We make many choices in life, many of them we forget about in minutes but those major ones, the important sometimes life changing ones that we don't make in minutes and can last a lifetime what are they based on. We can agonise and think deep based on our past experiences, our beliefs, who we are and how we are. It is interesting to find out what lies behind a choice but when they are different it seems that others think they have the right to question and criticise but I don't believe we should ever sit in judgement.
Over 20 years ago I made the decision to stop eating meat. I was a student and had compete control over what I was eating after years of my mums wonderful cooking. I found myself buying the same sort of food that she cooked including meat which I realised I did not really enjoy eating that much, so I stopped buying it. I remember well cooking my first packet of lentils, they tasted revolting. I cooked them in water and nothing else, they are pretty bland without an added flavour of some kind. It was a steep learning curve, cooking anything involved a bucket of ingredients and more time. Although my initial decision was based on dislike I did eventually give up fish and then food with animal products such as gelatin and isinglass as I came to think more about the ethics of the food I was eating. I am not a massive fan of labels but I am vegetarian, I eat eggs, cheese and yogurt (pure milk makes me ill) which apparently makes me a lacto-ovo vegetarian.
There are many choices we can make when it comes to the food we eat, I have chosen a vegetarian diet but I would not, ever, try to persuade anyone to do the same. I really struggle with vegetarians who get on their high horse and ram their diet down others throats. It is important to me that anyone making such an important decision has done so for their own reasons not mine. I am not bringing my children up as vegetarians and in my household I am the only one who doesn't eat meat and fish. I cook it, occasionally. The meat we buy always comes from a farmers market and we have visited some of these farms. At the moment I am wrestling with milk, not physically that would be rather messy and ultimately rather smelly.........., no it is the ethics of its production, keeping a cow in an endless cycle of pregnancy or birth in order to ensure a continuous supply and after four to six years they are, unsurprisingly, exhausted. But it is so easy to be so far removed from our food these days isn't it. However we buy our milk it is just a white liquid we keep in the fridge we have bought it and know nothing about the life of the cow that has produced this for us. But not buying milk would for me mean no more cheese and yogurt both of which I love and eat in large quantities, choices are never easy are they?
For now I will continue as I am, partly because to not make a choice is in fact a choice in itself but also because I need an alternative. Cheese is an important source of protein for me and more importantly for my growing children. If we stopped eating dairy cheese the alternative is cheese made with plant ingredients including soya, I am yet to be convinced that these are a better alternative. So I continue to give it some occasional thought along with the thoughts that all the pulses I eat are not produced in the UK and the food miles they rack up to get to me are probably way too high................hmmm I am off to do my shopping!