Pink Paw Print

Monday, July 13, 2015

Why I'm a Vegetarian

Hi, everybody!! <3 So, I've been getting asked this question quite a bit recently, which is: "Why are you a vegetarian?" Choosing not to eat meat is oftentimes portrayed in the media as some "exotic" decision that becomes life-defining… but for me, it has always been a totally natural part (LOLZZ OMG GET IT!? NATURAL, BECAUSE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT EATING PLANTS! OMG SO PUN-NY~~~ okay okay I'm done, ahaha!) of my diet. Here's my story…

It began with my Beanie Babies. As a little girl in kindergarten, I had a pig toy and a cow toy that were both incredibly beloved. I grew up in Queens, New York where there was this amazing Greek-style diner (apparently it no longer exists, wahh! *one silent tear slides down my cheek dramatically*) and my mom ordered a ham and broccoli omelette. I knew ham was clearly not a vegetable like the broccoli was, so I asked my mom what animal ham comes from. I was HORRIFIED to know that my adorable pig Beanie Baby was being killed for omlettes!!!!!!!!! I tried not to look at my mom's plate for the rest of the meal, and as soon as I came home I whispered to the pig that I would never, ever eat him - I promised. Later that day, I found out that cows get eaten too because they are what beef is made of. Devastated, I promised my cow I would never eat him, either.

My parents were not vegetarians (they are, for the most part, also vegetarians now!) at the time, so I would find myself being served chicken and turkey for dinner, which I would eat because my little-girl logical self reasoned well, hey - at least they weren't my Beanie Babies! After the few years of elementary school passed by, I realized in middle school/junior high, that I really did not enjoy eating poultry and the texture would make me feel quite sick to my stomach. I just couldn't get over the fact that I was eating a dead animal, and my mind would replay over and over "how would I feel if my dead carcass was being eaten for lunch!?". At this point, I started getting my protein mainly from putting nuts and beans into salads and even pasta dishes, but occasionally still ate poultry. The change felt a bit funny at first, but it wasn't so hard.

My first two years of high school, I went to a boarding school where I was a day student during the academic year and a boarder during the summer session. We would have these super-fancypants meals twice a week called "Community Lunch" where we'd have to sit at an assigned table with a few other students (usually one from each class year, or as my school called them, "forms") and one or two faculty members. They served "Georgia Peach Chicken" pretty frequently at these Community Lunches, and although the peaches were always delicious, the chicken was not necessarily as superb. I refuse to go into details because I get super-sick just thinking about it, but one day, I got a very very unfortunate serving of the chicken… I'll leave it at that (but don't let your imagination run too wild about it - eek! *shudders with terror*).

So, from my second year of high school on, I have not eaten any red meats or poultry. On June 30th, I decided to make the attempt to give up seafood as well (a difficult endeavor, because seafood is totes-my-goats my fave!) but I'm proud to say that it has been going swimmingly well….. okay okay sorry, no more puns in this post, for realz!!!

When it comes to not eating other meats, for me, it's pretty hard to miss something I've never actually known. Some days I definitely do not get enough protein, I must admit, but I've been very diligent about changing this aspect of my diet. Legumes, Greek yogurt, and nuts of all kinds (cashews, pistachios, almonds, and walnuts are my go-tos!) have been included on my plate in an increasing amount as of late, and I've found my body has been thanking me in the forms of healthier hair and quicker nail growth (french manicure, here I come!!).

A common misconception is that all vegetarians want to "aggressively shove" their values onto others. While I do hope that more people will become vegetarians in the world because I really do love animals so much, I'm not about to tell you that you're a bad person for not being a vegetarian! I do have one strict rule, though, that if I'm dating a guy who orders meat, I won't kiss him until he brushes his teeth first (I've learned the hard way that the taste of meat makes me sick to my stomach…. *sigh* ahaha!) so that the remnants of the steak/pork/etc. is no longer present! It's super silly-sounding, but trust me when I say that it makes a world of difference, lol!!

Are you a vegetarian?
xoxo, Brooke


36 comments:

  1. my boyfriend's a vegetarian as of last december because of that, i've learnt how to cook various vegetarian (even vegan!) meals. i would also eat the meals with him and i have to say, i feel after eating it as opposed to eating meat, no matter how delicious i think it tastes! i'm actually thinking about becoming vegetarian just to try be more healthy because i have to admit, i'm very bad at keeping a balanced diet at times!

    Lara | www.alaramode.co.vu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, vegan meals!!! I've always wanted to go vegan but I do occasionally eat eggs (something I think I forgot to mention in my post up above, oops! :p ), like when my protein levels are too low! Oooh, yay!! I'm so glad you're thinking about becoming a vegetarian - I definitely recommend it! <3

      Delete
  2. What an interesting read!! I have never really preferred the meat parts of the meal, I usually pick around those and go to town with the sides!!

