Thursday, 2 February 2017
My Thoughts on Vegetarianism
I've been a Vegetarian for going on 9 years now, which really is a long time and a large chunk of my life. I get asked about it a lot, and I don't always express my views on it unless asked because I don't really believe in shoving it down people's throats. And to answer a question people may be thinking - no, I don't eat fish. It has a face. Oh and it's an animal, so there's that.
Sorry, as a British person sarcasm is ingrained in me! But if I had a penny for every time someone had asked me that...well you get the idea.
I guess for me animal rights is always something I have been pretty aware of, even when I was young and hadn't quite made that connection with the food on my plate. I love animals, I always have, and the thought of killing them for my dinner just doesn't sit right with me. Even when I ate meat I wouldn't eat things like Duck or Goose as I had that association of feeding them in the park, but I fully extended to Vegetarianism around the age of 16/17 and I haven't looked back since.
It does mean that I can sometimes be 'the awkward Vegetarian' and have to apologise for my eating habits (especially as I don't eat mushrooms, which is generally a first instinct ingredient for Vegetarian food!), but if that means following my morals then it seems like a small sacrifice to make. As I've gotten older, information on animal welfare has become more and more pronounced with the growth of the internet, and for a long time I thought being a Vegetarian was me doing my part but actually there are so many other ways that animal abuse is ingrained into our lives. As life goes on I'm finding myself wanting to take more responsibility for that. As this blog demonstrates I love beauty, particularly make-up, and last year I made the decision to go cruelty free. The way I see it I'd be a hypocrite if I wouldn't let animals suffer for my food but would let them suffer for my mascara! I've also stopped buying real leather, suede and sheepskin, I didn't buy this in huge amounts previously, but the same reasoning exists as it did with my make-up.
One part that I massively underestimated was the dairy industry. I haven't actually watched 'Cowspiracy' because I don't think I can bring myself to do it, I know the effect it will have on me. When I found out a few facts about the dairy industry I genuinely sat there and cried, I was so sad that all these years I thought I hadn't been contributing to animal death and cruelty when in fact I have. After some time to mull it over and chatting with my friends, I realised that I have actually made a substantial difference even if it is something I am still grappling with.
If I'm being honest, I don't think I could go Vegan. I know a lot of people do, but there are times where I find it hard enough being a Vegetarian and I think Veganism would be a whole new struggle. I am adapting it to fit in with my life mantra though, as I believe in the world we live in it's so difficult to be morally perfect but everyone is still capable of making a difference. As a meat eater if you had a few meals a week with no meat in, that would be making a difference. And as a Vegetarian I can drink soy milk and use less dairy in my cooking, and that is making a difference.
I don't believe in shoving it down people's throats as I already stated, but equally I think it's silly for me to shy away on what I believe and what my opinions are on the matter. You can eat a burger in front of me and I won't care, but if you really asked me then yes I do think everyone is capable of eating less meat. My boyfriend grew up with a Sheep Farmer for a Dad, if he can voluntarily eat Vegetarian with me multiple times a week and go to Vegetarian restaurants and love the food, then I think most people can. And equally he's seen the real side of the meat industry and he can stomach it, so how can I criticise that? If the reality doesn't bother you then you are clearly being true to yourself.
And aside from the moral battle associated with eating meat, it's actually incredibly bad for the environment. I'm sure you have probably heard about this before, and if you haven't then Google it. You'll immediately see what I'm talking about. So if anything I believe people should eat less meat for that reason, to protect our planet.
I get a lot of stick for being a Vegetarian sometimes (not by my friends, family and boyfriend may I add), as I've gotten older I've lost my patience with it in all honesty. I don't see why it's acceptable for someone to abuse my food habits, but it would be perceived as pushy and out of line for me to do the same to them. I also get asked whether I'd eat meat again, I have always said that having kids is probably the only thing that could change that. I wouldn't bring them up as Vegetarian as it's their choice, and out of ease I'd maybe end up eating meat again, but actually as time has gone on I think that's less and less likely. My boyfriend says he doesn't think I'll ever eat it again as it's such a large part of who I am...and I think he's right.
I never really discuss my Vegetarianism and my views on it, so it was pretty nice to do it on here! I'd love to hear your thoughts, whatever they are.