After reading a pamphlet in the lobby of an inscence-infused yoga studio about the cruelty towards animals in the food industry, which described the awful living conditions and cruel practices of mass-produced pork and pultry, I felt sick. I told myself that enough is enough. This was the push that I needed to commit to eating a full dairy- and meat-free diet.
I did have a head-start, though; for half of March and the entire month of April, I participated in a fast for Eastern Orthodox Easter. During the fast, you are not permitted to eat meat or dairy except on some days when fish and dairy are permitted. This 40-day fast was absoutley life-changing. Not only did it offer me an incredible insight to my faith , but it also opened my eyes to the numerous alternatives to meat and dairy in cooking. It truly strengthened my spirit in more ways than one. Once Easter arrived, I was able to celebrate the end of the Great Fast by feasting on lamb and other traditional dishes that include dairy and meat in the recipies. I was hesitant at first, but then filled my pate to the brim and participated in this great feast.
I was disgusted with myself. I ate enough food, much of which was meat and dairy, to put myself into a borderline food coma. I could eel the consequences settling into my bloodstreams, stomach, and digestive system. “This is just not worth it”, I thought. I haven’t touched meat since.