The question often comes up of how I became a vegetarian. So here is the answer…
My parents were pescatarians when I was born, back in the days of the Farm Vegetarian Cookbook. In the mid-70s and through the 80s, there wasn’t the vast selection of tofu/seitan/tempeh/morning star that there is now. Beans & rice were the magical Complete Protein in our house.
Sometime in the 80s, I think I was 9, my dad, who was working as a cement mason, decided that he need to eat animals. And so we all started to eat animals. Weird, yah. BBQ cow and bird fajitas. Weird, jah.
Around about my sophomore year in HS, I saw some late-night special on PBS about Linda McCartney and her vegetarianism and began brewing idea of re-becoming a vegetarian. One afternoon, while at mcdonald’s eating a 1/4 pounder with cheese (gag), I proclaimed that I was no longer going to eat any animals besides fish. A return to my roots or some such.
One of the worst fights I ever had with my mom was over my refusal to wash a pan full of cow meatloaf grease.
I was an annoyingly righteous pescatarian all throughout high school. I ate salmon throughout college, but no cows or pigs. Tofu, lentils, seitan burritos from the purple taco truck. During the end of my senior year, I started to eat meat again, and did for about 10 yrs. more. Boo.
I’ve now been a vegetarian for the past 3.5 yrs. Prior to that, for a few years, every time I ate pig I would feel guilty. Pigs have people DNA, yo.
When I became a vegetarian in high school, it was mainly due to environmental reasons: water use and environmental impact. This time it is about that, but also about not killing animals. These days I don’t even have cravings for eating animals.
It’s so much easier to not eat meat now than it was when I was a kid. Firm tofu, tempeh yum. so many other protein options. Living in CA makes it especially easy.
Long story short, I’ve not eaten meat for something like 21 of my 38 years.