Written By: Rachel
As someone who has been veg for a long while, people often ask me "what made you give up meat?" Of course, there are lots of reasons. I never really liked the taste of meat. I love animals. I'm concerned about the environment. However, the reason I woke up one day as a meat eater, and went to bed as a vegetarian is simple.
I was twelve years old, and my family and I had recently moved into a new house. My parents were decorating the place, and decided to buy leather couches for the den. I had been toying with the idea of going veg for years for all the reasons above, and, ahem, expressed my disapproval of this decision. Fine. I was a twelve-year-old girl. I threw a fit, citing reason after reason why I believed it was cruel and horrible to own leather couches (or "cowches, as I'd immediately named them). Once I'd caught my breath, my mom said something that changed my life forever. "You know, I'm sick of this," she said. "You love animals and think leather is horrible. But when you're in the mood for a hamburger, you go ahead and eat one."
My temper tantrum came to a screeching halt. She was right. Ugh, I hated when that happened. "Fine, then!" I said. "I'll never eat a hamburger again!" And I haven't. That was more than twenty years ago. Darn, I'm stubborn (sorry, Mom).
When I find out that someone is a vegetarian, I always ask them: "What was your moment?" Everyone has one.
As I was writing The Smart Girl's Guide to Going Vegetarian, I interviewed teens from across the vegetarian spectrum (from thinking about giving up meat, to not eating red meat, all the way to vegan). The "moments" I gathered were priceless. Here are a few:
-"I went to Chinatown with my family and saw dead chickens hanging in the window."
-"My grandpa ordered a big steak and it totally grossed me out."
-"I saw a dead deer on top of the car of people who were headed home from hunting."
-"A quote from The Fault in Our Stars did it."
-"My bird laid eggs. Whoa. That's where eggs come from?!"
-"I started college. Dining hall meat—ugh!"
So tell me, friends. What was your moment?