Last month I made the decision to become a vegetarian. I explained a little bit of what went into my decision HERE, but today I want to talk a little more about it and also add in a little spiritual spin.
So, in a nutshell, what led to my decision was I wanted to eat healthier, I had reconnected with a college friend on Facebook and discovered she wrote a healthy eating blog(that probably came first), she became a vegan and I learned from her. This year she started a Healthy Vegan Challenge group on Facebook and I joined to become inspired to eat healthier. What happened was I became inspired to give up meat, fish, and dairy.
This was not something I just decided to do so let me explain a little more what led up to this decision. Carrie's Blog really inspired me to eat healthier (have I mentioned that before??). I tried several of her recipes and they were awesome. She also took the time to answer any question I had about ingredients or where to find them. She also posted a lot about the book, Eat To Live, by Dr. Joel Furhman and personally recommended it to me. I first got it on my Nook, but was having trouble flipping between the meal plans and recipe pages so I bought the paperback (it was only $10 at the PX on post). Anyway, I decided to try following the Eat To Live Plan and was doing pretty good during the Spring, but after my epic trip to California in the summer it kind of petered out.
One of my resolutions/goals for this year was to eat healthier. I wasn't dong so well the first couple of months so when Carrie introdiced her Healthy Vegan Spring Challenge I decided to join. My original goal was to just give up red meat for for the challenge and limit my chicken and fish and mostly have vegetarian meals. Inspired by other group members I decided to give up cicken for the challenge as well. I was also inspired to watch the documentary Earthlings. At first I was reluctant because I knew it showed some pretty graphic and heartbreaking stuff, but something kept telling me I had to watch it. I watched parts 1 and 2 on Youtube on that was enough. I decided to never eat meat again. Or chicken. I was still having dairy, though. And eggs.
Then I watched a documentary called Milk Facts and that turned me off of dairy. Then I decided not to eat fish. I also decided to give up eggs for the rest of the challenge. Eventually I would like to give them up for good. I will only buy them from a friend, though, that has free ranged well cared for chickens, in the meantime.
So that is how I became a vegetarian. I am not yet a vegan as I do still eat eggs (well, in 2 weeks) and wear leather(though I will not buy it anymore). I am also trying to make the transition to making sure all the products we use are cruelty-free and not tested on animals. You would not believe how much stuff is!!!!
As with any major lifestyle change I like to pray about it and search the scriptures. One of the first things I did after making the decision was to look at the Word of Wisdom in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 89). Most people think that the Word of Wisdom only tells Mormons what they cannot eat or drink (coffee, non-herbal tea, alcohol) or do (drugs, smoke), but it also gives guidelines on what to eat to keep our bodies healthy and clean. I have read these verses before, but this time I took a whole new meaning from them.
Verse 12 -13 state..
"12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine."
I took from this that meat should only be eaten in extreme circumstances. It also could be preserved for winter so when fruits and grains and produce were not readily available the meat was.
Verses 14 states...
"14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;"
and verse 16
"16 All grain is good for the afood of man; as also the bfruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—"
We are encouraged to eat grains and fruits and vegetables -- anything that grows and is from the earth.
Then comes the promise if we follow these guidelines
"18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, ashall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall bpass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.'"
Healthy and strong bodies and clear minds :)
This really gave me comfort and peace knowing I had made the right decision for myself.
To really make the committment, though, I posted my decision on Facebook and blogged about it HERE. It is easy to say to yourself that you are going to do something and then if you don't you only have yourself to answer to. I want to be held accountable for my decision and to be motivated to stick with it.
After I announced my decision, Carrie sent me this awesome and thoughtful care package
This will also help me to stay motivated. I am currently reading Living Vegan for Dummies. I plan to read the other 2 by the end of the summer as well as Eat To Live again. For the summer challenge I am going to try the ETL plan again.
So that is how I became a vegetarian :)