Being ignorant is easier, but it's certainly not better. I say easier, because once you have knowledge you did not have previously, you have to make changes you might not have been ready for, or not willing to make yet.
Photo via goveg.com
I have been toying with the idea of becoming vegetarian for almost 2 years now. In the beginning, it was purely for weight loss reasons. I've tried twice, but only managed to make it last for about a month or two at a time.
Photo via goveg.com What I used to think animal farming looks like everywhere.
But through those years, I have researched online trying to find information about becoming vegetarian, as I had no idea how to eat properly. (I am now fully aware, that you can be vegetarian or vegan and still eat primarily processed foods or still eat meat and consume a whole food diet, but that's a story for another day.) Through those online researches, I stumbled upon a lot of articles and video's about animal cruelty.
Stuff that would make anyone puke!
No, I'm not going to post them here. If you are curious, just do any online search about farming and animal cruelty, and you'll have more information that you will know what to do with.
It's how I got myself to stop eating meat the first time... I grossed myself out by watching videos online of cow's being skinned alive, pigs and chickens being mistreated in ways that I never could have imagined another human could think of.
Photo via goveg.com Farmer's removing or grinding pig's teeth with no anaesthesia is common practice. This is just a mild example of what some do to these animals.
Both times, I relied heavily on other animal products to make my meals, accompanied of refined starches and not including enough fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains. I can tell you I felt like crap eating like that.
One thing I have done, is reducing my meat consumption over the last year. I seem to feel a lot better when I don't eat it, compared to when I do.
Since September, I have read Skinny Bitch and am now in the process of reading The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone. Very eye opening. I am devouring her book right now, I can't get enough of it.
I am not kidding when I say I am only at page 45 of her book and already some things have clicked with me. And I mean, really clicked. All this information I had learned about how the meat AND egg AND dairy industries are not only making a lot of animals suffer, but are also completely horrible to the environment, not to mention what it does to our bodies, finally resurfaced in my conscious. I don't know how I could have conveniently "forgotten" all this knowledge, but I can say that reading this book at the moment, is making me realize that can no longer ignore what I know.
So while ignorance is bliss, I am now choosing (not trying) to do THE change.
For some, it's an overnight thing, while for others, it takes years. Looking back, I now see that it's something that has been changing for a while already now. I have and I'm still making changes. For my health and for the environment mostly, but as well for those cute little animals. Everyone has their own journey in life. Mine has been leading me towards this for a while now. And really, if I want to be a holistic nutritionist, how can I tell people to eat healthy and not do it myself? How could people take me seriously? Not that you have to be vegetarian/vegan to be a holistic nutritionist. But I have to do what feels right for me and right now, this is what feels right. Now, I know I'm ready to finally cut meat out.
I know, because now when I eat out, I make vegetarian choices without even thinking about it. I know because the last few times I ate meat, I not only didn't enjoy eating it, I did not even want to cook it.
I am no longer ignorant, because now, I KNOW.
Note: I would just like to mention, that while I truly believe that this is what I have to do for myself at this moment, I keep my mind open. Nothing is ever final. Everything changes. Change is what makes people grow, as well as knowledge. I also won't judge anyone who still eats meat. Some people can eat meat and still have a very healthy diet. This is just my journey, and I wanted to share it with you.