals.

When were we lead to believe that some animals are categorised as pets while others were demoted to being treated like inanimate objects who don’t have the capacity to think and feel?

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Thanks to the fact that my home was always abundant in meals that are primarily plant-based, my transition to vegetarianism wasn’t the hardest, food-wise. Eating out became more fun too, because ordering off the menu wasn’t meat this or chicken that anymore, but things I’d never bothered to try before. And there’s almost always a veg alternative to every single meal you can think of (lasagne, pizza, burgers)!

As controversial as the organisation may be, it was in fact PETA that gave me the final push to delve deeper into my research on a veg lifestyle, and solidify my decision to forego meat.

What to eat? PROTEIN?

If I had a dollar for every single time someone asked me where I got my protein from then I swear I’d have more money than the entire worth of the meat industry combined. If you really think about it, some of the strongest mammals on earth follow plant-based diets (i.e. elephants). And here we are eating animals to gain the nutrients the animal itself obtained from plant foods. There’s a whole wealth of knowledge available on the internet 🙂

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It doesn’t hurt to try:

The hardest thing is always how people react. You’d think that I was converting children to ISIS based off of the scandalised looks parents gave me when I was over at family friend’s houses and their kids discovered I wasn’t eating meat.

I’m just grateful that at the end of the day, my parents have been supportive and understanding towards my decision, many parents I know actually forbid their kids of even considering excluding meat from their diet. It’s a very personal decision to make. I get it. Mine isn’t to dictate that everyone should see things the way I do, but really to question the motives behind your actions. If you’re quite alright with consuming dead animals, then that’s fine. If that statement makes you cringe, then maybe you should consider asking yourself why.

Documentaries I highly recommend: Vegucated, Earthlings and Forks Over Knives.

Videos to watch:

Peace and love, my fellow Earthlings ❤

P.S. I do not own/did not create any of the pictures or infographics used in this post. Sources include peta.org and Tumblr.com

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