Lifetime Vegetarian – How Things Have Changed

Mercedes Aspland
By Mercedes Aspland / February 4, 2014

I thought I would take a bit of time to let you know what life as a vegetarian has been like for me. Many of you may not know but I was born and brought up as a vegetarian due to my parents and so not eating meat is completely natural to me and has never caused me any health problems at all.

So, I suppose you might be wondering how I ended up being born a vegetarian, well that is quite simple really, both my parents were. Sounds obvious but how did I end up with 2 vegetarian parents in 1981 when I was born? Well that is a slightly more interesting story as when my dad was 19 he decided to travel around India and during this time spent several months studying with the Dalai Lama. This obviously caused some changes and when he got back to England he became a vegetarian.

About 6 or 7 years after my dad turned vegetarian he met my mum and converted her. This was not hard as my mum had grown up with a family that ate a lot of meat, very rare. On one occasion when visiting family in Malta as a child she had witnessed her great Aunt kill and skin a rabbit. From that point on she never really wanted to eat meat but was not give an option and so used to feed it to the dog under the table. As a result I have never eaten meat and do not consider it a food option.

One of the things I was thinking about the other day was just how much things have changed over the last 30 years and how much easier it is to be a vegetarian today. I remember that when I was a child, whenever we went out to dinner we would tell the waiter we were vegetarian and they would look at us like we had a serious illness and offer us a salad. I did want to tell them on more than one occasion that I was a vegetarian and not a rabbit as this was a time when salad meant iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato with little or no dressing, appetising!

Now it is totally different, everyone caters to vegetarians and possibilities are endless. I still think that the choice for vegans has a long way to go as many places will do their non-meat options with eggs or large amounts of dairy and do not make the most of vegetables.

On my part I am working on converting to a vegan, I am finding it quite difficult but am gradually reducing the dairy and other animal products in my diet. I am still living in hope that we will reach a time when people do not think it is necessary to eat animals and it is not the main event when they eat. I have found that people that eat meat tend to be very lazy chefs as they focus on the meat and the rest of the meal just seems to be an accompaniment. The sad thing about this is they are totally unaware of all the things that they are missing out on and are just focused on eating another living creature that has had to suffer to be put on their plate.

About the author

Mercedes Aspland

Mercedes is a Yoga Sports Coach with experiences working with athletes from many disciplines and experience levels. She is keen to spread the word of how valuable yoga is to sport. With additional qualifications in nutrition she also shares a number of recipes and nutritional advice to keep you fuelled while training.

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