My decision to give up meat and fish was’t prompted by a shocking video from a chicken factory in the US or a well researched book, although it could have well been. It was all created in my head, aided by a few headlines and articles I read online, and my biggest concern was the planet. The environmental repercussions of eating meat are so mindbogglingly huge! The amount of money, water, food and space dedicated to animal breeding for food knocks my shocks off every time I read it again. A quick YouTube search:
So, I get it, we need to eat. Having an impact on the planet is not avoidable, and that is okay. As long as we allow the planet time to renew its natural resources (which, surprise, surprise, we don’t). So thinking globally and acting locally, I decided I could do my part by not eating meat or spending any of my money on it – unless I was at my granny’s, that woman does not conceive a meal without meat or fish; it’s just not food. And, you know what? It was easy enough. I stopped buying the little meat I did before, I’ve never been a huge meat eater myself so it wasn’t a huge change for me. I looked for vegetarian recipes. They are the best meals I have had. The variety and colour is breathtaking. I did not feel I was restricting my diet at all.
It was slightly more difficult to explain this other people. My mum looked at me strangely (it was Christmas and my family is made of meat eaters, so she was sort of worried about feeding me), but was happy I had made my own decision and only tried to push salmon a few times. And succeeded, I freaking love salmon. Weak spot! My family didn’t understand much why I was doing it, after what a little hypocrite I was being if I was doing it for pollution. I travelled by plane at least six times a year, surely that polluted a lot as well and I was not doing anything about it. And look at all the plastic we use on our daily life! That must be worse than a few animals, right? It didn’t bother me much, my uncles are meat eaters who love me and that was their weird way of showing concern. Thanks guys, I won’t starve.
My friends are some of the most amazing people in the planet and they all supported me and were very careful of only cooking veggie stuff when I was around. All good. But then, the unthinkable happened: my boyfriend moved in. (Hey, unthinkable because had you told me two years ago I was going to be in cohabitation at 22, I would have laughed at you so hard my jaw would have detached as a snake’s about to eat an elephant. Way too independent for a relationship, little me. But then I met him and here we are, freaking happy. Moving on.) So he moved in, and he loves meat.
Sure enough, he never pushed me into eating meat. Ever. He had been very respectful… but also demanded meat in most of his meals. Bacon pancakes are a thing (and they are wonderfully tasty). So here I was, having to cook in two pans. Spending money on meat anyway as we shared bills. It was a nightmare and seemed ridiculous. So I am struggling, and not following my no meat diet very closely lately. I still stand my ground most nights and never get meat if we go out or for lunch. But it’s hard. Not because it makes me jealous that he is eating a steak, but because I have not eaten one in a long time so, you know, it is sorta appetising. So mostly we just cook the meat separately and then add it to his plate. But sometimes I do eat some chicken (free range) or some beef (organic) and, you know, it is not the end of the world. Yet.