It has been one year since I stopped eating chicken, a year and a half since I stopped eating beef, and almost two years since I stopped eating pork. I now only eat veggies and seafood so that makes me a pescatarian. Honestly, I grew up as a Filipino carnivore eating meat almost every single meal of the day until I met my boyfriend and his vegetarian father. I can also say that I was influenced when I began taking classes in Buddhism.
I never was curious before why people don’t eat meat until that phase of my life I started questioning things about myself, about being mindful of my surroundings, of nature, and about all sentient beings. I started watching those vegetarian/vegan documentaries on Netflix and OMG, did I ball out as if an family member of mine died. I remember seeing a pig get killed in the Philippines when I was just 5 years old, and it literally opened up the scars that I tried to keep intact all these years.
There’s the choice to change because of health reasons for most people but for me, it was a choice of loving animals too much that I cannot bear another day of imagining how they were killed. I know you may say I am a hypocrite because I still eat fish, but just like all the sources of meat I described in the beginning, it’s definitely a decline in also eating seafood- mainly shrimp and sushi.
I went through a physical change. People think just because you start becoming vegetarian, does not mean you will instantly lose weight. I started eating more carbs and ate more sugar. I gained about eight pounds within six months. I also went through a phase when I started getting nauseous and had moments of feeling dizzy at work. I need to replace the vitamins on nutrients that I can’t get since I don’t eat meat.
I think that my body was also reacting to the dietary change drastically when I started having major break outs around my face. I had acne all over my forehead and the temples of my head. Even when I was going through puberty, I did not have an acne problem. I knew that it was a way my body was detoxing. It took about 8 months of attempting to get rid of the acne but finally after that time, my face started clearing again.
Everyone has their journey in becoming vegetarian or vegan but I am still on that journey trying to figure things out. Who knows, maybe in a couple years I’ll be a full vegetarian and also discover food that will replace my craving for shrimp and sushi. But hopefully, if you are in my situation or thinking of becoming a vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, or even eat anything you want, you must take care of yourself first and know what is good for you.