Animal farm

breakfast

Wellbeloved’s sausage and bacon

After 31 and half years of being a vegetarian, this month, I started eating meat and fish again. It wasn’t a rushed decision. It was something I had been considering for years. And no one thing triggered it. There were lots of reasons.

The first reason for eating meat was that I no longer believed my original premise for becoming vegetarian – that it was morally wrong to kill animals. I had not believed that for many years. But the status quo was that I was a vegetarian and I needed to be convinced to proactively change.

Not a question of taste

For many years I have been asking people who eat meat to convince me that there was a moral reason why I should eat meat. Nobody even tried to convince me. Most just said they ate meat because it “tastes nice”. That was not a good enough reason.

Just before Christmas I read The Meat Fix, by John Nicholson. The book has its inconsistencies but contains some interesting observations and ideas that I have since looked into. About two months ago I read every word on the Vegetarian Society’s website and was just not convinced by any of it.

We have to kill animals. Obviously you’d kill a fellow human being in self-defence. The same goes for animals. But as a vegetarian you soon start to widen the definition of self-defence – you kill mosquitoes, then flies and then mice in your house and so on. The lie, like the animals, gets bigger.

In reality, we’re part of an ecosystem, a food chain. We must protect that – by not feeding diced up dead animals to vegetarian livestock (the cause of 1984’s Mad Cow disease), for example. There is an ethical element to our position within the food chain, but it does mean we should eat meat.

Healthy option

Then there’s the health side. After my stroke, when doctors could find no explanation, the one thing they noticed was that I had low vitamin B12 levels – B12 only comes from animals.

My (also vegetarian) stroke doctor told me to eat more cheese. But my healthily low cholesterol levels rose. I switched to B12 injections. I don’t want to have injections to replace something I could eat.

Then there’s the question of alternatives. Do you realise how processed a  lot of vegetarian food is– soya mince is chemically constituted from the leftovers when soya beans have been processed beyond recognition.

Chemical engineering

I was at the launch of Quorn when I was the chemical correspondent on The Engineer. It was invented by ICI, owners of Dulux Paint and inventors of various plastics, fabric and fibres. What was I thinking eating chemically developed and manufactured products?

OK, so we ate mainly healthy vegetables and pulses but we ate a bit of bought-in so-called “healthy” stuff that was actually a chemical miracle. And just think how much chemical engineering must go into making sunflower or olive oil into a solid “healthy” alternative to butter.

So, my plan is to eat meat and milk and cream and butter (not spreadable butter) and eggs as well as the healthy vegetables and pulses. It will be in moderation – I won’t be eating meat or fish seven or even five days a week. What I will be cutting out is the processed food made in huge factories.

Think global, shop local

I will be trying to eat meat from free-range, grass-fed animals and fish from sustainably fished sources. I am currently using local butcher Wellbeloved of Deptford and Soper the fishmonger in Nunhead. But I will visit farms and buy from other sources.

I became a vegetarian aged 16 in the first term of sixth form (do you remember when you knew it all?). I decided that it was morally wrong to kill animals in a naïve belief that all animals are equal. Actually, some animals are more equal than others.

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96 Responses to Animal farm

  1. mayah says:

    also there is no one answer. it depends on the mind and experiences of the individual. we all know how mentally gauging the process of vegetarianism etc is. 

  2. mayah says:

    for 9 years of this lifestyle, i have been reading vegetarian blogs, videos, forums, etc and have never really commented on everything. i talk enough to my friends and family and this stuff. but here i am, compelled to comment. wow! i dont know. my thing is that i became pescetarian 9 years ago at age 12… due to health > animal rights> and environmental issues in that order. i am now a (struggling) vegan as of the past couple months. and my shift was due to now environmental issues > human rights> health> animal rights in that order…. so yeah things change. our minds are constantly adapting. but it really isnt just about animal/ethical things all the time….. the environment is a BIG reason why we do this. also selfish reasons like to protect ourselves from certain diseases and health problems. so your argument is not compelling enough for me, but we are all unique individuals. cheers.

  3. Karma says:

    I think vegans and vegetarians should not judge meat eaters or visa-versa.  It is a personal decision and neither is right or wrong for everyone.

