For as long as I can remember I’ve been a fairly adventurous eater. Even as a child my parents never had to bribe me into eating vegetables or to try strange sauces. In fact, I loved sampling new foods and learning how to bake with my grandma in her kitchen. The one caveat to this was always milk. For some reason, the thought of drinking milk absolutely disgusted me. So much so that I remember getting into a showdown with my Girl Scout leader at sleep away camp. She was adamant that I would finish an entire glass with dinner. I was adamant that I would sooner throw the entire jug into the fire and face the consequences rather than take even the tiniest sip of (to me, sour, rancid, milk).
I did not drink the milk.
Fast forward to present day, I’ve been a mostly vegetarian (with some seafood items thrown in from time to time, so mostly pescatarian) for a little over three years now. I’ve not had even a bite of pork, beef, chicken, lamb, etc for the entirety of these three years. For me, the decision to stop eating meat was very simple. I’d already gone long stretches of time without eating meat (mostly for health reasons but also because I felt uncomfortable with the way animals are usually treated in the factory farming process). Once I made the decision to formally stop eating meat, I never thought about consuming it again. With that being said, I have continued to eat dairy and seafood items and lately have found myself wondering more and more why I’m okay with eating these animal products but feel so adamantly against eating meat. Is it because there’s a line I’m okay with crossing? Is it because I love the taste of these foods? Is it because I quantify which animals feel pain? Which parts of the environment I’m concerned with?
I have so many questions and no answers. So, I wanted to take a fresh glance at the way I’ve been eating and to experiment with going entirely vegan for 1 month. This challenge to myself stems from my desire to learn even more plant based recipes, explore how this diet might affect my overall health, confront my conflicting viewpoints on consuming animal products, evaluate the environmental impact of eliminating animal products, and try to save money while reducing the waste and packaging that I go through each month.
I’ll be using this space to document this month-long experiment where I hope to understand the true nature of my belief system and whether or not it needs tweaking or changing. What are your thoughts on consuming animal products?