Vegetarian

**WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT!!** 

People are usually curious as to why I decided to become a Vegetarian.  It wasn’t one thing; it was a lot of things. Before you continue reading, you should know the ‘tone’ of this blog is different from my other writings. Continue at your own discretion. 

Several years ago, I watched a DVD entitled, “Earthlings” that literally revolted and repulsed me. I saw things that changed my life. The movie had an astounding impact on me. **HERE COMES THE GRAPHIC MATERIAL!** I can still see the little lamb that was hanging upside down, blinking and baa’ing, but had all of his skin removed. And the little chicks who were tossed into a grinder ALIVE because they weren’t female. And the turkeys that had their beaks ripped off, RIPPED OFF so they couldn’t peck at the million other in-humanely confined turkeys.  I could go on and on, but for those of you still reading this, I think you get the point. 

I was so disgusted by the mistreatment of these animals that I thought twice about eating meat after that. I thought even more about how we waste meat. I started to pay attention to the amount of meat that was left on people’s plates at restaurants. It occurred to me these animals were being killed, some very inhumanely, so that we can throw their meat in the garbage.  Hummm. 

I was incredibly disturbed by the wastefulness of our society and the unbelievable, brutal way these animals were raised and slaughtered. These practices just didn’t fit with the person I was becoming. 

Then, there is the whole adding hormones and antibiotics and other crap to their feed in order to fatten the cows up quicker or make the chicken’s breasts bigger.  Those hormones/antibiotics do NOT do our human body any good.  They cause early puberty in girls. They mimic estrogen dominance in women, which can literally make us infertile* and let’s not forget the direct correlation these hormones have on cancer. 

I was still eating meat when I ate some bad eggs and got e-coli poisoning. By the time those eggs were finished with me, I was finished with meat. I figured if I had purged my body from all meat sources, I wasn’t going to start putting hormone-filled, unethically raised/killed, and early puberty inducing meat back into it.   Let’s face it…the meat we buy today is just not the meat I was raised on. 

It was a completely personal decision and one that fits my lifestyle. I wasn’t much of a meat eater anyway so it wasn’t that big of a leap for me. If I could have found organic or ethically treated/killed meat, I would have gone that route.  But I didn’t, so as they say, the rest is history. 

Now, don’t think making the switch was easy. Nooooo, sireee Bob! I mean, all my life I had eaten and cooked meat.  Now what do I do? I was lucky enough to have a bestie who was willing to tutor me in the ways of all things Vegetarian. She was getting her Masters in Nutrition and, as usual, had been a huge source of help.  She showed me that being Vegetarian was so much more than eating tofu (which I LOVE, by the way! Yum YUM!). 

As the months rolled on, I was excited to have the medical community tell me my cholesterol was dropping. It never was medically high, but it was high according to my bestie.  And drop it did.  In six months, I had lowered my cholesterol by 50 points. Yeah! 50 points!  I didn’t change anything about the way I was eating EXCEPT eliminating meat. 

A year later I noticed I could eat more food (read: processed sugar) and not gain weight. No longer did I need to exercise more often or at a higher rate of intensity in order to compensate for those empty calories.  I was easily losing weight. Cha CHING!!! 

As a side note, let me tell you about my husband. He was a total carnivore. He’d eat red meat 4 or 5 times a week and sometimes twice a day.  His cholesterol was through the roof at 450+. He used to say, “Nothing I can do about it, it’s genetic.” Now he’s changed his tune on that whole song and dance.  He decided to become Vegetarian about a year after I did. Guess what? His cholesterol – without any cholesterol lowering medicine – is now 147.     

There are so many excellent meat replacement items out there ranging from ‘meat impersonators’ to beans, eggs, legumes and soy products. In the coming weeks, I plan on posting recipes or alternative meat ideas for you to try.   Again, becoming a Vegetarian was a personal decision and one that I do NOT and will NOT push on anyone.  If meat still resonates with you, then eat it. You won’t get any judgments or dirty looks from me.  For me, eating Vegetarian is treating me healthy. 

*For more information on Estrogen Dominance: http://www.drnorthrup.com/womenshealth/healthcenter/topic_details.php?topic_id=118

 

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