  4. Anna says:

    When I read some of the nasty comments regarding this Author’s PERSONAL reasons for eating Meat again, I am absolutely shocked.Example“A Spa


    November 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    “Because you are weak. I could never contribute to the slaughtering of animals. Sick bastard”
    People who react this way are TOXIC People.  Whether you eat Meat or not, the hypocrisy of attacking someone while proclaiming to love Animals makes you a very unhealthy person!  Morally and Diet wise.Adolph Hitler was a Vegetarian and he had absolutely no working Moral compass.  He roasted human beings not animals in Ovens.With that said.  I have found a great deal of value in this Blog and have been struggling with the same thoughts.All Agribusiness , whether it is Vegetable or Animal farming has disastrous effects on the Environment.  If you think buying “Agribusiness” Produce puts you on a higher Moral ground than buying Meat which is Organic, Free Range and Drug free, then once again your Moral Compass needs adjusting.  To each their own.  Whatever your Diet of choice please try to boycott toxic Agribusiness practices whether they be Meat or Vegetable.

  5. what a load of b.s.I am a meat eater by nature, if I have to kill an animal to survive, that is fine with me. I am the eternal carnivore so to heck with all this hindo- buddhist crap.

  6. Mina Shah says:

    I have been a vegetarian all my life having been born into a Jain vegetarian family. I am now 40 years old and have never tasted meat. I have had two vegetarian pregnancies. I have never known any different. My iron levels have always been fine, never dipped, not even during my pregnancies. I feel fine, all my B vitamins have always been within the normal range. My D vitamin sometimes drops during the Winter months, so I take a vitamin D tablet in the Winter months. My grandmother is 93, as fit as a fiddle and is also a Jain vegetarian like myself, never tasted meat. My sons are very fit and healthy. The first was born with a healthy weight of 8 pounds and 2 ounces and the second at 7 pounds 9 ounces. They are very healthy boys thank god. So, I think people are not compromised as vegetarians, so long as they eat well. I don’t eat Quorn or meat substitutes.

  7. RL says:

    People are so rude.  If one decides to eat meat again due to health reasons you don’t have to belittle them saying all it is excuses and what not . Every body is different … I was a vegetarian for about 10 months but I started gaining weight and feeling like crap all the time so I just started to incorporate meat into my diet last week. I feel a bit better but I still do feel guilty as well .. you have to look out for your own well being first though. 

  8. Bignose says:

    This article really resonated with me as someone who’s been vegetarian the last 29 years.  I’m 43 now and can honestly say that my lacto ovo vegetarian diet hasn’t held me back physically much at all.  Frankly I’ve always been stronger (I was a competitive powerlifter for a long time mind you) and fitter than most of my peers.Of course how we eat isn’t really a scientific decision, it’s mostly as moral one.  These morals were clear to me as a teenager when I decided to eat this way and for most of my life since.  Since having children I’ve really started to question whether I can justify getting some seafood into us all.  Morally I have less of an issue with this as we can go fishing / collecting in the sea about 50 metres from our house.I think a lot of the backlash against meat/dairy consumption are reactions to factory farming and its ramifications (I include myself in here too).  The scientific health perspective is hard to assess because ‘modern research’ is often conducted horribly and the answer is meaningless.  At the end of the day you have to live with yourself, whether that means eating meat/fish or not.  If you are suffering health problems I’d urge you to try different experiments on yourself and disregard extremes.

  9. Anonynous says:

    Guys , please help me out. I have been a vegetarian all my life. I’m a 26 years old male and my hair are in a very poor condition. My skin looks terrible and i have dark circles around my eyes. After a lot of suggestions from my friends i had my first egg today and i feel terrible. I won’t ever eat meat and will just stick with eggs. I love animals and can’t see them getting killed. Could someone convince or help me overcome from my guilt of eating the egg. Please guys, I’ll be very thankful to you.

  10. native says:

    I too have been vegetarian for 3 decades. My father was a hunter and I was raised on wild game and lamb but I hated seeing the kills and loved animals so as a preteen I gave up all meat when my parents divorced. I nearly died 3 weeks ago from severe anemia, which was brought on by an issue I needed emergency surgery for, my hemo only at 5 and they could barely get a pulse. I had 5 blood transfusions in 3 days and an iron infusion that I had a horrible, painful allergic reaction to. I have been taking supplements all my life however it has been determined my body is not absorbing the iron and nutrients I need from them. I can’t tell you how horribly sick and weak I feel and have felt for a long time. I have done a TON of research while bed ridden and stuck in a hospital. Since I’m allergic to all seafood there are really only 4 sources I can get the heme iron I need; liver, lamb, bison or cow. I have made the decision to start eating organic red meat and tonight is my first meal, my friend is making it for me, I think it will be bison or cow. I just can’t do the liver and never liked the taste of lamb. I appreciate your article and thank you for writing this. I put much thought into this. It’s difficult to break a sacred bond I made with myself and the ideals and beliefs I stood for for so long. However I wear leather, I have used non vegan products and I too have found disgust and disillusion with the soybean industry which is ruining the environment at a rate equal to industrial farming. I also thought about the chemicals they put into vegan products which is why many vegans bloat. I intend to eat meat everyday for the next 2 weeks and will be able to compare my iron before and after.I pray this works so that I may recover and make my heart strong enough to have the surgery I so desperately need.I will try to report back and let you know.

