November 8, 2017
My diet journey…
ON BEING A VEGETARIAN
I have always loved vegetables & fruit. As a child, if I had to choose between eating beef stew or rice, I’d go for the second one-to my grandma’s annoyance! I wasn’t a picky child, but I was always feeling sorry to eat an animal. My parents have always been supporters of the vegetarian lifestyle so I suppose I shaped this degree of consciousness from an early stage in life thanks to them. We would grow our own vegetables, have our own orchard including walnut, prune, apple and apricot trees and be respectful to mother land as much as possible. No fertilisers or harmful agriculture practices were applied, everything was organic and we all celebrated during the harvest period gathering in the middle of the orchard and having lunch, our very own kind of picnic!
In my early teen years, when mad cows disease was all over the TV, I remember eating lunch while watching a short video in the premises of a poultry farm with emphasis given on what animals were eating. It wasn’t corn or grass, it was parts of dead decomposed animals which made me split my food and tell mum that I never wanted to try meat again.
With my wonderful parents sharing the same beliefs, we became a family of vegetarians for the next 4 years! We would be eating mainly vegetables, lentils, pulses, LOADS of fruits and occasionally some eggs. Me and my sister I loved it, we absolutely loved eating our salads and apple slices at school and never even missed the taste of chicken or beef again…
ON BEING A PESCETARIAN
Since then I have converted into a 80% vegetarian and 20% pescetarian, which means that for most of the time I would eat as a vegetarian and there would be occasions that I’d eat fish. The main reason behind this diet analogy decision came during my MSc in Organic Farming and Food Production Systems. There was a course that I learned all about animal welfare and the TRUTH about slaughter houses, how long it takes an animal to get killed, how much it suffers and the lack of regulations in animal welfare that truly made me feel disgusted to be called a human.
I am not going to take you through the painful information of how long it takes for a cow to die so that we have our shiny steaks on sale at Tesco, but let’s just say that even the most omnivorous students in my class felt sick and had no idea the animal pain it takes to taste that steak!
That was the time I decided to eat only what I would be able to kill myself (if I was in that position ever) and apparently the animal that suffers the least is fish because of its small body and way circulation system works. So if I ever needed to taste ‘meat’, I’d have some tuna or salmon and that would be it.
ON BECOMING A VEGAN
However, my decision to follow this diet is not only because I wanted to eliminate the animal suffering and reduce the general demand for meat production, but also because of the respect I have for nature, my first degree is in Agriculture Engineering after all, how could I not be passionate about the land that keeps us alive?
So here I am today, converting into a vegan! Not forever (such a hard word to say), but for a week at first stage and then seeing how it goes looking into converting at bigger periods of time and juggling between vegetarian and vegan foods.
How did I come up with this? In all honesty, I got fed up with myself eating chocolate, the one after another and not being respectful to the food I was consuming. Food is there to sustain us and give us pleasure through flavour right? I had it all lost with my PhD writing up stress and I found myself eating mindlessly without thinking much before having another bite of that cheesecake in front of me. Adding the energy costs from production to packaging and I was astonished by my carbon footprint. So converting into a full or part time vegan is eventually my attempt to minimise my my contribution to environmental pollution on this planet.
Sharing the news on Instagram and 75% of you requested me to share more recipes and regular updates on how this goes (sorry to the 25% who voted that they don’t want to see any of these). I won’t be posting everyday here (feel free to check my Instagram stories for daily updates), but I aim to post at least once per week with a general update on my thoughts, feelings and hopefully positive changes!
Are you a vegan? Have you ever thought of becoming one?