In December 2018 I gave up meat. This was a month after finishing Keto, a diet where I found myself leaning heavily on very fatty means. To be clear, Keto can work for vegetarians and vegans but at the time, that wasn’t an option.
So, how did I get from point a to point b?
How, did I go from a guilt-stricken meat eater to a vegetarian transitioning to veganism?
It’s a Journey that Started in 2012
My first child was on the way but hadn’t yet arrived. I was looking up diets, I’d put on a fair bit of weight and wanted to get healthier both physically and mentally for my soon-to-be son.
That research led to me getting an in-depth look at the pros and cons of vegetarian and vegan diets. In turn, this led to me looking harder and in more depth about the ecological and ethical implications of the meat industry.
My Eyes Were Opening (But Not Yet Opened)
Six years is a long time from realising there’s a problem to acting on it. This is a source of overwhelming guilt for me. Of course, the reason seemed legitimate at the time. In a household of three (later four) and living on a tight budget it seemed impractical and selfish to introduce a diet for one person based on my personal hang-ups.
Except they Weren’t “Hang-ups”, Were They?
That implies that it was somehow my problem that I was (still am) uncomfortable with the animal welfare issues or that I was (still am) concerned with the climate change, environmental conservation and deforestation issues within the livestock industry.
Allowing myself to believe that feeling this way was a “hang-up”, my problem (as opposed to something much larger) or that it was somehow less selfish than making the change were extremely misguided outlooks. Looking back now, they feel like excuses rather than legitimate reasons.
So… What Changed?
My oldest (though not vegetarian or vegan) has a lot of love for animals. Thanks to school, 2018 saw him become much more aware of the environment and the idea that animals aren’t always treated right. My son started to ask questions about why people hurt animals.
He (of course) saw eating meat as natural and would identify people as carnivores, omnivores or herbivores (and himself as the first). What my boy didn’t understand, was how people could abuse the animals.
Being five at the time, there was a limit to how much I could explain but all this led to me questioning my habits and the example I was setting. So, I made the transition. My time on Keto was the last time on meat properly and at the end of it the sight and smell made me physically nauseas, as well as mentally.
I’ve not missed meat at all, and I feel a lot better in myself. I’ve been 100% vegetarian for almost half a year, I’ve lost weight gradually and healthily. I am also experimenting with vegan alternatives and making that change also, however, I’m finding that depending on where you live, options can be limited.
About The Author
Aaron is a UK based parenting, lifestyle, wellbeing and entertainment blogger. He is a Dad of two, his favourite colour is green and he strongly dislikes tomatoes. You can find his posts and poetry over at The Busy Papa and over on facebook, twitter and instagram too.