Sunday, March 25, 2012

15 Years

The other day I was thinking about how hard I've been finding it to commit to anything with full force. I find I start out strong and then I just sort of fizzle out, like I've completely run out of gas. I get really negative on myself about my lack of motivation. Where did my desire to follow anything to end come?
While I was getting negative on myself, it hit me that there was something I committed to completely and that, to this day, I still find myself as committed as I was when I first started.

The past November marked 15 years meat free for me. Yes, I've now been a vegetarian for over 15 years. I am coming close on the milestone of being a vegetarian for over half my life. I stopped eating meat on November 12th, 1997. Funny, I have a hard time remember places or important historical events and names but I remember the exact day I stopped eating meat.

I often get asked what my reasons are for not eating meat. There are many and honestly, those reasons have changed and morphed over the years. The truth is, when I stopped eating meat in the first place, it most had to do with my love of animals and my inability to even think about harming another life form so I could have something to eat. I just couldn't wrap my head around it anymore. I hate to use the term enlightened in this regard, but I did become somewhat awaken to the concept that beef is a Cow and that Cow had a life before us and our love of hamburgers came along. I never really enjoyed meat all that much and the decision to cut meat out of my life was actually very easy to do. The hardest part was adjusting to making my own food and eating meat free in a household that's staple was steak and potatoes.

The day is clear in my mind for a few reasons. It's easy to remember that I stopped eating meat the day after Remembrance Day and that it was also my last year of High School. My level of vegetarianism has changed over the years. I started off cutting out all meat and fish and anything that contained even the smallest amount of animal products. Then a few years into it, I decided to try a Vegan diet. It was really difficult at that point and I gave up on that after a few months. When I started my life without meat, it wasn't very easy. There wasn't a lot of options in the grocery stores or in restaurants. I found I ate a lot of the same things and had to make a lot of dishes for myself due to the lack of good tofu/soy products out there. These lack of options didn't discourage me because I just couldn't imagine eating another living thing. It was that simple.

So where has my motivation gone? Is it that hard to focus that motivation onto other things in my life? I need to, I have to. I know I can do it, so why aren't I?

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