The topic of vegetarianism can be as “offensive” to some people as much as religion or politics. At times, it feels like people are offended that some of us choose not to eat meat.
A term that I don't use to describe myself is Vegan. A product can be vegan because it contains no animal byproducts and was produced humanely. But when it comes to humans, it is unavoidable that we will cause the suffering to others and that includes animals. Whether directly or indirectly something or someone is getting screwed as long as we are breathing. The cars we drive, buses we take, trains and even the bikes we ride will hit a bug at some point even if we don’t want to. And that’s just one example. The electricity we consume, water we drink, vegetables we eat kill a lot of animals in the process to getting to where we can consume them. So as long as I have no desire to cause damage, hurt or eat an animal I refer to myself as either a vegetarian or strict vegetarian.
This is not a hippie statement about peace and love. If you read the previous section you know I’m too Modernist to be a hippie. It’s mostly about choosing not to eat meat or use animal products and cause as little damage to the environment as possible.
I first became a lacto-vegetarian out of simple love and appreciation of animals. I’ve always lived with at least one pet and as a child, wanted to be a marine biologist or a veterinarian (before I discovered car racing). It took a long time to put together A and B. I ‘loved’ animals but was still eating meat.
One day my sister ended up with 6 little chickens (only in Mexico). They were tiny so we kept them at home. One of my dad’s employees built a huge cage in the yard for them and they grew into a beautiful 'fancy' breed of chickens with fluffy feathers on their feet and head. They looked like 80’s new wave singers.
I started to get attached to those little things. I got up every morning to clean their cage, feed them, refresh their water and interact with them. I’d lock the dogs and let the chickens run free at least twice a day. Sitting there, watching them be the creatures they’re supposed to be and not simply a food source; my brain finally made the connection. The meat I was eating came from animals as smart, conscious and connected to their surroundings as the chickens that I now considered my pets. I could recognize each of them and knew which ones were more docile and which ones weren't into being close to humans or which ones were afraid of dogs and which ones didn’t care if one of the dogs was around.
That moment I went into the house and told my mom I wasn’t going to eat meat anymore. Her and my father have always been very supportive with my choices in life. So all she said was “are you sure? cause I’m going to start cooking separate for you and if this is only a fad I’ll be pissed”. And that’s how I became a lacto-vegetarian.
Later on I began to learn the healthy and tasty ways to follow a vegetarian diet. Since I love food too much to limit my intake to a lot of salads, french fries and granola, I also learned to cook. This new approach to food has improved my overall health and athletic performance. I've slowly eliminate all dairy from my diet and consider myself a strict vegetarian.
If you have ever have the interest of reducing the amount of animal products in your diet and lifestyle, please contact me and I'd be happy to chat. I can recommend book, links, documentaries, hell I’ll invite you for dinner at my place! Once again I am not here to convert anyone. I just want to share a bit of who I am and what made me this way.
Looking forward to hear from you!
Ps. By the way those chickens lived long and happy lives and died of old age :)