When people learn that I’m a vegetarian quite often I’ll hear comments along the lines of, “I tried it, but I could never give up (fill in the blanks).” Or there’s some thing they just love too much, like fish, that they don’t want to deprive themselves of.
I hear people say that they tried, but ended up eating meat more often than not. Or that it was fine until they went to dinner at a friend’s house or a company holiday function.
First of all, doing an act that eases animal suffering, is healthier for yourself, better for the planet, and makes your karmic burden on this planet just a little bit lighter is not something to ever feel bad about! Even being interested, but currently unable to do it for whatever reason is one step closer.
I’ve heard of people who love their pets, but feel conflicted because they have to feed them meat. Dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet, but cats generally will not. Some reptiles, like iguanas, are vegetarians, but others need meat. I have a one that’s carnivorous and needs canned cat food.
I don’t think it’s better to induce suffering for these creatures in the name of being vegetarian or vegan. We’re able to make this choice—they’re not. This is not an indication of a lack of commitment on our parts, however. We love our pets and in many homes they’re treated like part of the family.
Feeding them meat is not a reason to feel bad about ourselves. And if ultimately we want to give up meat ourselves, but find it impossible to resist those buffalo wings at happy hour, that’s also not a reason to feel bad.
The lifestyle is about being in harmony. Whatever your reasons, whether you’re full-time, sometimes, or just curious. There’s no reason to change that vibration to stress and anxiety!
Personally, I’m very drawn to veganism and I have my periods where I do it for a while. I find vegan cooking fascinating and an interesting challenge. Many of the recipes I post here are actually vegan or easily made that way.
However, I usually end up going back to cheese at some point. Vegan cheeses are more sophisticated and widely available than they’ve ever been before and I do use them. But I’m also fond of the real stuff.
I probably won’t ever end up a complete vegan. But slowly I’ve made my peace with that and I think that’s okay with me.
The important thing is that we’re at a place with our dietary choices where we’re not feeling conflicted. That can be a difficult place to reach, as I’ve learned.
But if you’re aspiring to some level and you just can’t quite get there, I’d like to say to you don’t worry. The journey to that place can be a lot of fun and you’ll be left with many learning experiences that you can use as teaching moments when you finally reach your destination.