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Why I became a vegetarian

Picture it. Apple Hill, 2006. My best friend, and coworker at the time, took the day off to get pumpkins for Halloween.

I’d never been much of a red meat person, though I will admit that before my vegetarian days I did enjoy the occasional Big Mac, and usually only ate chicken and fish. I knew of how animals were being treated at feed farms, and the cruelty that went on in the meat industry, but chose to ignore it. But that started to change when I was adopted by my little dog Olly. Though I’d been raised with pets my entire life, I’d never had a dog of my own, that slept on my bed, and relied entirely on me for food, love, and chew sticks.

Back to the story though. So Adrienne (who had also recently become a dog parent) and I were wandering around Apple Hill having a gay old time. We were a bit late in the season to get top tier pumpkins, but were satisfied with the smaller but easier to carry ones that we purchased. We took a break at a bench, and decided to enjoy a glass of apple wine by the lake. That’s when it happened.

The lake had fish, and families were there catching fresh fish to barbecue and consume. Which didn’t really bother me at first. Then, this maniac young child began what turned into an hour long torture of a helpless little fish.

The little boy caught the fish quite easily, but refused to put it out of it’s misery.

He walked around the edge of the lake pulling the fish along, like it was a pet he was taking out for a walk. Except, the pet had a hook through it’s mouth and was about to be killed. He would pull the fish out from the water to poke it, shake it for his friends to laugh at, and you could see the pain in the poor animal’s eyes from across the lake. It continued for what seemed to be forever, but neither Adrienne or I could look away.

By the time the boy finally took the fish out of the lake, and headed to a shed where we assumed it would meet it’s maker, Adrienne and I were shaking and crying. It might seem a bit dramatic, but remember, there was apple wine involved.

It was that moment that the two of us vowed to give up meat. I’m not saying I’ll be a vegetarian my entire life, and I’m fine with others around me eating meat. In fact, I’ll even help prepare dishes that contain meat for others. But I’ve found that it’s very possible to consume enough protein from vegetable sources, and with that in mind the idea of an animal dying for me to stay nourished disgusts me. Any animal. I realize that the brain of a tuna is far different than the brain of dog, but it doesn’t matter to me.

I think people commonly thing that by giving up meat you have to give up delicious food. This is because meat is often fatty, and let’s face it, fat makes everything taste better. Breaking that myth is part of the reason I started this blog actually, to show that you can create delicious food, without having to rely on meat.

Oh, and we didn’t stay to see the boy emerge from the shed with his fresh fish carcass. I hope for the best for the child, as he clearly was exhibiting signs of suppressed anger. That fish suffered a painful, slow death, but because of it’s suffering thousands of other animals have been spared in the years that followed. You might even call it a Jesus Fish.

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