Are you an unconscious vegetarian?
Thinking back about my teenage year, I now realise that I was an unconscious vegetarian for as long as I can remember. I never used to intentionally eat any meat product unless there’s some social influence that I wasn’t able to avoid.
In our world we’d never heard about the very idea of vegetarianism. And neither my parents nor myself ever thought that there’s anything strange about me digging into salads and potato dishes. So everyone accepted that I can eat what I liked most. Since nobody had any idea about nutrition either, they didn’t tell me what foods I should be eating to be strong and healthy. I can’t think of any event that could prompt me to choose vegetarian food. I didn’t see any startling displays of animal cruelty, even if I did, I didn’t really thought they’d have any significance.
A few years later through study of Eastern philosophies I discovered the concept of vegetarianism. It made it easy for me to understand why non violence and vegetarianism exists, however it wasn’t something that I needed to justify my choice of foods. I never questioned if a vegetarian diet is good for health or gives me enough protein etc. I just ate the way I liked. Of course, I became more conscious about what I ate and started reading labels, as opposed to just avoiding dishes with obvious pieces of meat in them.
I often find it interesting that some people think it’s hard to live, survive or shop on a vegetarian diet. I find it hard not to. Of course, modern technology makes it extremely easy, to purchase meat products in a totally “guilt free” pre-packaged way. Save the horrible bits that most wouldn’t want to take take part in, to put their food on the table, there’s still an awful lot of work required to make a living creature into a food item.
Without this “ready to eat” convenience most people would just go for vegetarian food only because it’s a lot easier to prepare, or it can be eaten right off the tree or a veggie patch. If it’s not for massive advertising of things that are “good for you” to eat, I wonder if there would be more unconscious vegetarians?
Although I never needed a reason to become a vegetarian, “discovering” vegetarianism got me interested in personal development, nutrition, bodybuilding, ancient cultures, philosophy and even zoology.