  11. Andrea says:

    I enjoyed your article. I used to be a vegan and a vegetarian for one year of each. When I was vegan I truly believed that it was the best diet. I never went to the doctor for any bloodwork. I was too afraid to be told it wasn’t healthy, my thought was always for the animals. However, I was very skinny and probably was anemic. The signs were there I was refuseing to believe I wasn’t retaining enough nutrients. I took supplements, too.  I learned that not one person has the same chemistry as another. Like, our digestive system isn’t all the same (there are those who can’t eat certain foods due to allergies). Slightly correlated is a study I read about how some people geneticly store fat differently than another. Some even have a famine gene – they become obese easily if having too much fatty foods. I read a few stories around the web, where those who were ovo-lacto vegetarians b12 would not show up after bloodwork being done, their body chemistry did not recognize it in the eggs so they had to start eating fish. It’s like one shoe does not fit all. I have read enough stories to know now that a vegan or even a vegetarian diet may not work out for everyone. It’s cool if say it worked great for those who are on it, but for me I now am realistic toward my health. I recently decided to go pescatarian. There are some pretty awesome apps to keep up to date on sustainable fisheries. There’s even certification you can look out for like MSC, that helps to support good sustainng fishermen. I’d rather do this than later on down the road have serious health conditions. 

  12. A Spa says:

    Because you are weak. I could never contribute to the slaughtering of animals. Sick bastard

  13. Anand says:

    Chris, eat what you feel is right for you. Killing a fly is just has wrong as killing a cow. I agree with you on that sentiment. To those that are typing hateful messages.. That is not right. I do urge you Chris to see the higher purpose. For 32 years as a vegetarian you have been alive, that says a lot about a veggie diet. Strokes happen for many reasons.. The verdict is out on yours.. Usually it comes from stress, smoking and cholesterol. Vegetarians can have high cholesterol because of dairy products. I hope you never have to go through such things. But I did want to say that whatever animal you eat, it becomes a part of you. Animals die in fear, anxiety and stress. Their blood vessels expand and you take in this food. It’s hard not to believe that some of this is not or has not gone into you. But with all that said so what’s best for your body and what puts it at ease. Good luck on your journey! 

  14. Amanda says:

    My 5 year old wants to eat meat. I’ve been a vegetarian for 24 years.She is a person in her own right therefore, it’s her choice..

  15. Sean says:

    Well done sir. I moved from vegan to veggie and now I am an omnivore.The change in my psyche, my body and my intellect were surprising.  I eat less carbs in general to previous times and I’m quite happy.I spoke last year with a group of women who were caring for relatives who all had a brain illness or injury, quite a few had done the research I had and we’re seeing results.I wish you well on your journey back to good health.

  16. Missy says:

    “We have to kill animals” …what an idiotic statement. Do you have to rape babies too? This guy never had empathy and wasn’t a vegan. All B-12 comes from bacteria. The people most often deficient in B-12 are meat eaters because they do not take the supplement. Vegan lifespan is 7-10 years longer than the rest. But the MAIN and MOST important reason for eating vegan is to stop the horrific abuse and violence to innocent animals. I have been a mostly raw food vegan for 15 years and health has improved tremendously. I also have two vegan babies at age 40 and 45 so it also preserves fertility.

  17. shelley says:

    B12 is only found in animal flesh because animals are supplemented with it. B12 is a bacteria that grows on plants! Most of our food, be it animals or plants, is lacking nutrients. No matter what we eat, most of us should still take a vitamin or two. I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan, I just hate misinformation. Most of my life I was full on carnivore and still suffered from B12 deficiency. 

  18. Lea says:

    Hi so I read some of the comments of people who want to be vegetarian but feel forced to return to eating meat and felt compelled to give some help/advice. Firstly I want to say I’ve been vegan for over fourteen years, on turning vegans I noticed my health improving, why? Because I was lucky, I knew a few other vegans who had been so for many years who all knew exactly where to get protein and vitamins. I’ve never noticed any bad effects and would never go back to eating dairy or meat. Now for the advice. If you truly want to stay/turn veggie or vegan I recommend finding a friendly vegan or veggie community and asking their advice, most veggie/vegans will be really helpful. There are various vegan and veggie athletes who definitely get enough protein. If you don’t eat well no matter whether you are a vegetarian, a meat eater or a vegan you wont feel good.  Plant protein and vitamins are actually a lot easier to absorb than animal protein. If you are not sure where to look try One green planet and check out Food monster it has various attached pages such as ‘Plant based nutrition’ ‘Natural health’ ‘Nutrition 101’ and ‘Plant protein’ check them all out. There are plenty of sources of vegan and veggie protein, vitamin B12 (If you’re a marmite lover your in luck, it’s full of the stuff, plus most products are reinforced with it.) and iron. Good luck and I hope this helps you.

