When I was 11, I went on a trip to California. I got to visit lots of family - it was me and Pickle that went and it was amazing.
California is a great place to be in the summer - there are so many fruits that are waaaay expensive in Maui. Where am I going with this... ah yes... I was with my Grammie and Grampy when we went to a chicken restaurant. It was an odd restaurant because I want to say it was a Hillshire Farm or Tyson restaurant with a slaughterhouse in the back. It was kind of in a random town. Anyway, we were in a booth by the front window when a truck full of chickens pulled in. I asked my Grampy what was happening and he told me "Those are gonna be our dinner!" and I ordered a salad.
Then it was off to my Aunts house, and I won't name her here, but let's just say that cooking wasn't her greatest skill. So I ate every fruit I could get my hands on to avoid the bubbling hamburger casserole on my plate.
I came home to Maui a vegetarian. A dairy and egg eating vegetarian that got waaaay into sweets and not eating vegetarian the right way. I stayed that way until I was about 17 and I remember telling Peter out of the blue, "I want a filet-o-fish sandwhich." I remember how shocked he was. That McD's was a slippery slope and before I knew it I was back in the meat world.
After the kids came and my hormonal disorder had me researching my health a ton, I knew that if I was going to eat meat it needed to be organic and grass fed. And I did feel a lot better!
Actually after eating Paleo for quite some time, I kind of got sick of meat. I ate too much meat and I didn't like the way I felt. One day in August this year I was driving the kids to school and there was a wild hen on the side of the road with her four chicks. She waited patiently until she could safely cross the road. Cars stopped for her and I watched her - she walked her chicks across the street IN THE CROSSWALK. Here this bird walked her chicks across a busy street safely in the crosswalk. And it got me thinking of Windy cow, the sweetest cow I've ever met. She thought she was a dog. I've always thought cows are beautiful. And in that moment after I watched the chicken cross the road, I realized I don't want to eat them. I just don't want to.
It's been a very interesting experience to omit chicken, pork, and beef from my diet but still prepare it for my family. It's kind of a little lonely doing it all by myself but even if it's just me purchasing less meat, if there's others doing the same than that's at least some help. The factory farming problem is a big one and a very, very sad thing that not enough people know about. I promise I'm not trying to be preachy. It's just that every person can make decisions and it's nice to make decisions with knowledge instead of ignorance.
So am I vegan? No - not for now anyway. I do feel that honey is amazing for many things and use it sparingly. A sprinking of organic parmesan or feta cheese occasionally may still happen. And with access to really amazing fish, that will still happen occasionally too (I realize fish have feelings too).
I'm really excited to continue this journey I started a couple months ago (down 11 pounds already) and tackle the holidays with a renewed outlook on food.