I’m just going to say upfront: I’m not a stand on my soap box tell you all you shouldn’t eat animals kind of vegetarian. Hey, I’ve only been one myself for a couple of years. And before that I ate plenty of meat. But not any more. So this is not a post about judgement, this is just sharing my story.
You don’t eat chicken? Um, no – that was the first meat I gave up. So you don’t eat fish either? Nope. Although that was the last thing I gave up.
My daddy was a butcher. He has two daughters who are now vegetarians, after many, many years of eating meat. Do I miss it? No. Although if I ever have a night when I may have had a wine or two extra, the morning after I feel like I might miss bacon, especially when I’m at a cafe getting coffee and someone’s having bacon and eggs. But it’s more the smell of it cooking that I miss. Oh, and I did used to make the most amazing lasagna, but I’ve almost perfected it again in vegetarian form.
I’m not a vegan, I’m a vegetarian. I went off the taste of meat very early in my pregnancy and although I occasionally ate fish for about 6 months after I stopped eating meat, eventually my body didn’t cope with fish either.
The longer I am a vegetarian, and the more I read about factory farming though, the more sure I am that I will never eat meat again. I came across this great site recently: Make it Possible – Imagine a world without factory farming … (has a good section for kids too).
I am bringing Bubba up as a vegetarian. Before anyone asks, we have been to see a pediatric dietician who says that our diet is better than most people she sees. And I don’t mean to say better because we don’t eat meat, just better because of the wide range of vegetables, legumes, grains and general goodness we have every day. So better as in healthier, not better as in ner ner ne ner ner (no judgement, remember?).
Am I getting anywhere with this story? You bet I am. My friend Rumpy and his family have set a challenge: The Rumpydog Animal Welfare Blogger Challenge. And we’re taking part, and urging that you do the same.
But is being a vegetarian really enough? Have I accepted this challenge fully? Have written a blog post about something you do in your daily life and how it impacts animals. Yes … and no. But here’s my little something extra. A change I made recently.
I found out recently that cheese has rennet in it. Rennet is an enzyme extract from the stomach of certain animals used to make some cheeses. I almost puked when I read that. It’s gross and I’m not going to tell you any more, but you can read about it here if you want to. But you probably don’t want to read about it. Just saying.
I started doing some research, and I found out that there are producers of cheese who use non-animal rennet. The cheese is not so hard to track down and seems more common even in the past couple of months – there are now a few to choose from on the supermarket shelves. Easy peasy. Well, relatively.
While I do lots of things consciously to try to positively impact animal welfare, this is something I was unconsciously doing that had a negative impact. And now I’ve fixed it. And if anything, it’s made me even more aware of reading the ingredients of anything I buy that is processed. Which isn’t a lot, thankfully.
Now, if only having happy anipals all around the world was as easy as one person making one change.
Oh, hang on a minute …