  19. pete says:

    Less than solid but it remains their choice. My wife eats animals, my parents eat animals. I think their honesty about why they do is much better than trying to hide behind health concerns. Have a look across the globe and the consumption of red meat is relatively scarce. There are likely as many vegis as folk eating red meat on a regular basis and there are more health issues reported with those eating animals than not. if I do ever rediscover meat. I realise it will be a massive desicion but I would expect that given that scenario I would be as open to eating mealworms as curried goat or ham sandwiches

  20. pete says:

    I became vegi aged 8. I lived on a lovely welsh dairy farm and on occasion helped out. I think the decision was made after going to an abattoir with some of the male calves that are a side effect of milk production. I am now 32 and haven’t had any of the health issues that many others seem to be complaining about. I am very active, running playing rugby and lacrosse and generally surviving in modern Britain. I really don’t understand why others are trying to belittle those who have made the decision to return to eating animals. Yes, some of the reasons are

  21. Kasper says:

    While I don’t necesarily agree with the arguments presented in the article, the self righteous counter arguments found in the comments are perfectly written out of every obnoxious vegetarian stereotype – no wonder vegetarians have a bad rep. Even as a vegetarian of 10 years, comments like those keeps pushing me away from a lifestyle I’m finding myself having less and less in common with. Instead of looking down on people eating meat and feeling superior for your “higher” moral and “less” selfishness, you might try with some empathy and understanding. You’d be surprised how much more people would listen to your valid arguments, instead of rolling their eyes. 

  22. Tyler says:

    Interesting, but some of your words quite confuse me. “Actually, some animals are more equal than others” Wtf is that supposed to mean? “We have to kill animals” Umm, no we don’t have to do that. You also mentioned that you went against your belief that it is morally wrong to kill animals. Now you think that it is mandatory or something? Seems like you went from a respectful person to a little, you know, f*cked up. Have fun with your flesh eating habits. 

  23. jon says:

    The guy had a health scare and the only way to cope with his newfound selfishness (which I dont blame him for) was to come up with this load of nonsense to justify his decision to start eating meat, so he could avoid another stroke and potentially, death. I wish he could be honest about this rather than these poorly thought out, not even fully formed, “arguments” as to how eating meat is actually something one “ought” to do. I am a born vegetarian and arrived here because I am considering eating meat for the first time at age 32, but these arguments just made it a lot harder. I hope I find more honest accounts elsewhere.

  24. Jenn says:

    I have been a vegetarian for 16 years. I did it because I loved my pets. I was 14 at the time and vey uneducated about nutrition. The past few years I have felt very tired, digestive issues, PMS, massive migraines, frequent headaches, I can’t concentrate, my whole body aches, anxiety, and brittle nails. I am not eating enough complete protein. I just read a great article about what a vegetarian diet does to the body over time. Here is the website: http://www.arltma.com/Articles/VeggieReportDoc.htm  I have not yet started eating chicken or red beef. Quite frankly, I am afraid. For half my life I have not been eating it. I have many pets, and the turning point was the other day when I saw one of my chickens kill a baby mouse and eat it. It makes me think of the circle of life. I value my life. If I can’t get myself healthy, how will I continue to take care of all my pets I have? I think it is going to take a while to get my body’s metabolism back to where it needs to be, and to rid these awful migraines and fatigue once and for all. Supplements and vegan food does not cure this! Our bodies are meant to eat animal protein. there are many comments on here proving that what I am going through has happened to other people. Its just when do I start to eat meat? And how? I truly have to meditate and change my mind over to do this. This is not going to be easy. Thanks for the comments here.

  25. kelly says:

    hello, thank you for sharing your experience. It has been really helpful.I have been a lacto vegetarian and on and off vegan for 10 years and thought about eating meat again. And so I began to introduce meat into my diet as of last week, beginning with fish. I feel fine so far.I notice that I get full more easily. In all, reintroducing meat into my diet had no negative effect, but I understand that everyone’s body.

  26. TCol says:

    I also think it’s important to note the author was a vegetarian, and not a Vegan, so while he was not eating animal meat, he was still consuming animal products, and would therefor not gain the health benefits of  no longer consuming animal proteins. furthermore the author goes on to talk about the processed junk he was eating. Vegetarian or not, if what you are consuming is chemically processed junk, you will pay for it in the long run.Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean that your diet isn’t still milk, eggs, Twinkies, gmo’s, sugar and chemical gunk.You actually have to eat 100% wholesome healthy foods, and cut out all the “Gunk” before you’ll see or enjoy and of the real benefits of health.

