I guess I will just start from the beginning.
In March 2010 Pierre and I were baby sitting our niece and nephew while my sister-in-law and her husband went out on a date. Before they left my sister-in-law turned to me and said, “You guys have to watch this movie on Netflix once the kids go to bed! It’s all about where food comes from, it’s really good. It’s called Food, Inc.”. Most of you already know where this is going, right? I was shocked, to say the least. I’ve been eating meat my whole life, I went to culinary school, I took a meat cutting class and I had NO CLUE about how animals were treated at large ‘farms’. I swore off meat right then and there and didn’t take a bite of any kind of meat for almost 5 weeks.
Pierre wasn’t completely on board. His thought was ‘God made animals and yeah, too bad they are treated that way but I like meat too much and that’s life’. I tried to reason with him but he didn’t budge. We went back and forth on the subject A LOT. Pierre is not the kind of person who would ever make a snap decision about anything. He needs hard facts before he does anything, he’s the research king. I’m the complete opposite, I do now and worry about it later.
My boss was a vegetarian/almost vegan and I raced in Monday morning to tell him all about Food, Inc.. He’d seen it of course, and many other movies and read many books. He was well educated and instead of telling me “YES! DON’T EAT MEAT! GOOD FOR YOU!” He just encouraged me to read some books and do my research before cutting meat out of my diet forever. At the time I thought to myself that there was no way I was going to eat meat ever again but now, I’m glad for the words he shared with me.
I did research. I read books and blogs and websites and PETA. I was completely consumed. I presented my findings to Pierre about the gruesome ways animals are treated and the health benefits of cutting out animal products from your diet. He listened and in late June of that year he agreed to be vegan for 30 days if we made sure we were getting the proper nutrition and protein. I was so excited that I planned meals for the entire month in one day. I go overboard sometimes.
The vegan challenge was great. We got to experience new foods and enjoy whole foods, fruits and vegetables. But remember how I said that I’m a doer? Well, I was pretty burned out by the time the 30 days were up. Although we were getting the proper nutrition, I didn’t feel like the diet was benefiting me in any way and when the 30 days were over, we started to eat animal products again without looking back. Yes, I felt guilty. Yes, I felt like a failure. Yes, I was embarrassed. But I just wasn’t doing it for the right reasons or at the right time in my life.
Since then I’ve always TRIED to make better choices when it comes to food. I have been more aware of what I eat and where it comes from. But in the back of my mind I have always felt guilty while eating meats. This whole ordeal started a passion in me that I never knew I had. It kick-started my love for nutrition and whole foods and even had me second guessing the things I had grown up eating my entire life. It got me thinking about my overall nutrition and in 2011 I signed up to take the CDM, CFPP credentialing exam.
Fast forward to October 7th, 2012. I was folding laundry while Pierre was doing homework. So I wouldn’t die of boredom I began playing Vegucated on Amazon. I don’t know if becoming a mom has turned me into even more of a softy (if that’s even possible) or if this movie is just that much more graphic. I was crying by the end. I knew they treated animals that way, I’ve read about it and I’ve watched other videos but something about this film just clicked. And I know I’m not exaggerating because Pierre actually took his headphones out and stopped working on his homework to watch the last half of the movie with me. It was the first time that he really saw the meat industry the way I do. I think it really sunk in because I didn’t push him, he took in the facts on his own and he made the choice.
I’m not perfect and I’m sure I’ll be temped to eat meat. I don’t know if this is forever and I’m taking it one day at a time. My family thinks I’m totally crazy but I’m happy with my decision. I’m taking a stand and I hope you’ll encourage me along the way!
*here’s an update!
*the whole being ‘pregnant with twins’ thing kind of threw a kink in my plans. I was craving meat like you would not believe my entire pregnancy! While many women remain vegetarian and even vegan during their pregnancies, I just gave my body what is asked for. Currently, we do eat a variety of meats but I am more conscious of where and how it was raised. I have been feeling like I want to be a vegetarian again but I’m taking it one day at a time. (updated 09/2014)