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© 2015 mo'adore | Content and design by Morag Lee | Powered by Blogger.

Why It Took Me 20 Years To Give Up Meat


Most vegetarians will get asked questions about their choice to live meat free. Either out of general curiosity or just plain judgement. One of the ones I get thrown most often is "why so suddenly, we didn't realise you wanted to give up meat?" which can translate to "dude you've been around for two decades, why now?" Which is very much a fair point. I grew up in a meat eating household, my mum and her siblings were raised on a farm that slaughtered animals and I used to be a McDonald's addict. It seemed odd.

I think the part of the story that many of them can't see is that I didn't wake up on my twentieth birthday and discovered a great distaste to meat. It had been along time coming. 

I first entertained the idea of vegetarianism back when I was thirteen. Though I had also been slightly fascinated by meat-free diets (and gluten-free diets, and diabetes) for most of my youth. I was quite the little animal-rights activist when I was younger; argumentative essays against wearing fur, refusing to wear leather, you know that kind of thing. We all develop some sort of passionate stance at a young age and that was mine. 

I however didn't follow through with it. Between being raised in a meat-eating household, taking Standard Grade Home Economics where meat was all around, very little sand which choice at lunch and not knowing any vegetarians it wasn't easy and I didn't have many roles models. 

As I moved on I continued eating meat and my passionate stance swerved more to women's issue's and LGBT rights. I also became a fast food addict at one point when I took classes at a school which was around the corner from a McDonald's. But as I moved on I met more vegetarians. And when I met more my heart sank. It reminded me of what I had once wanted to be and had not fallen through with. They were what I wanted to be. Not because of natural talent or better luck; but because I hadn't stuck to my guns.

September 2008 was when I moved out of my parents house and into student halls. Now I was cooking for myself and could have switched. But this is when I met my first boyfriend. A meat-eater. And he was a real meat-eater. If we went to a restaurant you could bet money he'd take the meatiest thing there (rack of lamb was a favourite) and he dubbed trips to McDonald's a "tradition" within our relationship (I never visited a McDonald's restaurant if he wasn't about).

This relationship ended but not long after that came another (one day I'll speak of the importance of a relationship gap) and he actually said, direct quote: "vegetarianism isn't natural". May I add that this ex was a smoker? My mind stayed on meat. 

Still all the time meeting vegetarians and feeling a pang of jealousy.

Come October 2010 I became single for the first time in two years. And this break-up was bad. Public spats. Crying through the night. Banging on doors, being reported to uni and use of the Facebook block function. I was a mess. I spent the rest of the semester trying to get decent grades and living out the "oh-so-awesome-social-life" routine that we hope our exes will spot.

Come New Year I decided to pull myself up. Being at home for Christmas had given me a much needed break from university, the chances of seeing him and the stress it had taken on me. I went back through all the "How To Get Over A Break-Up" articles that had helped me through the initial stages and came across this little gem which, as most of them do, talked about watching your food intake and overall health. However this one talked about reassessing your diet as a whole, suggesting maybe vegetarianism or raw food may be better.

If you feel your current diet isn't working for you, try a new way of approaching food - would vegetarianism or more raw food work for you? Trial a new style of cooking and eating, even if only for one day a week.

It clicked. It was now or never.

I was now for the most part living away from my parents with almost non-existent flatmates. I was also now single. These two factors meant that compromise wasn't a huge part of everyday life. No being offered that extra slice of pepperoni pizza. Or having a big dinner with flatmates. Or romantic meals to McDonald's. Time to go!

I began slowly cutting the meat slowly out of my diet right after January. I finished off the last of my frozen chicken and any bacon I had left (these were the only meat I really ever ate). From that moment on my grocery shopping was strictly meat-free. I danced past the meat isle before twirling down the fruit and vegetable isle. I've always been a big fruit and veg fan and the lack of meat in my diet meant that I had more money to spend on vitamin C induced goodness!

Out and about publicly I was still a meat-eater. Being vegetarian in the real world requires work and I wasn't quite there yet. Though I'm not huge on eating out due to money restrictions which released some pressure. It was just snacks at lunch where therein lay a problem.

Coming up to moving back home for summer I was near enough vegetarian. I decided to go public whilst at home and not in close contact to my social groups.

I'm now publicly vegetarian to anyone who has asked or the conversation of meat has come up. There are still many who maybe don't realise and will seemed confused at why I oh-so-suddenly changed. But it's done now and my decision is final and I have been meat-free for months now.

So there it is, why I so suddenly became vegetarian after being alive for two decades. Which wasn't so sudden when you know my past and the thought process behind it.

Morag x
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