Now, I feel I should make a disclaimer here. I would like to explain that I make an active choice not to eat meat. I have eaten meat though, accidentally and intentionally, a handful of times over the last 2 years. I eat eggs on occasion - and I do eat lollies, which I’ve only just learnt contain meat products. (Gelatin, an ingredient in some lollies, is derived from pig and cow skin.) And yes, I still consider myself to be a non-meat-eater.
“Well, you’re not vegetarian then are you?!”
Vegetarianism / The practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood and the flesh of any other animal). A deliberate diet for human beings.
I would say that, because I’ve eaten meat possibly 5 times (NOT meals!), out of a probable 2,190 meal times (365 days x 2 years x 3 meals/day) - that I am still a non-meat-eater. The reasons (or ‘excuses’ that I’m sure your ego is calling them!) that I did choose to eat meat on those occasions, was…
1. For health reasons
2. Because I didn’t want to inconvenience somebody else, as a result of my lifestyle choices
3. Because I was not present or eating mindfully. I once picked up a handful of mini sausage rolls and ate them whilst chatting. I don’t remember picking them up, putting them in my mouth, or even chewing them. I DO remember looking up at my friend, like a deer in headlights, saying "what did I just do?!" What was I thinking? Well, I just wasn’t. (Never happened to before, or again! But, hands down, the oddest thing I’ve ever done!)
I’m honest, and I'm transparent. I'm not going to preach to anyone, or make out that I'm super human and that this journey hasn't been full of learning curves and mistakes. I think if you read my motives below, for choosing to rid my diet of meat, you’ll agree that I’m doing the best I can to lessen my contribution to the meat industry – the absolute majority of the time.
I get asked why I don’t eat meat
…like ALL the time. It’s something people are very intrigued by, but often for all the wrong reasons. And it almost always comes from somebody watching me eat! I find this VERY strange by the way. I never notice what anybody else is eating?? I rarely bring up the fact that I choose not to eat meat, or bring it to anyone’s attention, if I don’t have to – because it’s MY choice.
Why I never answer the question properly - and evasively respond with; “Ohhhh for lots of different reasons”? Because…
1. I don’t really like labels, or being classed into any category. Plus, as you can see, there’s differences and technicalities around the term ‘Vegetarianism’ (like most things!) - and people LOVE to debate over technicalities! I don't prefer to enter into heated discussions with someone that is uneducated about a topic either.
UNEDUCATED EXAMPLE #1: This one's for the lovely, yet naive, dude down at my local bottle-O. I ask for a bottle of their Organic Wine. He ever so confidently shouts, "Yes! I'll grab it for you!" I take it home, open it up - but check the label because I didn't know this brand made their wine organically and chemically free. There's a big fat label on the side that says 'vegan friendly'. Not. The. Same. Mate.
2. I am human – and, as stated above, am not perfect. If you mention that you don’t eat meat, there are hawks watching - that make it their business to try and catch you out! It’s a failing task for them, of course. But they’re committed to it, like nothing else I’ve ever seen! (I don’t judge anyone for eating meat – but apparently it’s completely acceptable to judge a person that doesn’t?)
3. The people that ask me about why I don’t eat meat, often reek of anger and argumentative ambiance. I don’t need to justify any of my life choices to anyone. Where's the anger coming from anyway? Is it a reflection of the dissatisfaction of your own choices? If so, I don't need to be the catalyst for you to feel good or bad about yourself.
And that’s where I’ll start.
WHY would the food I choose to put in my mouth, EVER have any effect on how you feel about yourself – and your choices? I’ve never understood this. But what I have come to understand is, that some people use other’s behaviour as a gauge for their own self esteem and self worth. And when they’re witness to somebody else's failings, they almost rejoice. Like, they have doubt in themselves – so if somebody makes a mistake, they think “Oh what a relief! I thought they were perfect, or better than me. But they’re not! All is well again.”
Heads up - no one is perfect. And no one EVER thought they were better than anyone, just because they didn’t eat meat.
The amount of times I’ve seen the anticipation of “Ooh! I can’t wait to see when she falls off the wagon. This wont last!” in people’s eyes, is…actually disturbing. That might sound ‘over the top’ but, as well as being extremely intuitive on picking up people’s energies, it's been portrayed a little like this over the years…
- “But don’t you just wanna eat it!? Go on!”
- Puts sausage on my plate.
- “Well, you’ll HAVE to eat meat then if you’re low in Iron. It’s irresponsible, stubborn, silly and neglectful of your health if you don’t.”
