Four years ago I stopped eating meat. Why doesn’t make me this a vegetarian automatically? There are various reasons.
I stopped eating meat because of one of my stepdaughters. She hasn’t eaten animals since her birth and was very convincing in her fight for animal rights, even as a child. So convincing even, that at one point, I couldn’t answer the question anymore why I even ate animals in the beginning. So I thought I would give it a try and stop eating animals, so no chicken, pork, beef or whatsoever for me anymore, but I still wanted to eat fish. I found it more difficult to give up fish than giving up eating all the other animals. And that was when I started my ongoing struggle with being a vegetarian, flexitarian, pescetarian or even vegan.
For four years now I ask myself if I’m doing it right or if what I do doesn’t make any sense at all. I don’t eat animals like pigs, cows or lambs because I don’t think they should have to die just because of the human presumption that we have a right to kill animals for our pleasure. Our bodies don’t need meat, we don’t get sick when we don’t have meat on a regular basis nor do we develop some kind of deficiency. There is enough plant based food that is able to provide us with all nutrients we need, is delicious and is filling. Completely without having to harm a living creature. (At this point maybe I could start with adding the comments and questions I received as a reaction from some people to me not eating animals during the last few years, so lets get started….)
Don’t have plants feelings too?
So this aspect about not killing animals is very clear to me and convincing enough in my opinion. But this is exatly where it gets complicated. I’m not a vegetarian, I do eat fish. I try not to eat a lot of fish and if I do so, I try to buy organic fish and seafood or fish from sustainable fishing. That’s nice and all, but that, in fact, makes everything I wrote down before, senseless. Is a fish not an animal? Isn’t a fish a living creature? Don’t fish deserve a life too?
Yes, yes and yes. YES. I KNOW. It’s just shitty, what else can I say to this.
The problem is, that I really, really like the taste and texture of meat and fish. I was one of the biggest meat eaters I knew before I stopped eating it. When I went out for dinner for example, I would have never ordered a vegetarian meal. Why spend money on some vegetables when you can have meat on your plate instead? I would always finish my plate and eat every last bite of meat, even when I wasn’t hungry anymore, just because I found it so delicious and a waste to throw it away. I ate a lot of animals, really. I LOVED lamb, juicy chicken or a good, thick steak.
The next problem is, I still do. I hoped that after a while of abstinence I wouldn’t long for meat anymore. That I wouldn’t want to eat it anymore or that maybe I would even be disgusted by it. Nope. Didn’t happen. Not one bit.
Every time someone orders a nice piece of meat, has a burger in front of my eyes or offers me some charcuterie, I’m crying on the inside. Very dramatic, I know.
Must be very exhausting to have so many principles.
Why do I eat fish? I thought I would make it a bit easier for myself to not eat meat anymore so I gave myself the option to still have this experience in taste and texture, if I wanted to. And to be completely honest, killing a fish is still a whole different story for me than killing a pig for example.
to be continued…