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OPINION: How I Fell Asleep a Carnivore and Woke up a Vegetarian

What does life look like, if you’re a meat-loving vegetarian?

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I have always been a HUGE meat and chicken lover. From the juicy double-doubles at the In-N-Out Burger to the spicy chicken sandwiches at Chick-Fil-A, the thought of becoming a vegeterian didn’t ever cross my mind, with so many delicious meat based food options out there. 

However, something changed when I turned 18. I’m not sure if it was the new exploration era of college that hit me hard in the face, or I simply no longer truly enjoyed eating dead animals. I went to bed one night after eating an entire course of Persian Chicken Kabob, but I woke up the next day thinking to myself that I can no longer eat animals. 

Born and Raised in a middle eastern family, I can not recall ever having a meal, other than the desserts-ofcourse, that was purely vegeterian. The thought of becoming a vegeterian rarely ever crosses your mind, if you grow up in a family that has a form or another of meat every day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Even though I live in Los Angeles, where you can find a vegan café at the turn of every corner (a bit exaggerated but you get the point), however it can still be rather challanging being a vegeterian. 

However I took it upon myself to stay true to the promise I made myself. 

Was the transition easy?

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You might ask if the transition was easy. Since the day I became a vegeterian, I began gaining an overwhelming amount of weight. That must have been because of my limited knowledge of my food options. Given my newly found confusion over what my next meal would look like, I welcomed mind-boggling amounts of carbohydrates into my diet. Pretty soon, my lunches and dinners grew into never ending patterns of pastas and grilled cheeses, as those were the most accessible and affordable meals- or the very least, that’s what I thought. 

While finding a delicious and yet day-to-day affordable meal soon became a challange, nothing was as hard finding a dialect with my family members at the dinner parties. Let’s just say you can’t have a blast at the weekly family gathering when your Eithy something year old grandma is persistenly asking you to try her classic dish, and you’re trying to explain to her that you’ve made an oath to not to eat dead animals anymore. 

Photo by Sebastian Holgado on Unsplash

In most middle eastern cultures, eating meat, or in other words, being able to afford meat is a symbol of power and social status. So once I was able to get past the shocked looks and the judgmental whispers of “Is it because you have college debt you have decided to not eat meat?”, I was lucky to find myself confident with my decision of not eating meat.  

Luckily for me, my immediate family has been incredibly supportive of my decision to become a vegeterian. If you know anything about the persian culture, you must know that a food can’t be labeled persian if it doesn’t have some sort of dead animal in it, and you should trust me when I say nothing can beat their food. 

The transition could have been much more challanging, had it not been for my mom’s incredible talent as a chief. She was able to successfully manipulate thousand year old recipes into delicious vegeterian meals. I am forever grateful. 

Resisting the urge to reach for a piece of that pepperoni pizza or asking the cashier to hold the Canadian Bacon from my breakfast Egg McMuffin became more and more difficult. So one day, I broke my diet and had a small piece of Salmon BBQ. As this is my unique story, I have to say breaking my diet did not feel good, and the sense of guilt lingered around with me for months. 

Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

Becoming a vegeterian can be a lifestyle for some and a temporary diet for others. As fucked as it sounds, I miss eating dead animals every moment of every day, but now I know that I should forever stay true to the promise I made myself. 

But you never know.. I might pull an Alyse Parker and try being a carnivore for 30 days.

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