Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Why I'm Vegetarian

It's not something I really bring up, because why would I? Unless you've seen me complaining about the iconic moment a friend's parent offered me one single onion for my lunch as a kid, you might not have known that I'm vegetarian. Never eaten meat in my life, except for when I was in nursery and this boy brought in a box of mini sausage rolls for the class. I thought it was Quorn, guys, but how wrong I was.

Before I get into this post, though, I'm just going to clear something up: I'm actually pescetarian if you want to get technical about it, but the only fish I'll even let close to my plate is the battered kind you get from the chip shop, so it's easier to just tell people I'm veggie. If you tell someone you're pescetarian, you're going to be given prawns. I learned that the hard way, and I'm not about that life.

Why am I vegetarian? I get asked this a lot, because people have this weird fascination with it. In their eyes, I'm either deprived and neglected, forced to feast on one lettuce leaf per day, or I'm some kind of superhuman with the ability to restrain myself from the glorious lumps of flesh adorning every supermarket's meat counter. But my answer is a pretty boring one, if not slightly unusual: most of my family is vegetarian, so that's how I grew up, and that's how I've stayed.

I'm pretty sure both my mum's parents ate meat up until certain points, and then they became pescetarian. Later, my mum was born, so she never ate meat because they didn't - and the same happened with me. We've discussed it, actually - I don't think anyone would have minded if I'd started eating meat. I could eat it now if I wanted to and no one would mind. But because she'd never eaten it, it never crossed her mind to start giving it to me either, so in nineteen years I've never had it. Like I said before, 50% of people think I must be really strong to 'resist' it, but... it's never even been a temptation. You can't miss what you've never had, and it doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, not to mention the fact that it's been so long I think introducing meat into my diet now would cause me to become ill. It'd be too drastic a change - I know people who became vegetarian but had to start eating meat again as their bodies just couldn't cope.

Also - I really couldn't care less what you eat. Honestly. You do you. Of course I care about animal rights, but the only reason I'm vegetarian is because I grew up like that. I'm not going to lecture you on bacon, and I'm not going to be offended if you eat meat in front of me. I handle meat (oh shush) every day at work, and my step-dad eats it too. Whatever. Although I have to admit, why do people like the smell of meat cooking? Vom.

So that's me: eater of Quorn and lover of cute veggie cafes for the best part of two decades. Not a conscious choice, more something I never bothered to change because I didn't need to - and I don't see that ever changing!

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  1. I'm a veggie too and have never eaten meat, which is something that some people just can't wrap their heads around - why on Earth haven't I tried bacon?! Because it doesn't appeal to me AT ALL!
    The smell of meat cooking makes me feel sick too!
    Thank you for posting about this - it's good to know that I'm not alone :)

    Jess @ A Book Addict's Bookshelves

  2. I am pescetarian, too! I went vegetaran off and on all through high school and college and the summer after I graduated from university I stopped eating mammal meat (I say this because if I said red meat people would tell me I could eat pork). When I first became pregnant with my son I went full on vegan for awhile, because I didn't want any of the hormones and antibiotics they give milk cows and poultry getting to him. I started craving protien though, so I let myself eat eggs and fish after awhile. After he was born I just never started eating poultry again. I try not to have much dairy, but I love cheese. Ha ha. We get our eggs from a local free range farm.

    My son was raised mammal meat free. I tried not having him eat poultry, but I had to cook it for his father and it was too hard to keep him from wanting it. He is 25 now and still does not eat red meat.

    People do have weird ideas when you say you are vegan, vegetarian, or pescetarian. I kind of get why they think I might be judging them because here in the US non-meat eaters can be a$sh*les, especially vegans, and people automatically think I am judging them when I am not. I get judged myself by both vegetarians and vegans for eating fish, and of course meateaters scorn my eating fish because they feel "all meat is the same". I do like you do and just say I am vegetarian. It saves a lot of trouble and then I only get hassled by the vegans. Heh heh. Oh, and I don't do leather products or furs either.

    I love the idea that your pescetarianism has been generational. :)