Caught Between a Vegetable and a Hard Place

vegetarianI have wrestled with the idea of vegetarianism for so many years.  My reasoning, at times, was that it grossed me out to think of a live pig while I was downing bacon, or seeing a feather fried into the side of my chicken wing (that was the last time I ever ate a chicken wing).  Mostly though, it hurts my heart to think of animals dying because I need to satisfy a food craving.  In July 2012 I finally made a commitment longer than my past three-week-max tries and gave up eating pork and beef.  Other than a beef cutlet at Christmas Eve dinner and a slice of ham on my eggs benedict Christmas morning (both of which extremely upset my stomach), I have not touched either meat since July.  I added on beginning January 1, 2013 and took poultry out of my diet, as well.  Currently, I am eating a vegetarian diet (with fish now and then).  I think it will stick this time because when my body says, “order a steak,” my heart says, “no.”  The thought has become stronger than the physical impulse, which is huge for me and I am quite happy to be at that point.  Also, don’t ask me to tell you about my improved BM’s, because I will talk openly about it – fair warning.

When I was recently at the drug store looking to replace some old makeup items, my thoughts went to animal testing.  I was considering kindness to animals with my what I put in my body, but what about the things I put on my body?  I post-poned my purchase and was shocked when my research turned up that almost none of the products I currently used were cruelty-free.  I printed a list (you can find one at peta.org or leapingbunny.org) of cruelty-free products and headed back to the store.  I chose to update my shower products, makeup products, and lotions first.  I feel much better having purchased cruelty-free products (and seeing the cute little bunny logo makes me smile).

cruelty freeI would like to eventually have an animal-friendly home but I know that it will take time.  It is difficult to find all products that I use that are free of animal testing (ie: nail polish remover, deodorant – other than the crystal kind because this girl can get ripe, etc.) but I am making a commitment to change what I can.  I was pleased to find out that I already was using cleaning products that do not test on animals – Method products.  I think what I learned today – after spending over an hour on something that normally takes me 10 minutes – is that with some effort I can make basic changes that I can feel good about.  I also learned not to google images of animal testing when looking for photos for this blog post because that really made me sad – DON’T DO IT, TRUST ME.  The way I explained it to some friends last night was that I do not need to know specifics about how animals are mistreated – I don’t need to read about it or see pictures of it.  I will believe people when they say bad things happen – no elaboration needed.  I am a vegetarian-work in progress, but I will get there.  Thanks for those who always have open conversations with me about this lifestyle change.  And to the animals – sorry for the way humans have treated you.  Hopefully change will come.

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