I have never liked animals. I don’t want a puppy, I think cats are the embodiment of Satan on earth and I’ve killed every fish I’ve ever owned. I am also a carnivore. Eating meat is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my life. Or, at least it was until I stopped eating meat altogether.
It started this summer when a boring project at work drove me into the arms of documentaries on Netflix. I had seen some of them before, but this time, for some reason, the reality of how animals are treated and the business practices I was supporting by eating meat really hit me.
I didn’t know how to react to my newfound conviction that the merciless slaughter of animals was wrong. I am not a hippie. I didn’t recycle or attend government protests, and I certainly never planned on being a vegetarian. In fact, I routinely made fun of vegetarians. In my opinion, a life without meat was no life at all. But I couldn’t ignore the conviction in my gut telling me the same God I believe in created animals and didn’t plan on them being treated this way.
So, I stopped eating meat. I gave myself a three-month trial to test the waters and see if this was something I could handle. I didn’t tell anyone, I didn’t do any research, I just cut it out of my life.
It’s been almost two months and I have been astonished at how easy it is. Sure, it’s an inconvenience to constantly check if there are meat products in what I’m eating, and Texas is one of the hardest places to find meat-free dining options, but every time I abstain from meat I feel good about honoring my convictions.
Some people might say that I’m just one person and my giving up meat doesn’t matter because the rest of the world is still eating it. I refuse to believe that one person can’t make a difference. I don’t think everyone should be a vegetarian, but I do think people should respond to their convictions. I want to be a person who cares about the world and who isn’t living mindlessly. My decision may not be changing the meat industry but it has changed me, and that’s enough for now.