As I stood in my office munching on Ritz crackers, I suddenly remembered that a year ago today I made the steadfast decision to commit to being a pesco-vegetarian.
To define the term pesco-vegetarian, it’s a vegetarian category that involves eating a mostly plant-based diet, but also eating fish and seafood. I do eat eggs and I do drink milk sometimes, I just don’t eat anything that crawls or walks on land.
The main source of inspiration to cut meat out of my diet came from my research into what goes on in some slaughter houses, as outlined in the documentary ‘Vegucated’. After watching the documentary, I not only stopped eating meat, I stopped wearing anything made from leather or fur.
That meant refusing to wear the leather gloves my mom had given me, as well as the Danier leather jacket I had hanging in my closet. In the winter time I simply stick to wearing many layers of fleece and wool. If I wear anything that resembles leather, please know it is not real!
My eyes were opened to the horrors that take place in some slaughter houses to innocent animals. I was horrified at the brutal treatment some pigs, chickens and cows are subject to. I saw pigs being shot with stun guns then falling over and twitching in shock as they died.
Eating plant-based meals came easy to me, as every time I was tempted to eat meat, I remembered the fear and torment some animals endure right before their death.
A challenge I have faced is eating dinner with my meat-eating husband and the rest of my meat-eating Chinese family.
Eating dinner at home, I have seen a lot of different cooked animal parts on the table. During these times, I usually just stick with eating rice and whichever raw vegetables are available.
I remember at one point making bean, kale and egg stew, which turned out to be very tasty, especially with melted cheese and sour cream added. I was sure my family wouldn’t want to try it as it did not contain meat, but much to my surprise, some of them did try it. Some of them even liked it.
One of the most fun things about being a vegetarian is grocery shopping, which entails buying fruits and vegetables that are healthy for you. I have found a love for avocados and making vegetarian caesar garlic wraps.
I have met people who are baffled at my decision to not eat meat and who have gone on to ask me strange questions such as if I would ever eat scientifically manufactured meat. I simply reply no.
I stand by my decision to become a vegetarian, and often question why an animal must die just so I can consume it when there’s a whole variety of delicious vegetables out there that can be consumed. I have never seen a carrot quiver in fear of being killed.
All in all, I am proud to say I am a vegetarian, and have been for a year now. I don’t miss eating meat as I never particularly liked chewing through a steak. I would much rather munch on carrots or broccoli and know that no animal has suffered just so I can eat it.