- Says overweight, non exerciser – as another chip gets shoved down.
- “You’ve been craving meat?! ”Not a single breathe in between, before… “You’re gonna give-in and eat it then, aren’t you?!”
- Give-in…? To what?! To who?!
the passive aggressor
- “How can you not eat this? Mmmm, it’s sooooo good!”
- Me: “Self control and commitment to my morals” – as I’m shot a ‘how dare you judge me’ stare. (I wasn’t! I answered your question...and I was talking about ME!)
Do I like the taste of meat? Yes.
So you want to eat it then? No.
Now, this really is the key if you were thinking of becoming Vegetarian.
I tried several times in my life to become Vegan and/or Vegetarian - but without a real understanding, education and reason of why (other than the fact I thought it was healthier and I loved animals). Because of this, it never lasted longer than a couple of months at a time.
As soon as I became fatigued or low in Iron, because I didn’t know how to fuel my body correctly, I guiltily went back to my old ways of eating. I wanted to be Vegetarian, but I wasn’t reeeeally sure why - and I had a difficult time making the connection of the animal, to what was on my plate.
Until about 2 years ago
As I became more sensitive, spiritually attuned and opened; I began to sense the negative vibrations from meat when I ate it – and even when preparing it. I began to get more agitated, more anxious, more fearful, more…almost aggressive at times. It was so strange. My intuition gave me some clues as to why, but the reasons seemed so strange and foreign to me. I needed some further confirmation!
When I did some work around this, and asked for further guidance – I knew exactly where this energy was coming from. I had images of stressed out, frightened, tense, angry cows, chickens and pigs flash through my mind. Being treated like idiots, second class Earthlings, having their young taken away from them, being smacked around with metal rods – and then killed, packed and delivered straight to my shopping trolley. Everything is made up of energy - the meat was infused with this vibration!
Not only this, around the same time, I had been guided to eat more raw and natural foods. Foods that were from Mother Earth, perfectly designed by nature, full of all the nutrition we could ever need - and not messed around with by humans. Foods that held positive vibrations from the Earth. Foods that were healing. And as I filled my diet with this, there wasn’t much room for meat - and my intuitive channels became clearer and stronger.
I had come to understand my ‘why’ much more deeply now. (Little difficult to explain briefly when asked at a BBQ!) I knew I still needed to delve deeper into this new lesson that was being presented to me.
So I watched the Animals Australia ‘Make it Possible’ video...
I knew that Factory Farming was all throughout America, but I had no idea it was happening in our own backyard. No idea. I felt so naive. I consider myself to be an undercover-er of all things immoral, underground and hidden! How had this slipped past me? I was disgusted. I cried from start to finish watching that video.
I had enough trouble thinking of animals being frightened, as they were lead up the production line, to be killed for our meals – but living a life full of mistreatment, torture, sadness, fear, separation and pain before this - as well? (And being born specifically for this type of a life? All for us?)
- What the hell was wrong with us!?
- How could this happen?!
- Where had our priorities gone wrong?!
- And I’d been contributing to this…?
Yes it was painful to watch. But there’s no way my pain could compare to the pain that these animals were living in. Every day. The least I could do was to sit with discomfort, in order to become educated and awakened to what was actually happening to them behind closed doors.
After this video I was led to another PETA video. And it knocked the wind out of me. This was much more graphic; but I couldn’t be selfish and turn away. I had to see this with my own eyes to be able to make a change. Rhys came home to me crying, unable to say a word. Breathless and sobbing, unable to stop the tears or the wrenching in my heart. When I could get the words out to explain, he said, “yeah, but that doesn’t happen in Australia bub. That’s in America and overseas.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought too”; I said.
I signed the Animals Australia pledge straight away. There was no way I could contribute to this greedy, repulsive and corrupt industry any longer. It honestly was an instant snap, backed up by my earlier insights. I refused, from that day forward, to pay a single cent toward funding this production.
And then I learned even more!
About ALL the other issues around this mammoth systematic production of meat for human consumption...
I’ll let you absorb this, for now, and leave the ‘why not Vegan’ for Part 2. I'll also go into my continually growing list of 'why' - including information around
- meat glue
- connectedness to all things
- antibiotics, hormones and chemicals in meat
- animal testing
- my thoughts on humane/RSPCA approved meats
- the proven links between eating meat and disease
- contamination in your meats
- live exporting
- and the answers to all the questions I get about getting enough Protein, Iron and nutrition in my diet.
Stay tuned… Anita x