Before I tell you why I became a vegetarian I want to say that this lifestyle is what I decided was best for me. I respect everyone's choices and hold no judgments. For me, becoming a vegetarian was a very personal decision. While I was motivated by my love of the environment and my spiritual beliefs, I also had to consider my health. Everyone has there own reasoning and I do not speak for all vegetarians. This is simply the story of my path.
I'm not going to lie; I first decided to become a vegetarian because I thought that it was a rule of lesbianism. You date a nice girl, you become a vegetarian, come out, adopt a cute cat, and live happily ever after in a New York or L.A. studio apartment that you pay way too much for. Right? At least that's the idea that I gathered from my extensive research, a.k.a. watching "The L Word". I quickly learned that my sexuality was no more valid because I didn't eat meat. Thus, began my four year flirtation with vegetarianism.
During my flirtation-ship I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. When I ate meat that meant when I was due to get my period I had to eat a little more red meat, but when I was vegetarian it was a bit more tricky than that. As a young vegetarian with little support, even fewer resources, and no control over the groceries brought into the kitchen getting the appropriate amount of iron without meat was a lot more difficult. At first, I tried iron supplements, unfortunately the iron supplements made me unbearably sick. So, I began using this as an excuse to eat my favorite meat dishes and as further reason not to commit to Vegetarianism.
For four years I courted vegetarianism, but I couldn't fully commit. I researched tirelessly facts about what the livestock industry was doing to the environment, how animals were being treated, and all the health benefits of a plant based diet. In my brain vegetarianism just made sense, but still there was a disconnect. It wasn't until I saw a video of how the livestock industry was treating the animals that it finally clicked... I was eating an animal.
I am a Buddhist; I am suppose to hold all life sacred. I couldn't justify continuing to eat meat when there was a healthy alternative. After four years of courting vegetarianism I finally put a ring on it and committed.