I am a vegetarian and it is one of not many things I really like about India – there is so much veg choice in the restaurants! All the products in the grocery shops are marked, restaurants are even marked veg/non-veg outside and have clear sections in the menu. It was the same in Sweden, adding gluten-free, vegan and nut allergy products.
Well, you cannot be accepted as a vegetarian in Poland. All our cuisine is based on fat meat – pork, beef, chickens, unidentified mixture of all above… Soups are made on the bone broth, gelatine is added to yoghurt. As a vegetarian in Poland, I tend to suspect traps everywhere.
As I still live at home it is important to mention: no, my parents are not vegetarian, neither were any of my boyfriends (apart from Muslim = pork-free one). My both parents are fine with my diet – mom does not eat much meat anyway, dad manages to cook vegetarian and add meat to them for himself and grandma.
Initially I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian (consuming milk products and eggs) for 3 years – 13 until 16, out of strong concern about animals and not being willing to contribute to the meat/leather business treating them in a terrible way and over-using them. It is not really about killing an animal itself, it is more the conditions in which they have to live and be transported before being brutally killed. At least that is my opinion.
When I was 16 till 21, I still did not any meat but introduced to my diet fish and seafood. I do not really know why, it was just a feeling that I need some more protein and ‘good’, fish fat in my diet.
Throughout all this period I kept checking my blood results. I’ve never got into anemia, sometimes I just had too low levels of ferrum and magnesium (probably too much coffee). My mother is a doctor, she reads a lot about healthy diet, so I was not concerned about my health. Yes, I am overweight, but it is more the result of my gens and a few years of using contraceptive pills, which I am definitely done with (hormonal changes just make my mental problems worse). I promised myself that I will never fight with myself – I just did not like meat so I didn’t feel the need to eat it. I always knew that the moment will come, though. I thought that I will have those whims and fantasies when I get pregnant or something… But I was just in Italy 😀
When I was in Rome for the first time in April last year, I was in rush and ordered an artichoke sandwich, which – after looking closer – turned out to contain turkey. I was too hungry and too late to complain so I just ate it with a slight disgust. But I didn’t stop there! Being in Italy I wanted to try all the Bolognese, lasagna, ham, bacon, chicken and all the lovely traditional food, although I thought this desire will stop when I come back to Poland. Well, it didn’t. I wanted to try so many meat food which all the people were always talking about! Is McDonald’s better than KFC? Which burger restaurant is the best in Lodz? I was looking for all those answers!
I kept eating meat in Germany, in Sweden, and then I came to India. I promised myself not to eat meat there for my own good (as well as not to drink alcohol and not to have sex…) – I was too afraid of its quality, purity, parasites… And I find it pretty popular among all the generations. Maybe half of my Indian friends are vegetarian?
When it comes to eggs, milk and honey – I do not have problem with it. Eggs – I am not and never was against abortion in an early stage, so why I would I think that a bit of protein with yellow, super-healthy mass is a chicken when it isn’t yet? As my secondary school friend Olga once said – ‘cow’s antennas would explode if you don’t milk her’, and it is also bees principal business to produce honey. They are not slaves (as I am in my lab xD). I also buy leather shoes sometimes (not belts or bags), as they are just more ecological due to their better quality – if I do not have to throw shoes away every winter and buy new ones, I am better to our planet.
Fun fact I heard accidentally from my yoga teacher this morning: we started gossiping like every morning when I do my warm-up and she said some dirty sexual joke. I started to laugh and she was like ‘I know it is just morning, but I can already talk non-veg!’. And for us, Europeans, dirty jokes are ‘spicy’, not ‘non-veg’… Well, everything is masala in India.