Even though both my husband and I were on-and-off vegetarians, and aware of many great benefits about it, we never thought of raising our preemie daughter that way when she was born. However, one big reason that sent us completely away from eating meat overnight, is a picture we saw. It was a picture of a wounded cow laying down hopelessly by a truck full of other factory-farmed cows. The picture was so clear that I could see the eyes of the cow and feel the pain. Under the picture was a simple sentence saying “On the way to a slaughterhouse.” I don’t need to say more, do I?
That was way back in 2004, as a brand new mom, and just welcoming my child into the world. With postpartum, I was very emotional with anything involving life. I’m sure you know what I mean.
When I shared our decision with both sides of my family, all of them were concerned about my daughter not getting enough nutrition to grow without “protein from meat.” Their concerns made me nervous, but also encouraged me to be careful and to make sure we didn’t make any bad choices for all of us. Seriously, at the moment I didn’t really care much. I knew that I didn’t want her to be part of what made the cow end up like that.
I was confident I would be able to substitute protein from meat with “no kill” plant-based foods. Luckily, when we made the decision our daughter was still nursing, and the only thing she needed was my milk. I had a few months to research about vegetarian nutrition, and to practice my cooking before she needed her first food. I have learned along the way as she’s grown up, and my confidence has increased seeing my daughter become especially strong and healthy–both in body and mind.
It’s heart-breaking to see there are so many instances of factory farmed animals, raised like they have no feelings. I wish they could at least treat those unfortunate animals like living things, not just a flesh machine for them. We actually know a lot of people who raise animals humanely, but we just decided we would not depend on killing animals for our food. However, we do eat eggs and dairy products from local farms where we know the animals are raised humanely, and have good happy lives. We try our best to find these same quality products everywhere we go.
Talking about what to eat or not to eat is a very sensitive topic for me, as there are so many groups of people who believe in different ways of eating. Despite my hope that more and more people will be willing to drop meat and adopt more vegetarianism, I always try to avoid arguments. I have my own reasons to make my choices, and so do others. I also value freedom and respect other’s opinions.
Years later, we have all learned that being vegetarians is also a great way to help with global warming by reducing carbon footprints from raising animals, not to mention the health benefits and saving animals lives. Our daughter has grown to be a very kind-hearted young lady who loves animals and cares for the world dearly–exactly how we love to see her. That is a big reason why we raise her vegetarian!
I hope my way of eating and living simply will inspire others to consider adopting the same kindness through vegetarianism someday, especially once they know that amazing healthy and tasty foods can be made without meat, and that complete vegetarian nutrition is possible.
Let us together, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi
What about you? Please share your reasons for being vegetarian with me–I’d love to hear from you!