When I was 16 I was sitting in Spanish class and we had to watch a video about bullfighting. In this particular video they killed the bulls after the fights. Afterwards my teacher asked who thought killing the bull was unethical, and everyone raised their hand. Then he asked how many people were vegetarians, and no one could raise their hand. I went home that night and told my mom I was going to be a vegetarian. I had always been an animal lover, and never felt like killing animals for meat was a justified act. When I was 14 I found a PETA ad in a magazine and hung it in my locker. This is the ad:
For 9 and a half years I was a vegetarian. For the first 6 years I did not eat fish, but slowly my outlook started to shift, and I became a pescetarian. I made the decision to go vegetarian at 16 for ethical reasons. Health wasn’t a consideration for me at all. However after years, and years of struggling with constipation, I began to consider eating meat again. As much as I would like to say that vegetarians aren’t deficient on vitamins, I have come to learn that there are some vitamins and minerals that are just absorbed easier through meat. I also wanted to get soy out of my diet becasue for years I had been overly reliant on soy products. Oh, and I figured eating meat would make touring Europe a lot easier. So as a last ditch effort I decided to start eating meat again in the fall of 2015.
This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I know that sounds really dramatic, but for 9 years I identified as a vegetarian. It was more than a diet, it was a lifestyle. It was who I am, because even though I’m eating meat again, ethically I still find it to be so very wrong.
So did it change my health? Did it help my constipation? If you read this post, you already know the answer. I can honestly say that bringing meat back into my diet has made me feel no different. Actually I think it has had more of a negative effect than I expected. From fall of 2015 to now I have gained approximately 11 pounds. And the only variable that has changed in my life is the addition of meat. Also my skin got worse, it used to be clear and smooth, but as soon as I started eating meat it started looking rutty, and red.
Who knows if the meat itself was responsible for the weight gain. It could be because less things are off limits for me now. I do try to eat meats with low fat content but when going out to a restaurant, I will sometimes have a burger. It could also be the quality of meat. I try to eat locally farmed meat, but when eating out, that doesn’t always happen. So animals that have been injected with growth hormones, or antibiotics could definitely be playing a role in weight gain. If an animal has growth hormones injected to make it gain weight, I’m sure it could have the same effect on humans. Deep down I also think adrenaline could have something to do with it. When an animal is killed it is feeling a great deal of adrenaline, it’s pumping that stress hormone through it’s body, and that certainly can’t have a positive effect on our own systems.
All this said, I’m currently on a paleo diet, which is basically meat, meat meat. So why eat this way if I think meat is responsible for my weight gain? Well, as I explained in this post, I wanted to remove common food allergens from my diet to see if that was playing a role in my constipation. I’m going to give this a bit of time to try and work, but eventually I think I will shift back to a vegetarian diet. Or maybe an occasional vegetarian. I haven’t fully decided yet. But I will let you know as I go!