First of all I don't consider myself a vegetarian, really, as I still eat fish 2 or 3 times a week. I think the right term is a "pescetarian", which is a person who, like me, doesn't eat chicken, pork or red meats, but they do eat fish along with eggs and some dairy. I personally haven't drank cow milk since I was like 8, but I do eat cheese every now and then, and eggs 3 or 4 times a week.
I was one of those people who would say: " I would never be a vegetarian, I love meat too much". But, since I was pregnant with my first boy (more than 3 years ago now) I started to see on Facebook some horrific videos of how animals are killed. And it planted a seed in me as to how I didn't like animals to be harmed.
But so what? I loved meat too much, and tried to ignore the fact of how much the animals had been suffering...
After giving birth to my eldest boy, I read a book called "skinny bitch", which it is a very extreme book. They talk a lot about how animals are injected with so many antibiotics and other hormones to make them bigger or to avoid them get sick! It was a very long chapter that made me realise how much I did not want to be eating meat... But it was just a thought in the back of my mind, as I was still saying to myself: " This is nature, we humans eat meat!", "It is protein, its good for me", "Oh how boring would be to eat without meat", "Oh no there is no chance I would not eat meat"...
Then I got pregnant again, and I was like there is no way I can stop eating meat while producing another human begin! So I tried not to think much about it, although I was still visiting vegan Facebook pages or websites that would post horrible videos of how animals are treated.
Then one day, hubby and I were watching a program were they were showing how meat is produced. This wasn't one of those horrible videos, it was a pro-meat documentary showing how organic irish meat is produced. And then we saw the sheep walking in to the shed were they were going to be killed. As they are walking in, one of the sheep was very distressed, with tears in her eyes and everything, her eyes looked so sad it broke my heart. I truly remember getting so emotional about it!
After that I was convinced that I was going to become a vegetarian someday...
When my second son was born, I was 5 stone overweight. I never felt worst with my appearance in my life. I needed to do something ASAP to lose weight so I started reading, getting informed and talking to personal trainers on how to lose the weight and protein seemed the way to go. They all tell you you have to eat protein to be be lean.
So I started my weight loss journey with a high protein low carb diet which worked in helping me lose the excess weight, I'm not gonna lie. But every single time I ate meat I felt in disgust, I felt like eating a dead corpse. The smell of it before cooking it would make feel disgusted with myself for eating a dead animal who suffered and was chopped and put into a plastic container for me to consume.
And you can say: "Thats nature", " That what animals are for" I can tell you that bringing so much suffering to an animal is not nature. Nature would be if we humans go into a field and chase a bull and kill it with your own hands and eat the meat raw directly from the animal. Well that to me would be nature! But taking advantage of an animal isn't nature to me...
As I said at the start this statements above aren't to make anybody feel guilty or to try to make you change your mind they are only my own thoughts.
Then I started to study nutrition and read the importance of all macronutrients we need to consume. One of the essential macro nutrients is protein. Interestingly, protein is not needed in such high doses as personal trainers might make us believe. Actually, it's very much the opposite. Our body doesn't need that high amount of protein as some meal plans out there show. Eating animal protein in excess is actually not good for your health.
Patrick Holford, author from "The Optimum Nutrition Bible" recommends having animal protein only twice or three times a week, this is including fish. All the information on this book is based on scientific research. I recommend you all to read if you have any interest in nutrition, it is really good.
As I learned all this I decided to eat less meat, more vegetables, and swap meat for lentils, beans, chickpeas, seeds, etc.
I started doing this and I absolutely loved it! I enjoyed so much eating more vegetables and more grains instead of animal proteins!
Some people may think "well, if you care so much about animals, why do you still eat fish?" Here is my answer. The first human civilisations originated in Africa, near coastal regions. There is a theory, which argues that the evolution of the human brain is largely due to the increased consumption of fish in the diets of peoples living in these regions. Oily fish is fantastically rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6, both of which are great for the development and day to day functioning of the human brain. It is for this reason that I think that oily fish is absolutely necessary to keep our brain healthy.
Animals like chickens, pigs, lambs and cows are injected with so many antibiotics, it inevitably ends up in our system. Research has shown that by 2050 some people might not be able to get any operations or surgeries as they will not be receptive to antibiotics. You might not take antibiotics but your body could be absorbing them from the meat you are eating.
I have listened to a few documentaries here if you are interested to watch a bit more of how animal meat is produced. You can find them all on Netflix:
- The beautiful truth
- Forks over Knives
- Hungry for a change
If you watch any of them please let me know your thoughts. I'd love to get your feedback.
Also, I want to say that I 100% respect and understand everyone who eats meat. I actually won't remove meat from my kids diet as I would like them to make an informed decision for themselves when they come to an age, as to whether they want to eat meat or not. I would never impose my ideas on them, plus I think kids need the extra protein to grow healthy. I will also keep cooking meat for hubby as he loves meat and I simply cannot change his mind. So don't feel you can't ask me questions about meat. I will always respect other peoples decisions when it comes to their own healthy foods choices.