The question most people ask when I tell them I’m vegetarian, is: why are you vegetarian?
I guess my answer isn’t what you would expect. Of course, I hate the idea that animals have to be killed just so that we can eat them. Also, I never have liked the idea of eating something dead. Eating meat from the bone or in any way that I could still recognize that the meat belongs to something that once has lived, made me lose my appetite.
I sure did like meals with meat in it, but I’m not that kind of girl that shouted from the rooftops how I love my steak big and juicy. I preferred adding a lot of sauce, for the taste.
I don’t really believe in biologic nor meat being animal friendly. Slaughering an animal isn’t friendly and I’m sure farmers still use food and chemicals that aren’t a 100% biological – and let’s not even being about the farts causing gas.
Okay, this are answers probably most vegetarians would agree on. Back to my own reason, which is quite a personal story.
I have emetophobia – a severe fear of vomit. For myself, and for other people getting sick. I experienced an episode – more likely a year – in which it was really bad. You probably can’t imagine how it’s possible to worry 24/7 about getting sick, but I can assure you, unfortunately it is possible. One of the things I was very scared of, was getting food poisoning. At some point, every time I ate something that can be a little bit tricky (with meat, fish or chicken), I felt sick. Feeling sick, I started worrying: is it ‘just’ the phobia, or did I eat something bad? Since there is always a slight chance there were toxins in the food, this worry made me feel sick all night. Until I calculated the hours after having eaten and making sure I couldn’t get sick anymore.
Just to be clear: I never got sick in this period. I have only experienced food poisoning once in my life.
Of course, I know it wasn’t realistic to be scared like this. But hey, that’s what a phobia does.
Also, I did have a point: you never know how a restaurant takes care of their meat. In Ecuador, some restaurants buy their meat on markets, where it could lay in the open air all day long. In The Netherlands you won’t find it that extreme, but still. It’s easy to neglect the important hygiene rules – even more when you’re not the one who has to eat it. The possibilities of a piece of chicken gone bad kept on haunting my mind for months. I took the decision to eat less meat products for a while, but while eating out in France it’s practically impossible to find something tasty. So the easiest choice was to keep on eating meat.
Until I really decided to stop eating meat. At first, it was a little bit hard. Right now? I couldn’t be happier.
No more dreadful nights. I took away my stressfactor.
And I let animals live.
Do you have a ‘special’ reason to eat different? Please tell me in the comments below!