  27. Miss Pupka says:

    One aspect of this and similar stories is that the author was also getting older at the same time he was a vegetarian. I’m not denying that eating meat again was a good choice for the author. I’m just saying that as our bodies age, our dietary needs change, and it doesn’t mean that going veg was a bad idea to begin with. For example – I’ve been a vegetarian for 6 years. My skin is getting drier lately. However, I also just turned 40. I suspect that the aging process has more to do with the dry skin than being a vegetarian. I’ve also noticed dark circles appear under the eyes of my meat-eating friends, just like their parents have always had. It’s hard to accept, but our health will eventually fail 100% of the time. Let’s not rush to the logical fallacy of “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” (after this, therefore because of this). 

  28. Auggiedoggy says:

    There must be something to this. I’ve gone vegetarian several times and near vegan for almost a year once and each time I returned to eating meat people would comment on how I looked much better. They noticed the changed without me saying anything about my diet.

  29. Ash says:

    we absolutely do NOT NEED to kill and eat animals- that’s a cop out to make yourself feel better about your decision to go back to eating meat. There are times I miss meat I miss the convenience and even the taste but I’m not selfish or entitled and don’t believe animals are here to be tortured, neglected, abused eaten or worn. So I just don’t do it. Plain and simple. I eat very health keep active take vitamins and I’m a very healthy 27 yr old girl. 

  30. Daryl says:

    Hey I have been pescetarian for 2 months after 30 years eating meat…..anyway I’m very glad to have made the life change to only eating fish/seafood and can honestly say I doubt I will ever eat the likes of poultry and red meat again……for all you vegetarians/vegan just remember you DONT have to eat meat specifically to get the properties you require like B12 etc as there are plenty options out there to get those nutrients and minerals from I strongly recommend watercress it’s an absolute superfood and you will get all your required B vitamins from it…… you just need to get clever and source the important things your body needs in other foods….stay safe

  31. Franky says:

    I’ve been a raw vegan for 1.5 months, only reason I started was to cure Candida. After 1 1/2 mo. I started to eat meat again (organic chicken) I gotta say, doing enemas (3-5 a week) & eating vegan has caused a lot of constipation and weakness, now that I’ve eaten chicken my bowel movements are working great again. ONLY ONE concern, today that I started to eat meat my lower side of my back started to hurt a little (kidney maybe?) IDK. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with eating meat, read the Bible, Old Testament, God approved it Himself.

  32. RachelLaura says:

    I have been literally feeling the deficiencies in my own body for months now. Its gotten bad after 10 years of vegetarianism. I usually feast on delicious avocados and lots of nutritious vegetables and I dont eat sugary cookies and cake and pie or anything like that. Im a very healthy eater.I tried a fish stick on wednesday last week and havent had a chance for  anything else since then but in that tentative baby step I realized that despite my morals, I have to do something about my declining health. I am very hesitant but theres a right way to do it and a wrong way.I mean I cant be biased. I love animals more than most people on this planet.Would it be murder if a lion took down the weak business man? Nope. Not in my eyes. If the “food chain” didnt say that the lion was stronger…. then the business man would have defended himself easily right? I dunno, maybe the act itself of killing for food is natural. Factory farming is NOT. But the act itself,  unless you’re willing to judge the animals you want to protect, don’t judge the people who are animals themselves.

  33. S.D. says:

    Killing animals is not wrong, it’s natural. But breeding them just to kill them is abnormal and grotesque. Wild animals eat wild animals, that’s nature…. but as long as you eat animals that were bred to be slaughtered, you’re not part of the so-called “food chain”, neither are they, this all exists in an artifical world in which beings have to live in forced roles while the artifical world creates problems in the ecosystems due to additional resources being needed.

  34. Dennis says:

    If you want to eat meat because it tastes good, be honest about it. The arguments in the article and in a lot of the comments didn’t convince me at all. It’s the typical case of trying to cover up your guilt for doing something you have a hard time justifying.(And I’m not strictly veg, so I’m not trying to make you feel guilty.)

