For years now, I had thought of becoming a vegetarian. A vegan, even. At first, I thought it was easy. I was drinking soy instead of regular milk, eating more vegetables than the average person, – but as I grew up, I realized it was much harder than I first thought it was.
Two months before my 15th birthday, I decided to consult vegetarians that had gone through the process of transitioning from a meat eater to a vegetarian or a vegan. I sought out their tips on how to keep myself motivated, what were good substitutes for meat in terms of protein and stuff like that, and they had kindly given me their reasons as to why they suddenly decided to convert in the first place.
Now, I’ve always loved animals. No matter how dirty, no matter how ugly, no matter how vicious they were, I still loved them. Which was why this was eating away at me for years. Vegetables weren’t exactly a rare thing in our household, but they were hard to maintain. Growing up in a family of meat-lovers wasn’t exactly torture, but it wasn’t heaven either.
It had terrified me when I did some research and found the different horrifying ways one can die from too much intake of meat. It had a lot of health detriments and although I couldn’t do anything to change my family’s minds, I still had time to change my diet before it was too late.
Contrary to popular belief, becoming a vegetarian/vegan doesn’t just happen overnight. You just can’t wake up one day and go “I’ve decided that I’m going to become a vegetarian/vegan now.” That certainly did not happen with me, and though I can’t speak for others, I’m guessing that this didn’t happen to other people either.
I’ve actually put a lot of thought into becoming a vegetarian. I’ve told my parents this years before I even decided to go through with it. It was cruel to think that animals, although also very intelligent creatures, were brutally murdered just to feed more advanced animals. Take note that this is my view on things, so whether or not you create a debate, I’m still adamantly sticking with my opinion.
Since I had grown up around meat for a majority of my life, it was quite difficult to just completely cut off my intake of meat out of the blue. That would’ve been a disaster. So, I talked to my parents about it first and they had shut me down, and it was never spoken of ever again.
Like I’ve been incessantly reiterating, I’ve thought about it for years. I only made a final decision when I’d done some thorough research upon the pros and cons of being a vegetarian-slash-vegan and made the final conclusion to just start changing my diet slowly.
So I sat down with both my parents and I told them why I wanted to become a vegetarian. My dad only had a few things to say.
“If you’re so intent on this, then we’ll support you. You’ve told us this before and it looks like nothing has changed. So, does this mean you’re not going to have burritos and burgers anymore?”
…This was the hardest part that I had encountered upon making up my mind. Yes, I loved burritos – burgers were good but I could live without them –, but there were vegetarian burrito recipes that I could try. It didn’t necessarily have to have meat, right?
And my mom? Well…
“It’s about time. But you should do it slowly, okay? No meat for you anymore. No more bacon.”
…I must admit that there are going to be a few things that I will miss. But for the sake of my health and state of mind, it’ll all be worth it in the end.
And who knows, maybe I’ll record a few days of my journey towards being a vegetarian. And maybe a few recipes here and there. I love experimenting.