For an ex-meat eater the temptations are there all around me. However I have not relapsed - it has been more than 10 months now since I shunned meat.
Heard of buyers remorse? It is a similar thing - once I stopped eating meat I started reading more on Vegetarianism. And the more I read, listened to podcasts - the more I was convinced and did not fall back to eating meat.
Here is some of the stuff I gathered.
1. Eating fear.
This one I picked up from the movie - August Osage County - 2 of my favourite Hollywood Actress - Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep have acted in this. A teenage kid who shuns meat, while eating in the dinner table has this to say. When animals are killed, at the moment of their death, cortisol gets released in their blood. This is the same hormone that gets released when we are stressed. Its bad for our health. The meat when we eat, we are eating some of the stress hormone in it. The poor kid is laughed at and they make fun of her - "I am eating fear", someone in the dinner table jokes putting a morsel of steak in his mouth.
2. Death is painful.
I am reading Buddha by Osama Tezuka. In one of the chapters, the Buddha to be prince - falls into a deep slumber and remembers his past life as a bird. In another chapter a Saadhu puts the prince into the body of a rabbit about to be killed. Both the bird and rabbit die - and the prince experiences death. The graphic accompanying the words is scary and left a mighty impact in me. The pain / fear of death is the same - be it for humans or animals.
3. Mindful Eating.
I picked up this habit of mindful eating a few months back. When I am eating alone I think of food. The components. How it got planted somewhere by a farmer. How it got harvested, transported, picked up from a grocery store, how it was cooked and mixed with other ingredients. The flavour, texture, smell. If I try mindful eating a Chicken Biryani - I would not be able to eat it anymore in a mindful manner. Because I will have to think of the way the Chicken would have died, how its parts cut. I dread to even think of it.
4. Leaving a light Carbon Footprint.
I cycle to work now. If its cyclable distance, I will cycle, even if its in the hot sun. I want to leave behind a very thin carbon footprint. Plant based diet is in tune with the ecosystem. It takes more water, more land to manufacture meat. Each bite of meat I take has used up way too many of the earth's resources - which is finite and scarce.
5. Usher and Greg Chappel.
I was listening to an interview of Usher - the TV celebrity, Songwriter. He is an Australian and a vegan and an ultra marathoner. When he was growing up he got inspired by Greg Chappel's Handbook for Man. Greg Chappel - the famous cricketer ( and also ex-coach of Indian Cricket Team ), turned vegan at the age of 50 and narrated how he felt better than he was during the peak of his career. This inspired Usher to kick off meat from his diet. Its fascinating how someone in a Meat based culture can turn a Vegan. It is a no brainer for me to turn Vegetarian. Tasty Veggie food is available wherever I turn in India - except perhaps Meating joint - the last place I ate meat.
So there you go folks - if you are an ex-meat eater it is not that hard to continue being a vegetarian. And if you are planning to go easy on meat - don't think too much - it is not as hard as you think.
And for my next goal is turning a Sugar Free Vegan.
I am reducing intake of Paneer and Dairy. Can't still kick off the morning filter coffee. I am reducing Sugar intake drastically. Found that Sugar is bad from every angle.
Peace and love.