  35. Elaine says:

    Hi Folks,Interesting reading all your comments – but especially Chris’ article that sparked them all initially. Thankyou Chris for sharing … I have been vegetarian for 29yrs becoming one at 15 when it felt the only morally correct thing to do. Now married with a husband who is also a long standing vegetarian and two beautiful children who are lifelong vegetarians, I’m faced with an unexpected choice. To eat meat or not to eat meat??? Genes, gut bateria, stress levels, coping abilities; everyone is different and everyone’s choice needs to be personally correct for them. My family are healthy, but I am not. I have had type 1 diabetes for 18years, vitiligo for 14 years, now an under active thyroid … all autoimmune responses of the body. Looked deeply in to Gabriel Cousens, Robert O Young and now thinking it’s time to consider the GAPS diet!? Don’t want to prepare fallow ground for my kids in their futures AND I want to be h-e-a-l-t-h-y!Heyho…

    • Jess says:

      I love Elaine’s comment. I have been a vegetarian since I was 13 so almost 15 years. I started eating fish about 7 or  8 years ago. My husband eats meat on occasion but our 6 year old daughter has been a veg her entire life. For over a year now I have considered adding (humanely raised) meat into our diet. on thanksgiving my daughter asked to try turkey, since it was raised in my aunts back yard I agreed. but she did not like the taste. I am dealing with Thyroid issues for two years now and feel like maybe its time to change my diet. 

  36. RW says:

    I have been a vegetarian since I was 7 so that is now 39 years ago.  Since that time I have never eaten meat or fish and in those days there were no such things as soya alternatives.  I am certainly not against people who eat meat and feel if you want to eat it, eat it, if you don’t don’t.   I do not suffer healthwise, never really had a day off work, am the correct weight for my height never take vitamins but eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.  I have no intention of eating meat and fish in the future but must admit I love the smell of bacon!

  37. ss says:

    mmmm… I have been being a pescatarian since 5 years ago, i loved to eat meat, mom used to say me carnivore… but after reading a book I realized that if wasnt for the easy way of going to buy meat instead of slaughtering an animal to take it i would ever ate meat at all. But since a year ago ive been thinking about eating meat, thinking about killing an animal just to taste its meat ;( and I think i might do it, last weekend a i went to a party and i was drunk and I ate it, i was afraid I thought it might make sick but IT WAS SOOO GOOD x.x i guess im going to start eating sometimes when the posibility appears not buying it because thats supporting the torture cicle… my skin turned better after the weekend though… Im not going to tell my mom because she will cook meat like every day x.x btw i eat fish and seafood because im always being capable of killing and cooking them by myself even the idea of go fishing seems fun to me :) because if a see an alive fish or a fruit a want to eat but if i see a cow or a chicken i want to pet them :( but now… i dont know 

  38. k says:

    everyone here is absolutely ridiculous. all these excuses, because you want to eat and taste meat. you do not HAVE to eat meat to be healthy. it is also not expensive to be vegetarian or vegan. you don’t have to buy expensive meat imitations…don’t be fools. you LIKE to taste meat, so you are claiming all these bullshit health reasons to back up your weakness. animals should not be tortured for our tastebuds. unfortunately we don’t live in hunter/gathering societies anymore – we live in a sick consumerist one that turns animals into commodities. factory farming is just the beginning. if you REALLY understood nutrition, nobody here would be claiming outrageous things like, “i feel unhealthy, i need red meat.” or “my eyes have bags, i must need chicken”. and certainly nobody would claim they can’t afford to live a cruelty free lifestyle. nuts, vegetables (which, by the way to some of you up there, ARE RICH IN IRON AND OTHER NUTRIENTS. MORE RICH THAN MEAT, E.G. SPINACH), and non-animal products are freakin cheap. and if you do it right, you don’t need supplements. you’ve been raised on the idea that you need meat. human beings do not NEED meat to survive in our day and age. if you eat meat (and buy local and grass fed, etc) then yes, i’d say you are healthy. but no more healthy than i am, as a vegetarian.

    • K says:

      Hi, k. After many doctor’s visits and blood tests, I was diagnosed with anemia. You know why? Because of my diet. You know one of the easiest foods to get iron from? Red meat. I eat all these vegetables and take iron supplements but nothing is doing the trick. People saying they are sick and have deficiencies from their diet are not lying. Go talk to a doctor or learn before you type.

  39. Anna says:

    I have been a vegetarian (who eats fish and dairy – love my dairy) since I was 14 after reading Peter Singer’s book. However, now in my late 30s I want to have a baby and I have decided to eat meat (beef) again because I need to be as healthy as I can be. And I have started craving meat to be honest — when I smell our neighbors cooking…I think that means something. Part of me is still a tiny bit appalled by but I will only eat what I can buy and cook myself (bought from local farmers and grass fed/grass finished). I know I will likely upset some vegs with this post, but I think that we all as an overpopulated planet need to find a balanced way of eating / farming so we do not deplete the soil — and eating meat is much preferable to eating overprocessed soy, etc. (Montsanto, ie the devil incarnate, is a huge producer of soy.)  Also, much as I LOVE seafood, we are emptying our oceans at an alarming rate…I think mostly we should all eat plants with seafood/beef being a once a week (or month) treat, like ice cream. Really I think the question overall is larger than eating/not eating meat but rather how can we feed ourselves in a way in which keeps both us humans and the planet and all its residents (without which we needn’t even bother to ask the question) healthy for the long term. We after all are just pieces of the earth, like cows, like zucchinis.  :)  

  40. Anne says:

    You don’t HAVE to eat meat. You don’t HAVE to kill animals. 

