I am a vegetarian. This is an unlikely lifestyle choice for me, as I am a descendant of a long line of German butchers, and my own father was one of the founders/owner of a local sausage company. I made the decision to eliminate meat, poultry and fish from my diet over 30 years ago. This decision was based solely on trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
As a child, I did not really enjoy many of the animal-based meals I was served in my VERY carnivorous household. I often spat out my meat into a napkin to throw away after dinner. Later, when we got a dog, I just fed her my unwanted scraps under the table. During my senior year in high school, my father had two heart attacks, almost back-to-back. A dietitian came to our home to teach the family healthy meal alternatives, which focused on less fat and sodium in the diet. I took this nutrition education seriously and decided that now was the time to “go vegetarian.” (My sister, a devoted carnivore at that time, took a different direction with our new-found nutrition knowledge. She actually became a registered dietitian.)
As I have matured over the years, my vegetarianism has evolved from its original status as a healthier diet plan, to a more spiritual and environment-friendly focus. I never try to convert anyone to the “veggie side”, but I do believe that an occasional meatless meal can be a healthier, often less expensive alternative to the meat, chicken, fish menu. Just food for thought!