Four years vegetarian

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If you want the world to become a better place then you can only start with yourself. The world goes fast and negativity thrives the planet. We are taken over by a huge digital age and information is at our fingertips. The majority of people want to change the world but give up prematurely because they are just ‘one person’ in a big world full of billions, if not gazillions of others. One day I looked in the mirror and wished for the same. I was unhappy about how minimal my impact was on the world. I exclaimed ‘I care about our planet, I care about who lives on it and I care about what grows on it!’ I decided that very day to become a vegetarian and I’ve never revised that decision. Last month March, it had been four years since I’ve made that decision and I wanted to share my personal view on this topic.

I grew up in a family that had enough food opportunities to always keep my belly full, which I had always felt guilty about to be more fortunate than others. I was conscious about the fact that I had all the food I needed and yet I could not enjoy it. My relationship with food was bad. Doctors prescribed medicines or diagnosed me with food disorders and yet I’ve always had a doubt in the back of my mind if they had any clue on how important food was.

By the time I was nineteen they could prove that I was allergic to certain foods and the world made a little bit more sense to me. I had changed my diet accordingly, finding out – still to this day that bodies can reject food for no apparent reason. I learned a lot about food in rapid pace. I educated myself on how important food was to the body. You simply do not function without. I wasn’t influenced by media and I have never read any personal stories of other vegetarians before I made that conscious decision myself. A close friend of mine forwarded me documentaries, that I stopped watching after the horrid images that my retina screened and could not lose. I couldn’t look at meat as just ‘meat’; it were the dead carcasses of animals.

I questioned my own morals and integrity. I cared so deeply about animals, probably even deeper than I did about people. So why did I continue being responsible for their deaths? Wasn’t it hypocrite of me to say that I love animals and yet I kept paying others to slaughter them like they are nothing but a product. I couldn’t bear to look at that person in the mirror. It wasn’t who I wanted to be and certainly not what I wanted my impact to be on this planet.

My decision to become vegetarian and why not vegan? Because if I claim to love animals then why use them still as a producer of food? I simply do not look at animals as products but as a co-existence on this planet, so whatever they may produce as long as it’s organic and in a totally fair way towards nature I would consume the products that animals are producing either way. Our food industry is secretive about what happens to the animals and I choose not to buy any products from those big food chains that involve animal torture and slaughter.

Another reason why I do not call myself vegan despite being able to enjoy vegan meals nevertheless, is the stigma that is put on them. ‘They nag and complain about how meat eaters shouldn’t live on this planet and that everybody should become vegan’. The elite part of vegans that go into extremes – that I can sympathize just half-way with, is because after seeing so much of animal torture that it can only result in being mad about how some people still deny the existence of these horrific treatments and carry a disrespectful attitude that may seem humorous to them but isn’t at all. I, personally don’t think the extreme vegan attitude is going to make the situation any better so I remain neutral and choose no sides.

I do want to state very clearly that I don’t urge people to stop eating meat; I want them to think consciously about what they are putting in their bodies and what they are doing to our ecosystem. Therefore this writing contains an overview of my thoughts in the hope to inspire people to lead us into constructing durable solutions to the fundamental problems of our time.

My life changed after learning how to live with being overly sensitive to food and becoming a vegetarian. I felt more confident about my impact, being less responsible for suffering and being more responsible for saving a little square on our planet. However, it wasn’t always easy. Not all members of my family were so keen on me being a vegetarian. It was sometimes hard lunching or dining with friends cause they had to adjust to me. I lost a few and I gained a few. I also noticed that my choice affected people around me. Some went completely vegetarian and some reduced the amount of meat they were consuming each week.

What is vegetarianism? You might roll your eyes and tell me that you know what it means, but most of you don’t really know what a vegetarian eats. Basically, vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal), and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter. Eating without gluten-contained food can be a challenge for a vegetarian. Nonetheless, it’s the brimful of my creativity that fetches me more alternatives.  The first thing I got so crazy about was chickpeas. From Chickpea salads, soups to hummus, I enjoyed every dish with chickpeas. This is also a great source for protein (in case people are going to ask silly questions about where vegetarians get their proteins from, answer; beans!). Slowly I found more solace in making easy peasy recipes for myself that I had learned based on other recipes. 

The irony of our times is ‘no’ human is “human” enough. I don’t claim to be an exception, but I definitely believe being a vegetarian is a step towards getting less inhuman. Forcing ideas to become a vegetarian is undeniably not a fair practice, but it would be worth an attempt to reassess the importance of “taste” at the expense of animal welfare. 

If you feel like reaching out to me, be it about recipes, tips or further information about this topic then contact me. If you feel like complaining and spotting contradictions be free to send me a message too.  info@marleenzoe.com

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