  41. Aj says:

    I’ve been vegetarian for over 17 years now & vegan for most of the past 9.  I was raised mostly vegetarian, though it was never purchased for me, I tried it at friends houses before the age of 13.  I’m 30 now.  I was also a raw foodist for a couple of years about 6 years ago.  I eat extremely well for being mostly vegan.. no junk food, no processed fake meats, lots of vege’s, beans & fruit.  I get enough plant protein.. but… I have been considering eating wild turkey or chicken for about a year now.  I saw some the other day & it looked really really good.  Strangely good.  I have been suffering from some health issues, including noticing that my hair isn’t very strong & some of it has fallen out.  My nails have been weak ever since I can remember.  I also thought that if I am going to consume flesh ever again.. then I would have to be totally comfortable with slaughtering it myself.  I’m completely against factory farming.  Now, a cow.. it’s a big animal & I don’t think I would be really into the whole killing process of such a large animal & I remember from childhood never being fond of any red meat at all.  A chicken, I could potentially snap it’s neck or use a machete.. same with a turkey.  I think I may actually be ok with that.  Although, I may not have these opportunities just yet.. I think I may have to find some good organic free range chicken or turkey.. because it’s started to consume my mind frequently.  It feels right.

  42. megan says:

    I became a vegetarian over a year ago. Since then my health has improved, contrast to most other comments here. I’m still overweight but  I have lost some weight. My hair, skin, and complexion look healthier, my cheeks are rosier. Recently however, I’ve realized  I may eventually have to eat meat if I develop any vitamin deficiencies. I think fish and shellfish are the only meat I could ever morally eat again. (Afterall they’re the only things aside  from insects I’ve ever had the guts to kill with my own hands. I acidentally killed one of my old pet bird’s chicks and I couldn’t handle the guilt, and that was before I was even a vegetarian) I think meat eating can only be justified to survive and be healthy, not something to be eaten in abundance as a luxury. I also hate the concept of farming, that an animal, especially one as intelligent as a pig, could be born into suffering and slavery. To live for the sole purpose of dying for someone else’s pleasure. I would much rather kill my own fish for dinner than ever again pay money for a beef steak or pork chops.  If you put it into perspective,  isn’t it much better to have lived a happy, mature life and be killed by surprise,  than to live a life of nothing but slavery, less than adequate conditions, and family seperation. Because of that, I have an even bigger problem with  dairy than meat. I’ve met  people who are insisent on the false belief that humans need cow’s milk to  survive, which is absurd in a world where the majority of people are lactose intolerant, including myself and a most people who do not decend  from Europe. It’s one of the strangest practices in all of  human behavior and in most cases, it’s very cruel. I guess my problem is more about the lack of free will and causing suffering in  farming practices than the killing. (Sidenote: I also feel guilty because I own two pet lovebirds that I was given by a teacher who could not take care of them. Now they spend most of their days in cages where they cannot fly and be free. I am certain they could survive in the wild but I dont live in their home habitat so I can’t safely or legally release them. They are african. I am american. Anyway, thats a whole other story, but it still pertains to my ddilemm.) If I could control the human race, I would hope to survive on minimum flesh and over time evolve into a race of herbivores. So in the end, I agree with you, though I’m going to wait as long as I can before eating any kind of meat again. Im glad I found someone else who  relatively  the same as I do. 

  43. Christine says:

    A lot of these posts reference becoming a vegetarian starting from 10-15 years ago.  I’m not 100% vegetarian/vegan but most of my diet is plant based and has been for close to a year.  The only meat I eat is sardines (no other type of fish) and I have been incorporating eggs back into my diet after 6 months of not eating eggs.  With that being said,  the whole year thus far has probably not been laden with any major health issues because of the information now widely available on the net.  Before I went strict vegan for 6 months (now more relaxed vegetarian-pescatarian), all the websites I visited said I had to supplement with B12, D3, and K2, taurine….as well as making sure calcium levels were high by eating tons of leafy vegetables and almonds.  I don’t think 10-15 years ago this type of information would have been as accessible as well.  Also these supplements I take are now available everywhere.  The one drawback of a vegetarian/vegan diet is that it’s very expensive to be healthy on it and time consuming so if someone doesn’t have the time or extra money to spend, this diet is going to lead to health problems down the line.  PETA and other animal organizations have the welfare of animals at heart but human welfare at the same time because the majority of people do not have the time/money to stay healthy on a vegetarian/vegan diet.

