When I was younger, I used to be a vegetarian. I did not like the idea that animals were killed for my food. As I got older and especially as I was traveling more, sometimes it was easier to have a more flexible diet, so I became a ‘flexitarian’.
This requires a certain numbing of the mind; to dissociate eating meat with thinking of where that meat came from. Slowly but surely there was always a ‘reason’ (excuse!) to consume animal products: I was in a location with limited options, this specific dish was a specialty of the area I was visiting, a friend had prepared a non-vegetarian meal and I did not want to be rude, the meat just smelled soooo good, cheese tastes so great and is an easy source of protein, and sometimes I felt like my body indicated that I NEEDED meat. Without a deliberate decision, I had become an ‘opportunitarian’: eating meat and other animal products whenever the opportunity presented itself.
I decided to do a 30 day vegan challenge, meaning no meat, fish, eggs, dairy or other animal products for a month, to give myself a complete reset.
Even though I would never buy meat to cook for myself, since I eat in restaurants most of the time, I had really become an ‘opportunitarian’ I wanted to be taking a conscious decision again about whether I would eat meat or other animal products. I wanted to take back control over what I eat.
I love animals and don’t think it is right to make them suffer for our pleasure. If an animal has a good life on a farm and then gets killed, it’s one thing, but I despise the ‘factory farming’ that is ‘producing our meat nowadays. The living animals are already considered meat when they are still alive and treated horribly. It’s not humane, it’s not sustainable, and it’s not healthy for consumption.
The alternative is to eat only organic and local products from small farms.