Just over a year ago, I decided to stop eating animal products… why?
It wasn’t the easiest choice as I was a keen meat eater and I already felt pretty good about myself as I would go to great lengths to get my meat-fix from organic and “ethical” vendors, avoiding supermarkets, industrial farms and butchers wherever possible.
The first slap of reality, however, came from a scuba diving instructor in Corsica. She aptly raised the point that we cannot legitimately say we love animals (and fish) then wilfully eat flesh from carcasses. Regardless if they were “bred to be eaten” or not.
It made sense, but I couldn’t imagine not eating meat, I fucking loved it and what else would I eat?! So I carried on my life, being easier to keep up the Cognitive Dissonance than change my lifelong habits. I did however decide to at least quit eating fish and seafood, because why would I eat and destroy what I pay so much to see when I dive?
I carried on taking extra care to only get “humane” meat, whilst I spent my free time cleaning streets and beaches of our man-made trash so as to protect our planet, and its living inhabitants (us humans, animals and plants) and to avoid seeing even more trash underwater when I dive.
But after seeing the Amazon Forest burn for so many months again at the hands of the money greedy meat industry, something clicked. How could I be so passionate about protecting life on this planet but still wilfully chow down on dead corpses?
Meditation allowed me to realise that we are all connected, and interdependent on the good health and diversity of the huge biosphere we call home, our magnificent planet Earth. Without humility, there is no humanity. I love this planet and I don’t want to leave a polluted crust for future generations.
Having seen too much destruction of the habitat we depend on over the years, I decided that I must be more coherent with my values, even if it wouldn’t be easy at first. I’m lucky to be privileged enough to have the choice of what I consume, and would only be doing myself (and others) a disservice to keep contributing to such annihilation of life when I could just do better.
As much as I loved the taste of meat back then, I made myself a deal that I would start striving for a completely plant-based diet. First I learnt about how badly animals in the meat industry are treated, and that “humane”, “ethical” meat is mostly marketing propaganda to make us feel better about eating it. I made myself look at some very disturbing truths in order to make my decision concrete.
Then, I invested time into learning how to nourish myself properly without it. I was surprised to learn that a plant-based diet, rich in organic, fresh, local fruit and veg contains everything the human body needs, all without exploiting others, plus it doesn’t come with added antibiotics, genetically modified tech, and memories of trauma and abuse in its tissue.
After spending the better part of a year without consuming animals, I can safely say that I don’t regret my decision one bit, I’m so happy that I didn’t listen to all those people trying to talk me out of it ‘cos PrOtEiN 🥴 My food intolerances, skin and health problems are almost nonexistent now and will only continue to improve as I’ve never eaten such a varied diet of pure, natural vitamins and minerals.
I managed to prove to myself that I could change something so deeply ingrained by the society I grew up in, which is incredibly empowering to say the least. It has allowed me to see things so much more clearly and dissolve the unconscious guilt I was harbouring from killing and eating our animal friends.