I consider 2001 being the year where my eyes opened to food--and my love for GOOD, natural foods was really born. I attribute this wake-up call to Prevention magazine... At that time, I cut out simple carbs-sugar and white flours and meat. I did not really know it back then, but I was pretty much on a plant-based diet--again, unintentionally. Though, back then, I wasn't doing it for the animals... I was doing it for myself--keep reading:).
Anyhow, I moved to the U.S. from Panama back in 1999 to attend university and was introduced to colorful, sweet, fried foods I had never really had. I was even introduced to sweet mocha lattes (thank you Drowsy Poet!). The cafeteria and the grocery store had HUGE, bright colored fruits. One day during my sophomore year in college, I saw a picture of my fat self and wondered what happened to me. I was never into weighing myself or trying to be skinny-- I looked horrible and chubby. It is hard to say how much weight I had gained, but I would guess it was 25-35 pounds. It just did not look natural on me. I was eating way to many processed foods! Well, once my eyes were opened, I began on the quest on seeking natural, organic ways of eating... Well, when I got pregnant, I gained whopping 60 pounds (I cheated a little), but I can say I HATED the texture and taste of all meats! My son is now 17 mos and I am still working it off, and I tell ya, it's been a long, on-going journey. I must say there was one occasion when I was pregnant where I craved a big juicy burger and caved in, to not feel good later! Anyhow, I have eaten and not eaten meat for many years and now---really, in the past, not for any grand reason. Meat was always expensive, especially organic meats--at least this was the major reason when I got married in 2007.
Now, this past year, I have had some more time to read on health and food (my favorite thing to do). I was exposed to Tosca Reno's Eat Clean diet book, to the magazine Clean Eating. In the past few months, I have read The Skinny B___ and Skinny B___ in the Kitch (lack of manners in these books, but good info), The Flexetarian Diet, The Kind Diet, Crazy Makers, saw Food, Inc. and the list goes on. In those readings, I was exposed to the cruel conditions of our livestock (for feed) and read gory stories on how they are killed and/or injected with not-so-good for ya kind of shots. Now, I am all about the dominion over animals--certainly and in the book of Luke, Jesus calls for a fat calf to be killed for feed to celebrate a special moment, but I can't look at eating meat the same way again with the way our meat is handled in these modern times. In fact, it seems that Americans eat meat way too much. Shouldn't it be for special occasions, like in the NT? Maybe our created need for meat all the time has caused the government to subsidize our meat and farming industries because of our demand for grilled steaks, pot roasts and roasted chickens every day... maybe why that's why the demand for bigger and better chicken breasts is out there--injected with hormones, crammed in a cage sitting in poop! SICK--I know, I have such a sensitive mind! It makes me not want to eat meat... And, really don't get me started on the diseases related to a heavy hormone-induced meat diet!
With that said, I am not sure were I stand on the "veg" issue, but I do know that I want to trust my food and know where it comes from. If you see me not eating meat when I am out, it's because I don't trust it. If you see me not eating meat in my home, it's because the organic chicken was expensive. If you see me not eating meat when the organic option is available, it's because I can't get those images of killing out of my head... yet? Where do I stand... not sure just yet, but I will say, it has been an enlightening experiencing reading about a topic, that I never thought would interest me--especially since I stupidly believed that this lifestyle typically fell on people who do not share the same worldview as me. Stupid me.
PS. Did you know that a pig has an IQ of a 3 year old kid--cool AND SO cute, huh!?... I want one now, as a pet, not as a grilled loin! :) My husband is not on board with that, LOL!