Reunion with Childhood Beliefs
In becoming a vegan, I have been reunited with beliefs I held long ago. Looking back, I realize now that I have never been fully comfortable with eating meat. Growing up, I loved bacon and pork chops, but after seeing the movie "Charlotte's Web," starring Wilbur the pig, and connecting what I ate with what I saw in the movie, I didn't want to eat these foods anymore. As a child, I loved to stand on the dock at my family's cottage and feed the fish in the lake little wads of bread. I was bright enough to make the connection between my actions and the eating of fish, and I didn't want to eat anymore tuna fish sandwiches.
Somehow, though, as I grew up I lost the connection between my love of animals and what I ate. I didn't really have any fond feelings for chickens or cattle, so I was okay with eating chicken and beef, as long as I didn't think about it too much. However, I could never stand to handle or cook raw meat and would only eat it in a restaurant, where I was far removed from the sight of raw flesh. I would also move quickly by the meat counter in the grocery store and try not to think about the realities of meat production.
Last year, when I slowly became a vegetarian, followed by quickly becoming a vegan, I became reunited with my true childhood feelings. I began by counting the days I could go without meat. First three days went by, then five days, then a whole week. Once I reached two weeks without meat, I thought, "Why go back now?" I no longer had to feel uncomfortable about the realities of the flesh I was eating. A big burden was lifted from my shoulders. I could now live my life in peace and harmony with all living creatures and eat in a nonviolent way. And I reaped many other benefits, such as improved health and weight loss. I realize now that I was never meant to eat animal products.
Looking back at my childhood, I feel that I have spent my whole life as a "closet vegetarian." Well, now I have come out of the closet, and I ain't going back in!
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