Vegetarianism is the practice of not eating meat, and in some cases, also abstaining from dairy or other animal by-products. Many people have adopted vegetarianism, and it seems as if more and more people are opening up to a meat-free diet. One of the main reasons people decide to go vegetarian is for ethical reasons like animal rights. As The Veiled Life has shared in the past, animals used for food come from factory farms —places of mistreatment and cruelty.
Jeannie Bohince, a strong animal-lover, has been a vegetarian for a few years now and sat down with me to talk about her experience.
Why did you become a vegetarian? For example, was it for moral, health, religion, environmental, or taste reasons?
Two reasons –high cholesterol, and I read a book called Where The Blind Horse Sings about a farm animal sanctuary.
How long have you been vegetarian?
How would you describe your motivation for becoming vegetarian? Has it changed over the years?
As I read books and watched films about factory farming, I was convinced that I did not want to contribute to that. I remain adamant about not eating meat, and in fact, it doesn’t appeal to me at all.
Does it make your life more difficult?
It’s more difficult in the sense that you have to read labels closely if you don’t want to eat animal products, and also it isn’t mainstream so anytime you eat out or at a social function you have to find vegetarian options. Some people aren’t tolerant of it either.
Do you think you are stereotyped for being vegetarian/vegan for moral reasons?
Definitely. There are people who don’t think about food. It’s just a selection on a menu. They don’t understand my reason for doing.
Do you have any friends that are a vegetarian/vegan?
Do you feel more support from online communities, blogs and websites compared to real life people, or vice versa?
Yes. I belong to several meet-ups and met very nice, interesting people who share my belief.
How has being vegetarian affected your eating habits?
I don’t eat meat at all. I use soymilk at home but will sometimes have milk in my coffee when I’m out or there will be eggs, cheese, or milk in my food.
How has your diet evolved over the years of being vegetarian?
I don’t think about it as much now. It doesn’t seem like a deliberate effort because it’s become my lifestyle.
Is the food as good?
Yes, to me it’s better because I know that no animals were killed for me to consume. I also love Indian food because of the variety of spices in their food and because they also eat a lot of vegetarian food.
Are there any foods you miss eating?
If there is any taste I miss, I guess it would be salmon.
Many people who aren’t vegetarian question how non-meat eaters get enough protein? How do you do it?
TVP (texturized vegetable protein), soymilk and soy products, tofu, beans, Greek yogurt, and quinoa.
Are there any difficulties or drawbacks with being a vegetarian?
I have to be more selective about food. There aren’t as many options when eating out.
What benefits do you think you have from being vegetarian?
I eat more fruit and vegetables, have lower cholesterol, and I feel good about non-animal consumption.
Some people say “Animals kill other animals for food, so why shouldn’t we humans, too?” What do you have to say to that?
Farm animals are mistreated and abused, and it’s been proven that they have intelligence and near-human emotions. Making animals live in dark warehouses in horrendous conditions is not the circle of life.
Do you think everyone should cut meat from his or her diet?
Any last remarks?
I would encourage anybody to educate themselves about factory farming and watch videos Forks Over Knives, Food Inc, and Peaceable Kingdom. Also read the books Where The Blind Horse Sings and Farm Sanctuary. It will make you think of the animals by their name: cow, not unground hamburger, pig, not pork, and chicken, not chicken wings