I kind of hate the reason why I became a vegetarian. I wish I could say that I became a vegetarian because I inherently knew that there was something wrong with eating meat. I would like to claim that I had an epiphany, brought on by deep contemplation and introspection, that a plant-based diet was the more wholesome and health conscious lifestyle. Unfortunately, I owe my vegetarianism to a film.
I am that stereotypical kid who, in her freshman year of high school, watched a film about animal cruelty in the food industry and decided to become a vegetarian as a result. Of course, after becoming a vegetarian, I still had to transcend from being a “bad” vegetarian to a “good” vegetarian.
For the first year or two of my vegetarianism, I ate a ton of processed vegetarian food like fake chicken nuggets and imitation lunch meats. Of course, I was incorporating more fruits and veggies into my diet, but I still was not feeding my body properly. Now, I eat as many whole and fresh legumes as I can get my hands on.
Of course, some processed sugar still finds its way into my mouth and stomach, but, because of my vegetarianism, I've come to appreciate and enjoy natural sugars a whole lot more. My body reminds me daily that becoming a vegetarian was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and it's why I am currently easing myself into veganism.
I kind of hate the reason why I'm becoming a vegan too. Surprise, surprise: it was also because of a film. At least I can say I'm consistent. The film in question was Forks Over Knives, a resource I was using for another TDIV article and a movie I had been meaning to watch for some time anyway.
What I learned about the Western diet and our unnecessary (and unhealthy) dependence on animal by-products convinced me that I needed to get milk and eggs out of my system. So far, I've been making small changes—switching to soy milk, neglecting cheese, avoiding omelets.
The only thing that is stopping me from quitting cold turkey is my impending trip to Europe. Being a vegetarian while traveling in Europe is difficult enough; being a vegan would be nearly, if not completely, impossible. Plus, if I'm honest, I do have some last cannolis and croissants with whom I would like to get acquainted before I disown dairy for good.
As with my decision to go vegetarian, my decision to go vegan was not entirely my own. A movie got me. I want to say that I'm going vegan because I looked deep inside my soul and a bright light showed me the divine path to dietary Nirvana. However, if there was any bright light in my “epiphany,” it was from the Netflix logo on my computer screen. I am that girl -- that stereotypical bandwagon girl who makes life -- changing decisions after only an hour and a half of glowing pictures.
So, I won't say that my reasons for going vegetarian and now vegan are ground-breaking or inspiring, because they're not. Still, no matter how inane or insignificant my reason, I became a vegetarian, and I have enjoyed every day, and every food industry based film, since.