***I must disclose that below you will read my opinions. I am not fully educated on this subject, but plan to continue my research & education. I understand many do not agree on this subject and I respect that: this is MY journey***
While in Florida I have done all of my TV watching on my iPad since our bedroom does not have a TV. Through the Amazon instant video app, I have watched, “Vegucated”, “Forks Over Knives” and “Food Inc”. The only one I had not scene before was Vegucated, however, the impact that film had on me lead me to rewatch the other two.
The effect these films had on me was POWERFUL and physical. Not just the way that the meat/animals were processed, but the way the animals were treated made me want to be physically ill. The chickens, pigs and cows being treated so inhumanly made me question everything about us as humans. Then, as if that were not enough, the hormones and diseases these animals were packed with & the FRIGHTENING and STAGGERING facts & studies showing the impact of the dairy & meat on our physical health, made me wonder how anyone can watch a film like this and EVER consider meat/dairy again.
Fast forward 10 hours. My husband and I wake up to the reality of our living world. We wake with clear images of the film in our head, and ready to start/try this new life. A bit of a background: I like to think we eat healthy. I honestly don’t eat red meat much at all, but do eat chicken & turkey 3-5 times/week. I try to eat a lot of veggies, but out of laziness & lack of recipe ideas I do not eat the variety & amounts I should. However, I always fantasized about being a plant based/whole foods diet kind of girl! Why? Because everyone I know who eats like this has a literal “glow” about them.
We started the morning at the local farmers market in Venice, Fl. The veggies looked great & we purchased some avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, etc. Later that night we made guacamole & stuffed peppers for dinner. Sounds like it is going well, right? Well, throughout the day we realized the reality & difficulty of being a vegetarian if you are not prepared. Being a Vegan is even tougher. This was the point that we needed to really evaluate what our goals were, how serious we are & why we are doing this. It wasn’t something I want to do when convenient. It isn’t something you do just to be able to say you do it or to be part of this “cult”. It should be something you feel so strongly about that you have no desire to eat something because you know it is not good for you. Like not wanting to smoke a cigarette. The answer is so easy & clear: no, because I don’t want cancer.
I don’t know if this will be a phase for me. Last night, we were faced with a situation that tested where we stood. We are staying with my in-laws, & as we left for a walk Erik’s mom said, “I am making chicken for dinner, it will will be ready when you get back.” You really don’t want to be rude, and the polite thing you may think is to eat it anyway. But, why is this not the same as any other “peer pressure” we have been taught not to indulge in? Drinking, smoking, drugs? If you truly believe meat/dairy have similar negative impacts, then you should have no problem politely declining. (I had the leftover peppers, Erik had the chicken! I’m not upset with him though, it’s my journey, not his)
Having several friends who are vegetarians, I know it can be difficult & there are times you feel like an inconvenience. When being asked over for dinner & having to tell the host you don’t eat meat may not be the easiest thing, but I feel if you truly believe in what you are doing it will be easier and easier as you feel better and better. I plan on continuing to become more educated on this topic, and seeing where my journey leads me. I will continue to try to incorporate a lot more veggies into my diet, and I don’t plan on eating meat for awhile or possibly ever again. However, I do know that some people need meat in their diets, and I am open to everything I will learn on this journey!