Hi everyone! I'm Bailey and I'm a 31 year old healthcare worker from Kentucky. Becoming a vegetarian is one of the best things I've ever done & I decided to find a place on the web to talk to like minded people!
Vegetarianism is something I'd given thought to before but always dismissed as too extreme. Last September I watched an interview with the actress Emily Deschanel (who has been vegan since high school) and she mentioned doing Meatless Mondays and how just that could save so many animals & help the environment. I thought "hey, I could so do that!" So the next Monday I gave it a try, without telling anyone my plan, just in case. I ended up eating chicken that evening (when someone hand delivered it to my door!) but tried again the next Monday and succeeded. Then I told my sister, who decided to join in. I even cooked a few meatless Monday meals for various people.
I have IBS, and noticed my symptoms were less on those days I wasn't eating meat, actually I felt better all over. Ethically and physically. I watched "Meet Your Meat" and some other videos on the industry and the idea of meat started making my stomach turn. Every Monday I'd hear in my head "and then one Tuesday I just decided I was gonna keep it going all week." Then one day in late October as I sat down to a lunch at work, I looked down at the meat on my plate and thought "I cannot do this anymore." I didn't finish that meal and aside from a few instances when I ate something I didn't realize had meat in it, I've been meat free.
I'm closing in on a year now since going vegetarian and I feel great! I lost twenty pounds without even trying because this wasn't a diet, this was about not feeling good about eating animals. I do have to be careful not to overdo the carbs, because I love them, but I've found so many new dishes to cook. I love making myself a healthy, meat free meal, that taste amazing. It makes me feel proud.
At first I just told people I was going to eat less meat, but they soon figured out I wasn't eating any. I got weird looks and even stern lectures. And i hear "but dont you miss meat?" at least twice a week. Sometimes I try to explain and other times I just grin and munch down on my spinach. I think my friends/family have finally realized this is something I'm doing for me, and that I do not expect them to follow suit, and I don't think less of them for eating meat.
I want to eventually go vegan. For now, at home, I use soy or rice milk, no eggs, vegan butter, etc. Eating out in my small-town is a major issue though and I'm not sure I'll ever be 100% vegan but believe that every step I make in that direction is a positive one.
Sorry to be so long winded, I'm just excited to post my story for people who will actually "get it" and not judge me. Can't wait to get involved in your community!