Why did you become a vegetarian?

“Why did you become a vegetarian?” – It’s one of those questions I get asked fairly frequently, when it comes to food choices / eating habits. I recently had the question again, at work – I’ve changed jobs recently, and it came up during a discussion. I guess it’s a good question, as not everyone has the same reasons.

(Bit of a backstory: I come from a rural home, so I’m no stranger to the ‘meet your meat’ kind of thing – I’ve fed, petted, played, and (helped) kill animals that were bred for their meat. Can’t say I enjoyed the latter part, but it was a part of life.)

My original reasons were very.. eh..  selfish: I’m lazy.

As my girlfriend was living with me (at my parents house) during a sabbatical year she was taking, and combined with the odd hours I was working (two shifts), she cooked for the two of us. Already being a vegetarian, she cooked a veggy meal – but in no way opposed if I would want to cook a piece of meat. But, as I said: I’m lazy. It also opened up my palate to the wonderful world of vegetarian food, meat replacements, spices, …

After nearly a year of not eating meat, I noticed – the first time round when I got served a piece of meat – that it disagreed with me. It tasted off. The texture was wrong.
Fast forward 10 years, and I’m now a nearly 100% vegetarian. My only vice is the once-a-year (or so) seafood pizza. I’ve stopped eating meat, poultry and fish, and cannot say that I miss it. Even more so, the smell of fried meat is something that nauseates me. Strange but true.

These last few years, I’m actually quite happy that I don’t eat meat anymore…

  • The food scandals going round (meat being sold of such quality that is way below what is allowed for consumption)
  • Horrible treatment of animals. (and I’m always cynically amused by the fact people don’t realise just how bad animals are treated)
  • Waste of water with growing all the foods required to feed the proverbial 1kg of meat. In a world where water is becoming scarcer and scarcer
  • Pollution due to the transport of cattle all over the place (note: if you don’t watch where your vegetables come from, you’re likely just as bad of)

Will I ever become a vegan? Probably not. I’m too fond of cheese!