Tomorrow marks a decade of vegetarianism for me. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of myself. Ten years ago when I decided to become vegetarian, I had no idea where I was going with it or how long it was going to last. Growing up, I never liked meat. Even before I was old enough to understand where it actually came from, I had an aversion to it. Fried chicken was the only thing I could stomach, and that’s only if it was slathered in ketchup (because mostly I just LOVE ketchup). Then when I was in the 8th grade, I met my best friend, who had just adopted a vegetarian diet and my world was changed. I obviously knew where meat came from, but was naive when it came to the atrocities of the meat industry. He spent the next 9 months educating me on the processes and the dangers of meat and made me realize that it was possible to not have to it. Because that’s how I had always felt growing up, like I had to eat meat. I decided to give it a week trial right after finishing my 8th grade year, and never looked back.
That brings us to today. It’s a strange and prideful time. While I’m thrilled with the lifestyle that I live and my convictions behind it…I can’t help but feel I’m not doing enough. And that’s where veganism sits. I can’t help but think that regardless of how much I selfishly like the taste of cheese or the convenience of still being able to eat at most restaurants, that I’m basically lying to myself. I know animals are not only being harmed and mistreated to produce the eggs and dairy (only in cheese form) that I enjoy, but they are being killed. So I’ve been enlightening myself on how to have a healthy and fulfilling vegan life and I’m really excited to start my new journey. I’m presenting it to my husband as a week trial to mark the ten-year anniversary, but I know that once I start, I won’t ever look back.