Those who know me, know I’ve been a strict vegetarian for over 15 years. Those who know me really well, however, will know that for the past year I have been toying with the idea of eating meat.
When I was 11 I became vegetarian because I was concerned with how animals were kept, and in particular, killed. After about 10 years it became less about ethical reasons and more because it was part of who I was, my identity. So seriously considering eating meat again threw me off a bit; I didn’t know what I wanted.
I believe in being true to myself, and the idea of not being a vegetarian felt as if I was turning my back on who I am. Last week I realised that if I want to eat meat then that’s who I am now. I was worried about not being true to myself, but in truth I was simply holding on to the person I used to be. A lot has changed in the last few years, and I guess this is just one more change. I never expected to eat meat again, and it’s taking a lot for me to take this step as I have a lot of pride and I dread to think of the reactions I’ll get, but I’m sure in time whatever happens will simply become the ‘norm’.
As I haven’t eaten any meat or fish (Even though I want to, I’m still not going to eat fish as I disagree with how they’re killed so can’t bring myself to) for so long, I’m going to take it very slow. On the blog-o-sphere there is “Meatless Monday” and so I thought I would do the opposite and have “Meat Monday” and only eat meat on Mondays just to see how it goes.
I have always said if anything was going to tempt it would be a ham sandwich (though in all honesty I can’t remember why) and so today that’s what I was going to have for lunch – the first meat I’ve eaten in 15 years or so. Actually, ham was the very last thing I ate when giving up meat at 2 weeks after eating vegetarian I caved and ate about half a pack of sliced ham in secret. Somehow the ham I bought got lost on the way to the fridge, but as I visited a friend, she kindly made me one. I had to bookend my vegetarianism with ham as I refused to eat anything else first. I also bought some sausage rolls (the shop didn’t have pork pies which is what I actually wanted), some chicken soup for dinner, and some jelly babies. Even though looking at, considering, and buying meat, all feel completely weird to me, at the same time I know this is the next step in my life – I don’t know whether I’ll hate it or love it, but it’s time for me to make this change, at least for a little while.
So today I’ve eaten a ham sandwich, which tasted good though left a strange oily texture as an aftertaste. I had some spinach and chicken pizza for dinner, still not sure what I thought of that; and some jelly babies, which honestly were not enjoyable.
Let me know if you want to follow my journey into eating meat, and post every Monday with my thoughts, let me know in the comments. Also I’d love to know if there’s anything you think I’ve been missing out on as a vegetarian.