Last year, after reading up on the topic extensively, I decided to become a vegetarian. To be honest it was… well…. a monumental failure! Despite my best intentions and possessing a good conscience, I like to eat meat, and that’s chiefly what makes things difficult when you want to be a vegetarian.
At the age of 9 I had already stopped eating eggs after seeing the dead chicks in their shells. I don’t think my 4th grade teacher considered this potential effect on me from incubating chicks in the classroom. Then it was the pig’s turn. I had the chance to listen to a documentary about pig farms… there was enough traumatic sounds of pigs crying to get to a girl of that age!
Failure #1: I recommenced eating eggs and pig once those images had left my mind (because eggs and bacon is just too good on a Sunday morning).
Failure #2: Although my mother was still around, she hadn’t bothered to tell me that several kinds of sausages and cold cuts were made from pork, and my cakes, cookies and muffins I so loved contained eggs. In fact, my mother (and, I imagine, most people of her generation) thought that we had to eat a lot of meat to be healthy (sorry Mom, I know you understand better now). We now know that we should be reducing our consumption of red meat to minimize the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, etc.
Failure # 2: My mother was still around, but she did not bother to tell me that several kinds of sausages and cold cuts were made from pork and my cakes, cookies and muffins contained eggs . In fact , my mother and I imagine most people that age, thought at that time , we had to eat a lot of meat to be healthy ( désoler Mom , I know you understand now haha ) . We now know that we must reduce our consumption of red meat to minimize the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes , cholesterol, etc.
Vegetarian Pain & Misery (2014)
Difficulty # 1: I still managed to make it one month without meat! (That still deserves some credit…) But at this point in my life, I was still not yet sufficiently informed about the various food alternatives for vegetarians, so my appetite was constantly a hungry grizzly bear I had to contend with (yes yes, no wolf, no plain old bears, but a grizzly!).
Difficulty #2: Additionally, it was much less convenient to go out to eat with my family and friends. “Hi, I’m gluten free and vegetarian, is there anything I can order off the menu?” Being gluten free is already difficult…. I felt like a burden… People had to say, “Oh no, not Julie, guess we’ll have to make two separate meals” or “OK gang, let’s have dinner, but don’t tell Julie! That way it will be less complicated”. Well, I’m exaggerating a bit, but I have to admit those imaginary conversations did play out in my mind.
Difficulty 3: Anyway, anytime I would eat, my inner carnivore would rear its head with full force and I would image the smell of roasted and crispy BBQ chicken, pork, marinated loin, etc. You can tell from that description alone that I’m really not a vegetarian at heart (a fact my family never fails to remind me of as I’m eating my meat with gusto).
Failure # 1: One day, while enjoying a festive night out at a sports bar, the waitress offered me chicken wings. Because according to her, they are gluten free. I was so happy to be eating gluten free chicken wings, I forget that chicken wings clearly come from an animal… After devouring this poorly treated animal meat, I became aware of the bones that were in front of me. “I am a vegetarian and I eat chicken”.
Fatal failure #2: After some time, I allowed myself to eat some chicken on my gluten free pizza, a mini piece of pork on my plate at a dinner party (just for taste…). At home, Vegetarian/gluten was easy to follow, but I couldn’t hold out against temptation. In short, after these different “taste tests”, people quietly began putting meat back on my plate and I was eating more normally again. Luckily, my family buys organic meat from private breeders. I reassured myself by telling myself it wasn’t so serious in this case….
P.S. Don’t automatically rely on the advice of a waitress who claims to know what gluten is… you can end up with a stomach ache.
Following these failures and difficulties, I never really buy meat at home. I eat moose meat, partridge and fish we fish and hunt ourselves. I still think that the human being is made to eat meat , but I disagree with how big companies treat animals . Not to mention the negative impact on the environment.
In short , I still eat vegetarian (almost vegan except cheese is too good !) shen I’m alone and I eat meat when my man needs to eat too .
I now have more friends and family who understand my conscious choice, but I still have several obstacles to overcome. I really respect anyone who is vegetarian or vegan because they truly have to be very disciplined and determined.
Documentaries to see: All documentaries , vue de ciel by Yann Arthus- Bertrand, Veducated by Misa Wolfson, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead by Joe Cross and Kurt Engfehr.