    Carley @ preppylane.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha!!! "go to town with the sides" !! I can picture that so well - and I used to always do that myself, too! <3

      Delete
  3. This is an interesting post, I've been going back and forth between giving vegetarianism a try since meat is so expensive as a college student. This definitely gave me more to think about :)

    Anika | hejbonjour.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad!! <3 Yes, I definitely recommend giving it a try!! I'm also a college student, and I've found that getting protein from beans and nuts actually gives me more energy than animal protein used to! :p

      Delete
  4. I am not a vegetarian, however, I don't eat very much meat anymore. It's mostly because I enjoy the alternatives, like veggie burgers. I couldn't give up eggs, though. I get a lot of protein from them, and really like them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh, I love veggie burgers SO much!! <3 Personally, I try to avoid the soy-based burgers and go for chickpea or quinoa-based burgers! I know what you mean about the eggs! Some vegetarians still do eat eggs from time to time…aka me, lol!!! :p I've always wanted to go vegan (no dairy, no eggs, etc.) but it would certainly be a struggle for me!!

      Delete
  5. Great post! I'm a vegetarian too and people are constantly asking me why and assuming I'm some hippie freak! I really never thought it was a big deal. I'm like you, I just think about it way too much and get grossed out. I don't care if other people eat hamburgers, I just don't want to! :)

    Xo,
    Courtney
    www.courtneyfashionista.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHA "assuming I'm some hippie freak" !! You crack me up! :p Ahhh, yeah - exactly!! We are such twinzies! *cue sassy hand flip* ahaha! <3

      Delete
  6. I used to have that cow beanie baby, I think it was pink (or white). It was the cutest thing and I am so glad that I am vegetarian. It is the horror stories that I hear so I am happy to know there are others around who feel the same way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha awwww! <3 I had the black & white cow, but I'm pretty sure they made a few different versions! :p I agree - I can't even listen to the horror stories; they're just too upsetting!!

      Delete
  7. Great Post, I was a vegetarian from when I left home at 17 till about 24, just for the fact I was living with a family of butchers so as soon as I could I decided not to eat meat anymore, now I do mainly for medical reasons but not that much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you!! :) Oh wow!!! A family of butchers is certainly not an ideal environment for a vegetarian, that's for sure!! :p I'm glad you gave it a try, and I hope the meat is helping the medical condition! <3

      Delete
  8. I love that you shared your personal decision to be vegetarian. I do eat a little meat, but have considered giving it up completely. I feel like I have more to learn about getting complete nutrition from plants. We went vegetarian for several months, but became deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, so we began eating a regular diet again. It still piques my interest since I care for animals. Thanks for this inspiring post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh!! I definitely understand how easy it is to become deficient in certain nutrients - it takes some upkeep to make sure to stay on track!! :p I hope you look into it and try, try again! <3

      Delete
  9. I did go vegan for several months but it was too hard to maintain with my family. But I respect everyone's decision to put what they want in their bodies. Going vegan was a challenge but I did like how I felt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely understand!! There really is a difference in how one's body feels when eating meat versus when not eating meat, isn't there!? <3

      Delete
  10. Hi Brooke,
    Loved this post..I am not a vegetarian, but I really would like to try it... going with no meat sounds hard, but I really hate how inhumane animals are treated and most meat is not good for you. Thanks for the inspiration and for visiting my blog..your bog is adoreable....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww thank you so much!! <3 And yes, you should definitely try it!! It might sound hard at first, but it truly does become second-nature! :)

      Delete
  11. The gal I'm in a meal swap with just recently went vegetarian. Not going to lie, I was a little sad because she is a really good cook ;) But I respect her choices of course :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Who knows… maybe her vegetarian meals will be just as yummy!? :p <3

      Delete
  12. I've been vegetarian for 10 years, vegan for about 5. Sadly, if you are vegetarian for the animals, you need to look into cutting out some of the dairy, eggs, and other animal products out. The cruelty goes way beyond just eating a beloved animal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a very good point!! I'll be looking into hopefully one day transitioning into a vegan lifestyle! <3

      Delete
  13. I love this post!! I was a Vegetarian for about 10 yrs, but, when I had to give up gluten/wheat for Celiac, I added seafood back in. I'd love to switch back, thoug, or go Vegan :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww thank you!!! <3 Seafood is sooo delicious, I don't blame ya! :p Oh! Maybe one day you will!

      Delete
  14. I'm not a vegetarian buy any means but I totally respect your decision :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am a vegetarian too and often get people say to me ' you should eat meat' or 'why don't you eat meat' despite telling them 24/7 to respect my decision. xxx www.fadedspring.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha *sigh* maybe one day they will understand us!!! :p <3 Stay strong, girlie!

      Delete
  16. I'm not vegetarian, but I definitely respect the decision and can totally understand the reason why! I think it is always interesting to hear the different reasons people choose to be vegetarian...thanks for sharing!

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have found the big thing is getting enough protein. I am not entirely vegetarian. My decision was probably based on that I got food poisoning with meat and I found it hard to digest. However, getting enough protein is a challenge. I tend to use protein powder to help solve that. Then, I found that protein powder didn't digest, so I had to find a way to help my digestion. So it takes a process getting off of meat to find what works for any one individual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, man, that's definitely a tricky situation!! I definitely know what you mean about the protein powder... I used to eat protein-enhanced granola bars and I always had weird stomach pain after eating them!!

      Delete
  18. I am not, but I completely understand why some people are!

    xo katie // a touch of teal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks!! :p I wish everybody had such a great attitude about it like you do!! <3

      Delete