  44. Camo says:

    I had been a vegetarian for about 10 years before moving to the coast and introducing a bit of seafood. I suffer from a number of health issues – terrible immune system, persistent back pain, digestive issues. My new acupuncturist has told me I need to eat red meat to get my iron levels up. I reluctantly had some lamb tonight and am thinking of introducing some game and / or bison into my diet. But is it true that you can’t get enough iron from a pescatarian diet? 

  45. mura mayu says:

     Hi all, it’s nice to recognize what’s been happening to what we eat. I have been suffering from nutrient deficiency after I have done extreme diet especially cutting off meat when I was a teenager. I find dark circles under my eyes every pictures of me back in the days I was a student. Now, I am 30 and taking a lot of supplements along with balanced diet and a blood test. I have trouble digesting and absorbing energy from eating and my metabolism is low as well. So, even if I eat balanced diet, my body is lacking the ability use them efficiently. This is really a pain and affecting every part of my day. I wish I was more educated about this 15 years ago.

  46. Miche says:

    I became a vegetarian 11 years ago after my ex-husband read a book on the vaccination and addition of hormones to animals. We had chosen not to vaccinate our children and found this to be intrusive. It has always been stressful for me to maintain a healthy vegetarian diet for 5 children plus myself. There were times I spent the entire day in the kitchen preparing balanced vegetarian meals. Yesterday I was hospitalized for excessive blood loss related to my period. The doctor said I can have a transfusion if it drops any lower or increase my hemoglobin. This can be done by taking iron and eating red meat. Lately I see my children developing dark circles under their eyes as I have to work more and have less time to prepare intensive meals. So I am going to return to red meat. To save our lives. It was a struggle for me but now I see it as necessary. Do what is best for your health.

  47. Lu says:

    I just found this article as I guess I am thinking about eating meat again. The reply by Kerry is exactly the extreme view that made me become vegetarian 28 years ago (Age 7). Mad cow disease, the transportation of livestock and lack of standards turned me (and half my family) It was cruel and murderous. Thankfully today there is better awareness of where our food comes from and with the importance of ethical food sources in the limelight I am begining to disbelieve the reasons for my vegetarian lifestyle. I had subtle symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, although not confirmed by tests, supplements have positively helped and not being keen on supplements I am thinking why take supplements when I can get it from my diet if I choose. I am wondering how to take that first step, it appears to be wholly psychological.

  48. Kerry says:

    I just ate meat tonight first time in 11 years and i can not atop puking every min.. I am disgusted in myself and you should be too.. Its for un educated cave man.. It is disgusting..i am ashamed of myself.. poor poor animals.. It is murder;(

  49. RK says:

    I have been veg on and off (due to pregnancies-soy disgusted me!), and have recently decided I am missing out on nutritional benefits of meat (bone broth for example for healthy skin, bones & teeth). I tried a bit of organic chicken the other night with my family. Although, it is strange to eat a bit of meat again. It did taste great and I felt more calm in the evening, which is nice, because I have been having recurring anxiety in the evenings (another reason I am seeking healthy balance-in case I am missing something my body needs). (FYI I also added a spoon of coconut oil in my tea, and began a probiotic supplement in additional to multivitamin.)  I think meat/killing animals for a food source in itself isn’t morally wrong, but being against factory farms/poor animal welfare/environmental destruction is important. What you are doing (grass-fed meat/butter etc. route) seems like a happy, healthy balance to support small farms doing the right things and being healthy and balanced. It’s not cheap, but don’t need a ton of meat. I think in the end cutting animalsout completely may not be the healthiest so I am going back to basics also! Reading your blog reassured me this is not necessarily a bad decision!

  50. RM says:

    Interesting perspective, Chris… And a fair article. I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years, purely for “ethical reasons”. I have always completely abhorred animal suffering and cruelty. As much as it pains me… I’m now 26 years old and I’ve recently begun to notice small, niggling health issues (dark circles under the eyes, dry hair)… I tried Iron and Zinc supplements for months, to no avail. One day, in a moment of desperation / madness, I had a can of tuna. This was about 2 months ago. Since then, I’ve been eating iron-rich meats and fish and, as much as it pains me to admit, I’ve al;ready noticed a difference in my appearance. Better hair condition and vastly reduced under-eye circles. I’ve always loved animals, and I’m feeling the guilt of eating flesh again, but I feel & look better now than I have done for the past 10-11 years as a vegetarian (near-vegan, except for the occasional cheese product). Feels bad, man.

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