Submitted by Louise
Sitting around the family dinner table when I was eight, enjoying some roast chicken for dinner, I noticed that my mum wasn’t eating any. I was quite surprised as there wasn’t any reason that I could think of, why she would be denying herself such a tasty dinner.
I paused for a split second from rudely wolfing down my plate of food to ask: “Mama, why aren’t you eating any chicken?”
Although I don’t remember the exact way that she phrased her obviously persuasive and inspiring response to my question, she did enlighten me about where meat came from, explaining that farm animals like chickens, cows and pigs were animals just like the family dog, Gypsy the German Shepherd.
I think that I’d never truly made the connection between a living animal and a lump of meat on my plate. I also remember thinking that if my mum thought that not eating meat was the right thing to do, then it was the right thing to do! At eight, my mum’s word was gospel so I decided to give up meat forever and be a vegetarian.
16 years later I guess I’m pretty much a ‘lifer’ and I have long lived without the desire to consume animal flesh! I can’t even remember the last time I even considered meat as a food and I’ve developed a sixth sense for detecting meat hidden in a dish!
Like all vegetarians and vegans I frequently get asked why I am a vegetarian, and that’s easy. There’s no reason not to be one. I think there are an endless list of pros and almost no cons, from protecting the environment, to food security and availability, to animal welfare and ethics. Like any lifestyle change, removing meat from your diet is an adjustment but it can be a very easy one, considering the abundance of delicious alternatives.
Would I recommend vegetarianism to everyone? Definitely, yes.