Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Any longtime readers of this blog know that my hubby and I have for some time been eating more and more vegetarian dishes.  What I neglected to tell you was that we actually decided to become full fledged vegetarians.

Personally I have always taken issue with the concept of eating meat.  But, like most of us, we are so socially conditioned to do so I never questioned it fully.

I was one of those kids that would find an injured insect and attempt to nurse it back to health.  When I first learned that grasshopper legs keep jumping when you tear them off I had to to try it to see if that REALLY is what happened - then I felt just awful!  I cried for a long time feeling guilty, knowing I had caused this insect pain just to appease my own curiosity.  I also did the same when I learned about burning ants through a magnifying glass.  I loved animals, kept many pets growing up, enjoyed nature, and respected all of these.
Now, as an adult I have a comprehension of biology and sentiency.  I know now that those bugs I injured  did not suffer as that they are too far down the evolutionary tree to be sentient.  However, I love that my childlike mind was so very concerned for their well beings.  Undoubtedly, it was experiences like those that have brought me to who I am today.

However, along with now knowing those bugs were not sentient - I know that all those cows, pigs, chickens etc. that I have eaten - were. I never liked seeing the whole chicken or turkey on Thanksgiving.  The gutbag, the odd stray feather, anything that reminded me of exactly what it was that we were going to be consuming. As an adult I've prepared more than a few turkeys and anytime I find a stray lung or kidney still attached inside, or the stray feather - I was unable to eat the meat when it was done.  When eating meat with the bone in: if my teeth touched the bone - I was done. Could not finish my meal. Too gross.  Noticing the pores on chicken skin...done. The odd artery or vein in meat - sickening. Over the years I always  said "I could easily be a vegetarian, I don't even like meat to begin with".  The issue was (and not a good one at that) that my husband was still a meatloving carnivore.  My husband cannot cook - and I was not going to be cooking two meals every day.  I work full time too - the extra kitchen work was enough already without an extra duty of creating two different meals. This was before I had strongly and deeply investigated my ethical questions about meat eating.  Without thinking about it I knew I didn't like the taste of meat or any of the things that made it seem like the animal.

Then about two years ago my husband began an in depth study (of his own volition) of science and philosophy.  Naturally amongst those communities you find many current and historical figures who have decided that meat eating is wrong.  Never one to back down from a good argument my husband began to research this in depth.  Much to my glee, he was unable to find any good argument FOR eating meat and many good ones against.  Being a rational and logical person he concluded that, even though he still enjoyed meat, he knew that it was irrational to continue to consume it.  The evidence for vegetarianism is many, the evidence against is few.  We looked at and researched the environmental impacts, the health impacts, the cruelty, the economics (personally and globally) and decided that without a shadow of a doubt that vegetarianism was the way to go for us.  This was approximately 8 months ago.

At first we thought we'd be vegetarians most of the time.  That in those awkward family dinner situations we might still eat meat.  This was a short-lived idea because being rational people we could not rationalize such hypocrisy. It was either all or nothing and we opted for all.

There have been a few awkward moments. Having to tell people who have invited us for dinner that we no longer eat meat and having to bring our own dish (something I don't mind doing). Learning the etiquette has been one of the toughest parts.  I don't miss meat and surprisingly neither does my hubby!  We both missed bacon for some time but that has passed. We just remember that the meal we are eating was not borne of cruelty - no animal suffered so I could eat my beans!; and that my meal was cheaper, has more fiber, and less fat (and almost no saturated fats) than its meat-laden counterpart.

Being a good cook has also helped in this journey. I am able to modify our old favourites into new vegetarian favourites and I'm able to identify possible winners just from reading recipes.  My blog has long contained many vegetarian recipes (even before we were vegetarians) because they are just plain healthier.  My blog will continue to contain vegetarian recipes.  If you want to add meat then by all means do so.  Just note that it will change included nutritional information.

If you have any questions about vegetarianism, want to know more about my story, are interested in some excellent resources then please feel free to contact me anytime. I will answer every email!

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