Wednesday, 29 July 2015

EPIC LIFE - Vegetarian

After years of KNOWING in my heart that eating animals is wrong. After years of HAVING to live the way I did through denial and, lets face it, cost. I have announced to the world I am changing into a veggie. 

<insert crowd roar here>

For a while now we have had Meat Free Mondays. And its been easy. Taking on advice from others to NOT just replace meat with a meat substitute such as Quorn but to begin to cook with and enjoy beans, tofu and mushrooms, we have enjoyed skipping one meat day a week.

I recently stepped this up to more days a week as I have been able to cook for myself and am not always responsible for the household meals. This year at Glastonbury I was able to eat every day from the Greenfields Farmers Market which is all vegetarian. The delicious delights of their salads and bean dishes I still miss to this day.


Prior to going to Glasto, I watched a horrific video regarding the fate of male chicks on egg farms. It reduced me to sobbing. I tried to relate my feelings about it to my BF I was further distressed to absolute rolling cheek tears.

For those of you, like my boyfriend, who are sensitive to seeing these kind of things on film, I am about to tell you something you may choose not to know. Don’t worry, I am not going into great detail. But if you can’t handle knowing the truth there are two things I would say to you...
  1.  It happens so stop eating chicken AND cruelty eggs if you can’t handle the truth
  2. Look away now and pick up reading at the second paragraph after the picture of the chick

They grind up the male chicks. Live. Small yellow fluffy, beautiful chirping cute little things. One day old. Sitting innocently in little conveyor trays towards their painful doom. No matter how organic or humane companies advocate their chicken or egg production, this is NOT an acceptable way to deal with male chicks.

They grind up the male chicks. Live. Sorry but you need to know!! I know its horrific, but its not me that’s doing it! Don’t shoot the messenger! According to my humane chicken support networks, this is common practice even at organic farms! Most certainly the eggs you are buying from your Free Range supplier do this. Find out. It tends to be people with a few chickens in their home steading who are not doing this. DON’T BUY CRUELTY EGGS.

Anyway, no sooner had I watched this and declared I would never eat chicken again nor eat Cruelty Eggs again than the final experience came along to make me resolute in this decision.

Glastonbury this year. We have just arrived on site. Its very early so we snooze until we could see people awakening. Walking barefoot through the grass to greet my annual field dwellers at the Healing Field main campfire, to make my welcome. What came chirping towards me? None other than a week old cute little baby chicken. It walked right up and pecked at my hand. I fell in love. It was adorable. It loved the humans. It accepted food from your finger tips and cuddles. And thus ended my ability to overwrite love for an animal, with taste for an animal.

Going without meat isn’t hard when you have delicious alternatives. So it was quickly that I realised, I needed to get my cook on! I made a request through facebook for friends to share their best veggie recipes for us to try. (Let me know if you have a recommendation by the way.) And we have so far enjoyed cooking new recipes as well as a lot of new vegetarian sides for our love of curry.

BF is on side. Seeing my tears at the Chick grinding, (SORRY!!! But you all need to know!), and experiencing the same pain at the imbalance of our love for animals against our love for eating meat, he was quick to join forces. The journey is going to be slower for him as he has a lot more transitioning to do.

Suffice to say we are now shopping from an organic farm produce shop, so that our final months of meat eating is locally sourced and organically reared, and our vegetables and fruit are from local farmers and we are not tempted to purchase non seasonal fruits with huge carbon foot prints.

We will eventually give up fish. After all, the seas are so polluted now, why would we want to eat Mercury laden flesh? Or contribute by consent to the trawling of our oceans which kills and puts to waste ‘unwanted fish’ and damages the bottom of the sea floor. You know… where sea creatures live? And where under water volcanoes breathe? Why would you!

Giving up seafood will be hardest for me, as I am a cockles and muscles girl, through and through. I absolutely adore seafood, more than I adore a large steak. But this has to be done.

So we are on the path towards compassionate eating.

If we keep focused on the end goal we should be vegetarians by the end of the year.

One thing it is important to acknowledge. Although this is a huge change for us, that we WANT to make, we will both mourn the loss of meat.

We are both foodies in our own right. Myself because I love food. In a big way. I love to discuss food, smell and buy food and get great enjoyment out of cooking food both for ourselves and for others.

Boyfriend is a foodie as he has lots of ‘isms’ about his diet. Some of that is from growing up with a limited diet that left him quite adverse to anything new for a number of years. But I am glad to say he has developed a taste for new things latterly. He has tried the taste 14 times trick to get into something he previously hated (it was mushrooms for those who are curious and he now loves them). And he loves cooking curry which he also previously refused to eat. So people can change.

And we love animals so much we HAVE to change. We should be living in harmony with all living creatures that share this ONE PLANET we all inhabit.

Plus the normal stuff: it is not sustainable. Meat is not without disease. Meat is Murder.

But I think it is very important to acknowledge that we will both mourn the loss of meat in our lives. No matter how committed to this more appropriate world view, that we have been eating meat for around 40 years and it will be a radical change, it will be hard. But all the more reason to feel proud that we CHOOSE to do this.  

So Vegetarians it is. Yes, slowly but SURELY and for life.

Finally I will be able to look animals in the eye, and know I do not consider myself more important than them. I am not a predator of other living things. 

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