Hi! My name is Sarah and I just joined the Care2 community, became a friend of SavingOpusOne, and I also joined the SoyGo team a few weeks ago. I posted this blog on the SoyGo.net website but I thought I would share it on the Care2 site as well. As a way of introducing myself, I’m going to blog about how I became a vegetarian- something that manages to come up in conversation not too long after meeting me!
When I initially chose to become a vegetarian I wasn’t overly informed about animal rights. I didn’t know about the health benefits that I would reap from being a vegetarian. I didn’t imagine all of the amazing foods I would learn to love. I didn’t think about the fact that I was creating a smaller carbon footstep either. I became a vegetarian because I never really liked meat.
I took the plunge and became a vegetarian almost 15 years ago after traveling around the UK and Europe. Being a somewhat picky eater who didn’t like meat, I found myself eating many vegetarian meals by default. When I returned to the USA I decided, on a whim, to give being a vegetarian a go- why not!
I was not armed with a plan of how to accomplish becoming a vegetarian nor did I have a refrigerator stocked with veggie-friendly foods. So instead, I ate peanut butter and bagels for the first week! Even with such an unsustainable and boring diet consisting solely of peanut butter and bagels, I liked being a vegetarian - it was working for me!
Knowing full well I needed to expand my vegetarian repertoire, I researched different vegetarian meals and found that I love reading vegetarian cookbooks just as much as I love reading great big novels. There was suddenly a whole world of learning up for grabs. I found gems like Mollie Katzen’s cookbooks, and discovered tofu, tempeh, and edamame! (These are of course staples in my house now but at the time everything was new to me). I can go on and on about cooking and recipes - maybe another time.
Aside from the thrill of learning about great vegetarian recipes and ingredients, I couldn’t answer the question of why I became a vegetarian. I didn’t feel comfortable talking about politically charged or hot topics like slaughter houses or battery farms because I didn’t have enough information on the subject. Intuitively though I knew being a vegetarian felt right for me.
A friend gave me a copy of Pamela Rice’s 101 Reasons Why I Am A Vegetarian. The information about how animals are treated in slaughterhouses, how vegetarians are significantly at less risk for obesity, diabetes, and cancer, and how the transportation of animals is often so cruel and inhumane brought tears to my eyes. I remember calling my husband at work to read him the horrors of what I was learning. That night, he came home and read the article for himself. He never ate meat again.
After nearly 15 years as a vegetarian I don’t have just one reason why I am a vegetarian. I have many reasons. My reasons are secondary to the peace of mind and clear conscience I have in knowing, that on a daily basis, I continue to make the choice to do the right thing by not eating meat. I am glad I followed my intuition.