Photo credit: Erin Hiemstra Appartment34.com
A Vegetarian: does not eat meat, fish or poultry.
A Vegan: A vegetarian who cuts out any animal product, including milk, cheese and other dairy products.
Veganism and vegetarianism is considered as a trend nowadays; A lot of celebrities are vegan such as: Ellen DeGeneres, Ariana Grande and Liam Hemsworth, big youtubers: Carli Bybel. Brett Cap and Jenna Marbles and many more famous/influencial people. And because they have so many fans and followers, they reach a massive audience: Their fans want to become vegan too because the person(s) they look up to adopted this lifestyle. But veganism and vegetarianism should not be considered as a trend, it is a lifestyle and in my opinion not an easy one!
I was very sceptic and stubborn about vegans and vegetarians as I was so fond of meat, fish and other animal products. Never taking it too serious of which lifestyle was better. Also with the thought that one person cannot make that much difference in this world.
There has always been endless discussions on why you should -or should not be a vegetarian or a vegan:“Animals are there to be eaten, Lions eat meat too” is one of the most frequently used argument I can think of when discussing the topic. Uhh Excuse me, that is such a lame argument in the first place; Ofcourse lions eat meat, they cannot survive by just eating plants, they also kill animals when they are hungry and they most certainly do not kill animals for pleasure or for the sake of slaughter. “Humans are omnivores, we are designed to eat meat” Yes we are omnivores, but that does not mean that we have to consume animal products; we are just capable of eating both animal -and plant matter.
It may seem that I am against meat-eaters, but I am most certainly not! I eat meat myself, and can really enjoy a nice tender piece of meat from the grill. I am trying to minimise eating it as much as possible and I am actually quite intrigued about the vegan lifestyle. I have seen a lot of documentaries and programs about ‘why-you-should-not-eat-meat’,-slaughter videos,- tons of fish dragged out of the ocean,- the hormones and antibiotics they inject in these products. But somehow they did not make that much impact on my diet. Not because I did not care, because I do. I love animals and I find it horrible to watch and it does make me more conscious about the whole industry.
However: There was one documentary that changed it all for me; that made me want to become a vegetarian or even a vegan; it made me so conscious about what is actually going on in the world. And no it is not a documentary about horrendous slaughter!
I always enjoy watching documentaries about nature, science or life stories, almost anything. I came across Cowspiracy when browsing Netflix, it was in the recommendation list, my first thought ofcourse was: Cow…spiracy… must be something about Burger King and/or Mcdonalds, slaughter and all that jazz. The documentary had 5 stars, and I double checked it on IMDB: 8.5 –must be good!- So I pressed play and began to watch, with the assumptions I just made still in my mind.
But the longer I was watching the docu, the more shocked I actually was on how real and actually quite disturbing it all was; Animal agriculture, the #1 environmental problem. That even the biggest environmental organisations do not have the balls to address this issue as the animal agriculture industry is so massive that in court; they will lose anyway.
The docu is also very easy to watch, not a boring,- too educational,-draining, documentary
So that documentary really got me thinking and I did some research myself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a vegan or vegetarian. I personally think it is impossible for me to become a 100% vegetarian, or even a vegan! Especially in this big meat-consuming economy, a family with amazing food and the majority of recipes not vegan-supportive at all. But I would like to give it a try. So I adopted myself as a ‘Occasionaltarian’: trying to cut out meat and fish as much as possible, but if I fancy a tender piece of meat or would like to eat sushi, I will. Who knows; maybe I will permanently cut out meat and fish, maybe cutting out all animal products. And there are some awesome vegetarian and vegan recipes, but most of them have mushrooms… –and I hate mushrooms-, sometimes I wish I liked them as some dishes look amazing, then I see that they contain mushrooms and it puts me off. Yessss I know, there are still plenty of other dishes that do not contain any mushrooms, but these are just some random thoughts of mine.
I managed to cut out pork, not because I chose not to eat it. But I apparently get an allergic reaction when eating it, my skin gets itchy and get red spots on my face. And goodness, how I loved bacon and pork belly… – tough life –. I also managed to replace cowsmilk with soy milk or almond milk.
I am still doing research about the non-animal-product lifestyle and could make this post look more like an encyclopedia with endless discussions, arguments and opinions, about nutricion,- vitamins,- availability of non-animal products,- psychological factors and aaaall that. But there is enough material on the internet and there are plenty of programs and documentaries if you are curious.
Please watch Cowspiracy! And let me know what your thoughts on this docu were.