So, this is something I have been contemplating for almost a year now.
It all started with Food Inc.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH my god have you guys seen that documentary?! It's on Netflix. About a year ago I started to watch it and literally got about 20 minutes into it before Steven came in and turned it off and wouldn't let me watch anymore because I was freaking out. Scary shit, people. TERRIFYING.
I've also seen some other documentaries that have got me thinking....Forks Over Knives; Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead; Hungry For Change; Supersize Me. All focus on educating the public about what really goes into the food you buy at the grocery store, and why a plant-based, clean, whole diet (diet meaning the food that you consume, not something you do for a short period of time to lose weight quickly) is the healthiest option for us.
I already eat very healthily. I'm very proud of the way that I've changed my eating habits in the last three years. And even right now, while I'm struggling with a regular workout routine because of all the stressful things going on in my life, I still feel good about myself because I know that I'm sticking with good food. But in the last couple years something has changed, and I completely blame it on one person:
OK he's not a person, but you get the picture. When I got Rodney, a LOT of things changed. Obvious things, like now I have to make sure to get up early on the weekends to let the dog out to poop, and some internal things. Like all of a sudden I'm obsessed with animals. I love all the animals now, out of nowhere. And every time I see a dog running down the road I HAVE to pick him/her up, knock on doors to find the owner, and then take the dog to the humane society or I have nightmares about said animal freezing in the wash at night by our house, or getting eaten by coyotes (I have now taken 3 dogs to the HS in the last year. Who am I?)
This is not me! Or it's not the old me...the "me" before Rodney. I have this deep seated compassion for animals now, and after seeing Food Inc a year ago I was deeply disturbed and began doing something kind of weird...but every time I eat meat I think about what the animal I was eating went through to get to my mouth and I picture those things happening to Rodney. And it makes me feel sick. And guilty. And like I'm doing something wrong.
So I've been thinking about going vegan. At first, I was like, OK this is sad and horrible but there's no way I could ever cut out animal products. Now, for the last three months, I've been seriously considering it. I am at the point where I feel like if I feel this strongly about it, I should do something. But the thought of cutting out all animal products is overwhelming and seems somewhat impossible.
I've done a TON of research. Actually, it's all I've been doing in my spare time between applying for jobs and working and sitting on the couch staring at my dog in love while he eats bones....it's fine. So, I know at this point my best bet to really doing this thing is to start slow, and with one thing at a time. I also have done enough research to know that I might not be able to completely cut out 100% animals products in EVERYTHING I use or eat. I can try, but it will be pretty hard. Also, there's a chance my body might not do well without meat. Gina from The Fitnessista was veg for years and started feeling very sick. She introduced chicken back into her diet and feels healthier than ever now, and I've read other people's stories like that. So, I know it's not as simple as waking up one morning and saying, "Welp, now I'm vegan!". But I really want to try to make some changes.
I'm also not sure that I would ever be 100% vegan because I can say for sure that I can give up meat, cheese, and dairy, but I can't ever give up eggs. Sorry....but I really can't. However, if the chickens that the eggs come from are being taken care of properly and are cage-free, I really don't see the problem so much...and I've been buying local cage-free eggs for almost two years now. So...I guess I can't really be vegan, but can be vegan-ish? Is that a thing?
So first, I'm trying to cut out meat. I have now gone three days without meat, which isn't a huge deal, because I don't eat it daily, but still. Three days without meat is good! I also think/am already seeing that saying no to meat is forcing me to focus more on vegetables and greens, because meat can sometimes take up a huge portion of a meal. Well, now, to be totally hungry, I need to eat more veggies! So this is a good thing, obviously.
I want to be clear about one thing though...I actually am not against the idea of eating meat. I love meat. I really, really do. I am struggling with what is being done to the animals to get to my plate. I think it's sick. Seriously, try and sit through Food, Inc. Let me know how that goes...whether you eat meat or not, whether you like animals or not, it's disturbing. I know that I could just commit to buying grass-fed beef and that type of meat, but to be honest, it's just SO expensive, and I know that after moving May 30th I'm going to be staying with my parents and then with my sister, both in places where those type of options definitely won't be available. So I feel like my first step is just to cut out meat, one day at a time, and see how I do with that. I guess.
I know this post is kind of all over the place, but basically I'm wondering if any of you can give me any insight on being vegan or vegetarian. How did you get to that place? How difficult was it to change? How long did it take you? Did you have setbacks? Do you still have setbacks? Why did you want to do it? Can I be vegan-ish and still eat eggs and maybe the occasional fish, or do I have to be all or nothing to be accepted by other vegans? Do you have any great blogs to recommend to me to find vegan dishes? How do you explain your stance on food to other people (I'm a little nervous about being judged)? Any thoughts or advice, especially, would be greatly appreciated!!