I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind who has met me before that I LOVE animals. Obsessively, enthusiastically and maybe a little weirdly. I am the person at the party that is in the corner playing with the dog. I have dogs of my own that I talk incessantly about, fill my Instagram feed with, and talk to and about as if they are
It’s not just dogs either. I worked at a zoo and knew the names, ages and backgrounds of most of the animals there before I could be bothered to learn who my coworkers were. I loved the zoo so much that it inspired me to get my Master’s in Biology focusing on conservation (soon this will help me cross off #39 as well).
I cannot kill animals (even ants or spiders) or watch them being hurt or killed – even if it’s fake. I religiously check the website Does the Dog Die? before I will watch any movie involving animals. My husband makes fun of me for it and I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of great movies due to it, but if you think I’m going to make the mistake again of watching something like the horrible and traumatic Eight Below you’re insane. Seriously, never watch that movie.
I also think if there were ever a zombie apocalypse, and I had kill animals to feed myself, I would just walk right into a herd of zombies. That’s why it has always been wildly hypocritical of me not to be a vegetarian. I’ve romanticized the idea of eliminating meat from my diet for years but have never been able to do so. To my credit, a lot of this wasn’t my choice. When my Crohn’s was flaring I wasn’t allowed to eat anything with a seed or skin, nuts, beans or kernels of any kind or anything too high in fiber or overly acidic. That didn’t leave me a lot of options. It was meat and carbs for me for years and I took the easy way out and let someone else do the animal killing and put on a giant cloak of denial about the horrors of the meat industry and went on my way. As I got older, I tried very hard to make sure all of my meat (and dairy) was produced cage-free, organic, sustainable, blah, blah, blah. And although those are great things I still felt like a big fat hypocrite.
Then the stars aligned for me. My Crohn’s went into remission from a new drug regiment (wooohooo!) and I was tasked with an “environmental action” in one of my courses on the path to this Master’s degree. So I decided to cross #31 off my list and be a vegetarian for a month. I thought it would be really hard, test my willpower and that I might not be able to do it. But I did. And have continued to eat (majority) vegetarian since the 30 days were up. I didn’t miss meat. At all. The only hard part for me was being so restricted when eating at res
taurants. I’ve been food restricted my whole life and it was hard to volunteer to do that again but I just kept picturing a cow before I would order meat and it always did the trick.
I have eaten meet twice since April 11 (the end of my 30 days). The first time was ham on Easter Sunday and I felt like it was going to make me throw up. The second was chicken on my salad this afternoon. As soon as I ate it, I wished I hadn’t. What started as 30 days vegetarian is going to finish with me no longer eating meat for as long as my body will let me. To appease my conscious, any dairy or eggs I eat will need to be from organic and sustainable farms as long as I can help it.
Now I’ll be the girl in the cornering eating celery and lecturing you on the revulsion of the meat industry. Just kidding.