Why I Became Vegetarian

Before I kick off my series on tips, struggles, and misconceptions about being vegetarian, I want to tell you why I'm vegetarian.

Introduction

Some people become vegetarian for religious reasons, others for moral reason, but I actually became vegetarian on accident. I know, it sounds crazy, but that's really what happened! One day I was eating lunch with a friend who asked if I was vegetarian (because she had never seen me eat meat). Initially, I said no, but as I thought about her question, I realized I hadn't had meat in 4 months and prior to that it had been another 4 or 5 months since I'd had meat. What was more, I didn't miss it; the times I'd had meat in the past year had been when I went home where vegetarian options aren't plentiful or when my parents had come to visit and I'd cooked meat for them... So I changed my answer to yes.

In order to sustain a lifestyle change such as diet, you have to have a reason that motivates you—especially if you actually enjoy the taste of meat! In my case, there are actually 4 beliefs/ideas that motivate me to stay vegetarian (now that I know I'm vegetarian).

Motivation

Religious

If you've read any of my posts on the dietary law, you know I believe that the dietary law from the Old Testament was never revoked and still stands. Unclean meats such as pork and shellfish were banished from my diet long before I became a vegetarian. Conviction from the Holy Spirit is my motivation not to consume these particular meats. Although the Bible is clear that we have permission to eat clean meats like chicken and beef, it can also be seen that God's perfect design did not include the slaughtering of animals. I noticed that during the Exodus, the Israelites complained about the lack of meat, which means the manna God fed them was vegetarian! Furthermore, in Heaven, there won't be death, which also means we won't be killing animals. So, in short, I think it's perfectly fine to eat clean meats, but I think God would prefer us to eat as little meat as possible to preserve life.

Preservation of Life

Speaking of preserving life, could you kill an animal to eat it? Most of us buy meat from the grocery store without ever having come into contact with the animal. Those who don't cook might not even see it raw and bloody. This makes it easy to disconnect the fact that an innocent animal had to die for the meat we consume. Out of sight, out of mind. However, having grown up on a farm and spending time with these animals, cows in particular, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that I would not kill an animal to eat it. If me and one of my family's cows were on a desert island with no food, I do not think I would be able to kill the cow for food. At the end of the day, I feel like if I'm not willing to get my own hands dirty, I shouldn't be eating the spoils.

Animal Rights

So, animal rights kind of goes hand in hand with the preservation of life. However, it goes deeper than why an animal's life ends. When I say I couldn't kill an animal for food, I'm talking about a happy, healthy animal. The animals kept on factory farms are neither happy nor healthy. They are subjected to harsh environments and cruel treatment simply for our gluttonous pleasure. That's not OK. I refuse for my money to fund these industries' horrible treatment of animals. If you want to see some of this for yourself, there are a host of documentaries on Netflix.

Taste

Photocredit: Brenda Godinez
I guess taste is what really helps me stay vegetarian. If I'm honest, I was never the kid who had to be told to eat her veggies. Often it was a chunk of meat that was left on my plate, either for my dad to consume or placed in the fridge for me to eat later. I just don't enjoy meat, or the heavy feeling I get after eating it. When many people become vegetarian, they use meat substitutes to fill themselves up, as well as, combat cravings. The only problem is that meat substitutes taste less like meat the closer the taste of real meat is to your short term memory. This can make it really difficult to stick with it. For those who actually enjoy the taste of meat who are thinking of becoming vegetarian, I offer this as a suggestion: think of your favorite meat dish, is it actually the meat you enjoy or some type of sauce? For instance, steak was my go to celebration meat, but what I really enjoyed was the A1 sauce. Smothered chicken was go to dinner, but I really wanted the mushroom gravy I would create while smothering the chicken. Once I realized that, I started creating vegetarian dishes that feature those sauces and/or seasonings. You can also try marinating your meat substitutes in these sauces or seasonings as well.

Next in the Journey

Why is nice and all, but how is really what a lot of people want to know! Stay tuned for feature posts which will feature answers to some of the frequently asked questions I get about being vegetarian, how I broke the news to my family, and how I deal with it in areas that aren't vegetarian friendly. If there are specific questions or topics you'd like to read, feel free to leave a comment below of use the contact page to send me a message!

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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