In a short period of time I’ve had a lot of exposure to veganism. A good friend of mine decided to go vegan after a lifetime being a vegetarian. I went on a climbing trip with two vegans and a vegetarian, and recently I befriended a vegan couple on the campground I currently live on.
This hasn’t turned me vegan, however it did made me curious about why people decide to go vegetarian or even vegan.
From what I understand most people first go vegetarian for the reason they don’t like how animals are treated. A part of this group later on starts to study animal welfare nowadays and in the past and because of their findings they step by step switch to veganism.
Now I have never thought that killing animals for food is a bad thing. In my opinion it’s a natural thing to do for humans to eat other species of the animal kingdom. On top of that I prefer food that we “grow”ourselves over catching wild animals. This solely for the reason of maintaining diversity and balance in nature. I rather see a forest full with animals than a piece of food on my plate that had a good life.
I can definitely see why people go vegetarian, because even I can see that these animals have been kept in horrible conditions over the past decades. The solution however in my opinion lies more in improving the circumstances than not eating any meat.
After a few years of (voluntary) eating mostly vegetarian, due to two vegetarian roommates, I resumed my original meat eating habits. At least 100 grams of meat at every warm dinner. This went on for many years but as the time went by I learned what impact on the environment the production of a piece of meat has.
I was starting to feel a change in myself but somehow I couldn’t take the meat out of my diet.
In june of 2018 I suddenly was able to make that change. I bought my caravan and started living in it. It’s over 15 years old so some things are not functioning a hundred percent. One of these things is the fridge. It isn’t working properly, resulting in some crazy temperatures inside the fridge during the hot summer of 2018.
I didn’t dare to keep anything meat like in there for too long. So instead I started replacing meat with vegetable options. This was the motivation I needed to cut out a lot of meat out of my daily diet. Also I try to eat either meat that is close to the sell by date, so the shop wouldn’t have to throw it out or I buy meat of the less desired parts of the animal. So no steak for me anymore.
I’m really happy now with the meals I cook. I don’t even miss the meat anymore, but I do know that I need to listen to my body. Because it will tell me if I’m missing certain nutrients. I think now 3 out of 7 hot meals a week contain meats, only a year ago it was 6 or 7 out of 7. So I say it’s a huge improvement.
A part of me doesn’t even want to repair my fridge so I have no other option than to keep up with this habit.
Talking to all these vegan people around me has taught me a lot. I find it very interesting to learn more about their motivation. I learned things about the development of animals over the centuries that I never even thought about. So far it hasn’t changed my opinion but I’m open for the dialogue. Knowing that many people live a vegan lifestyle helps me to do my best to eat a bit less.
Are you vegan or vegetarian or is meat still a big part of your life? Listen to people who can teach you about what is involved with producing your food. Know what you eat and make a conscious choice. One that makes you happy, not others.