When I was an early teen I became a vegetarian. My mum was veggie and a couple of girls at school were and it intrigued me. Back then I just went along with the notion that eating flesh was gross and I never really knew much more about it. Around age 17 or 18 I started eating chicken again (thanks to a drunken night where a friend bought me a chicken burger and I obsessed over chicken until I ate it again). Then until age 28 I mostly ate chicken and fish. I was never a big red meat eater, but I could eat chicken daily!
Now I’m in my 30s and have been on a personal health journey for almost 7 years, I have several reasons why I’m now 100% plant based (vegan if you will) and I will never choose to eat meat or dairy again. Unless, perhaps, it was a matter of survival. If I was in a life or death situation and my only option to survive was to catch a fish and eat it, then yes, I expect I would. But that’s a life or death situation. If it’s me or the fish then I’d probably eat it. But who knows. Unless I’m there and it’s happening, who knows what I’d choose to do.
But in normal day to day life, no, I don’t believe I will ever consume meat again.
It’s flesh and blood
Helloooooo. It’s flesh and blood and skin and veins and yuck. I don’t believe I need to say anymore, but apparently I do as so many people think it is normal to eat dead things. I personally don’t find it normal at all. We’re brought up thinking it’s the norm and so we all do it like we are supposed to, but just stop and think about it for a moment. Is it really normal to kill certain animals and eat them? The whole thing doesn’t make any sense. How people will love and care for one animal such as a dog or cat, but then happily slaughter another like a pig or cow, just to EAT it. Gross. I find it quite sickening and very hypocritical of the meat eating animal lovers out there.
It doesn’t taste that great
I don’t really like the taste. I think when I loved chicken burgers I loved the taste of the mayo and the lettuce more than the meat itself. The meat was just there to provide substance. Most veggies will say they miss bacon and steak most, but these were my least favourite meats. I really didn’t find them tasty. Show me a plate of meat and a plate of veg and the veg looks far more appetising to me.
I could never kill it myself
I’m a big believer in knowing where our food comes from and accepting this. Too many people ignore how their food is produced, where it comes from and the impact it has on other people, animals or the environment. I know I couldn’t slaughter an animal, drain its blood and then chop it up. I just couldn’t. I also couldn’t stomach watching it be done in real life. I feel that if I can’t do it or see it, then I shouldn’t consume it. I don’t want to be ignorant to where food comes from and how it ends up on my plate. It’s not all pretty supermarket packets.
It’s bad for the environment
In the past year especially there has been a lot of mainstream coverage about this and people are starting to take note with initiatives such as Meat Free Mondays and Veganuary. Not only is it often a healthier option to go vegan or veggie or cut certain things out of your diet (for me it’s meat and dairy), but it’s much better for the planet. Rainforests are being cut down to provide land for cattle or to grow the crops to feed the cattle. The number of crops grown for animal feed, could feed us several times more than the meat itself can. That’s a huge waste of energy, food and resources. It makes no sense. Plus most of these crops are covered in pesticides and chemical fertilisers which are polluting our water supply, soil and poisoning us. If that’s not enough to shock you, then the cows flatulence is also methane heavy polluting the air!
It’s a carcinogen
Most people eat processed meat and not fresh untouched organic meat from the butchers. Sausages, ham, burgers and bacon are all processed. Processed meat has been classed as a type one carcinogen by the World Health Organisation. That’s in the same category as cigarettes! Eating processed meat is as bad as cigarettes when it comes to a cancer risk. That’s scary stuff and this, along with many other factors nowadays including poor nutrition, means it’s no wonder cancer incidences are rising and now 1 in 2 people will get cancer today. It was 1 in 3 when I was younger and it’s on the rise. Surely this 50% chance is enough to make people consider their food choices.
I don’t believe we’re meant to
One of the biggest arguments I hear for eating meat is ‘but we’re supposed to, it’s natural’. I disagree. I don’t think it’s natural for us to catch, kill and eat animals. We’ve just made it that way. Not made it natural, but just made ourselves meat eaters. I can’t imagine that before fire was discovered, we leapt on animals, killed them with our bare hands and tore them apart with our teeth and ate them. It doesn’t make sense or seem natural to me. We don’t have claws or sharp teeth. I can’t imagine it’s natural for us to do this or even that we can. Plus most animals need cooking so they are safe for us to eat. It seems far more likely that our hands are for picking fruit, berries and vegetables. Peeling them, picking them apart and eating them raw. This seems a lot more natural to me.
Raising an animal to kill it, no matter how lovely a life you think you are giving it, is cruel. Most animals are pumped with growth hormones so they grow quicker, so they don’t even enjoy a long life anymore. Plus many animals are killed inhumanely. There’s enough footage out there to show it’s not a great end for many of them. Taking a life from an animal is cruel. Full stop. It’s not even because we need to. It’s because we want to. For our own pleasure. To satisfy our taste buds. We don’t need to eat meat. We are torturing and killing innocent animals for our own selfish wants.
I feel healthier
I feel much healthier following a vegetarian diet. I’m now dairy free too, but even just being vegetarian I felt much lighter and healthier than when I ate meat. I never feel disgusting after eating a meal. I never get those ‘meat sweats’. I never feel sick. I never catch food poisoning. I eat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and pulses and get way more than the recommended 5-a-day. My meals are colourful, nutritious and inviting. I rarely get ill. I rarely catch a cold. I have more energy and feel more alive.
I truly believe being meat (and dairy) free is much healthier for us and the planet. I can’t imagine ever eating meat again.