Today, I read a post about yogis who become vegetarian/vegan by conviction. The post told that it really depends on the person. She is a yoga teacher and she was eating with other yoga teachers at a restaurant. Some ordered tofu while some others ordered chicken. Yogis (people who live and practice yoga) do not eat meat for 2 main reasons: First, the first lifestyle principle of yoga is to adopt a “non-violence” behaviour, with everything (humans and animals included), and meat is considered as a “bad” food to what it does to our organism and because it is hard to digest.
For me, it is a completely different story. The exact term for me is “pesco-lacto-vegetarian”, which only excludes meat. I had to exclude lactose from my life for over 3 years because of a lactose intolerance, but trust me, it was not enjoyable. I hated meat and burgers as far as I can remember. First, I think when I was around 5, my parents used to give me beef (they were big meat eaters). I was chewing it but I could not swallow it. So I was removing it from my mouth, it was a tiny white piece of food I could not swallow. Everything else was fine, pasta, rice, veggies… but not burgers. My dad used to put his fingers in the little pile I made of white meat, saying “you’re gonna eat that, right?”, and I used to reply “well, now that you put your finger in it, nope”. However, my parents kept feeding me with meat for my growth and development.
When I turned 13, I went to my first summer camp. It was 3 weeks and I was riding horses. I said I was vegetarian and I did not eat any meat for 3 weeks! It was amazing! The following year, I went to an English summer camp near Switzerland. I said I am a vegetarian so I did not eat meat again for 3 weeks. The main problem in this summer camp was that they did not give us fish. Therefore I had almonds but it was not enough and I was having little faintnesses.
Then at the age of 16, I went to California and I discovered bacon! Annnd… bacon is amazing! I then took bacon every single morning and I was mad when there was no bacon. Back then at home, I had removed all meats except sausage and duck foie-gras. When I turned 17, my growth and development were over and my parents stopped feeding me with meat. At this point, I was eating meat once or twice a year, when encouraged by people to try something new (such as turkey bacon). The last time I ate meat was in 2016 and it was a piece of chicken.
For a very long time, I could not describe why I did not want to eat meat. I do not like the taste or any meat, I do not like that the mini sauce is actually blood (from a dead animal). Then once, I read a blog about a girl explaining why she doesn’t eat meat and I understood why I do not eat it either. Yes, it is unfair that animals get killed, but fish are living animals and I eat fish. I just consider that fish doesn’t have a brain, they eat other fishes to survive so it is more natural. In my country, we call “vegetarian” someone who does not eat any meat, regardless of fish. Now, actual meat comes from animals who live on earth, who have feelings and the same emotions as us. In some part of the world, it is unacceptable to eat cows, dogs, cat or kangaroos, because these animals are smart and have feelings. However, in others parts of the world, it is okay to kill them in a terrible way (I’m not going into that in this post). The reason I am not eating animals is that I do not eat corpses and my body is not a cemetery.
This said, I totally respect that other people eat meat next to me as long as they do not do any comments. I used to have a friend who wanted to go to the UK with me. We went to a vegan restaurant because English food it not the best and he took my lifestyle as a challenge, saying “I am pretty sure I can live one week without eating meat”. On the same evening, he took a hamburger with 2 burgers into it, TWO”. I was absolutely disgusted and we are not friends anymore! My brother on the other side took only one burger and it was completely fine.
When my friends and family find out, they are pretty surprised and like to ask questions such as “since when?” “but… are you vegetarian or vegan?” “And what is the difference?” That is totally fine as well. Part of my family got used to eat and avoid meat, and some other either are not aware or do not care. In that case, I simply refuse meat or the entire meal if it is mixed with vegetables.
On the other side, my parents became flexitarian. They like to have their proteins on a daily basis, but they can eat vegetarian lasagnas if we make some, or sometimes fish. And when they cook meat, I cook a veggie proteins packed burger for me.
Do you have any restrictive diet? If so, why?