This summer marks my twelfth year as a vegetarian.
The first six years of my vegetarian diet consisted of me eating a ‘meat and two veg’ diet, sans the meat. There was a lot of mash, a lot of chips and a lot of Quorn dippers.
The last six years in London and especially the last three years have been a revelation. Especially since stumbling upon the Vegan community on IG- my food life has been completely transformed!
This contrast has been blatantly apparent to me for the past week as I’ve been spending some time at home, in Ireland. Whenever I’m travelling home, it’s with mixed feelings. For a variety of reasons, but a large part is the food culture. I love going to restaurants and eating out. My mother and step father also love going to restaurants. It breaks my heart that at home, in our part of Ireland this isn’t something we can currently enjoy together. Partly because the options aren’t there and partly because even as I sit here in 2017, in a lot of the country, people with alternative diets are perceived as a hassle.
However this past week I spent a lot of time looking into The Happy Pear. I listened to this podcast they did with The New Normal and it brought me so much joy. It really brought me so much hope for food culture and diet in Ireland.
Growing up as a teenage vegetarian, with no internet and no access to the vegetarian/vegan/flexitarian community was very isolating. I developed a policy of never speaking about my vegetarianism. My motto was, if I could go my entire life without telling anyone I was a vegetarian, I’d be delighted. It comes from years of watching peoples faces change when they realise Im a vegetarian. Years of relentless, hurtful questions. Years of being told in one breath that my beliefs are silly and in the next breath that Im a hypocrite for eating eggs.
I believe the tides are changing.
Know this. You can eat whatever you want. I’m not telling you what to eat or not eat. Do I think the world would be better off if we reduced our meat consumption? Yes. However different strokes for different folks. Do I wish people were a little more open minded about diets that differ from the norm? Yes. Do I think that change is coming? Yes 🙂
Well now I’m done apologising. I’m done hiding my diet from people. I’m not going to preach to anyone or make anyone feel bad, but from here on out I refuse to feel bad or to be made to feel less than for my beliefs.
I’m excited for the oncoming food revolution and Im pumped to be part of it.
If you enjoyed this post stay tuned! I’m working on plans to adopt a more vegan lifestyle!