This website uses affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission from your purchase - at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more details.

Why I Gave Up Eating Meat and Became a Vegetarian

Today I’m talking about why I gave up eating meat and how I became a vegetarian, which was a huge (and somewhat recent – I stopped eating meat at the end of 2019) life change for me.  I promise: this is NOT a super gross, scary, and persuasive post written to convince you to put down the bacon!!  This is just my story.

Why I Gave Up Eating Meat and Became a Vegetarian

Childhood and Dead Animals for Dinner

I think I always wanted to be a vegetarian.  When I was a kid, I would look down at my dinner plate and ask my poor Mom, “what kind of dead animal is this?”

My Mom was always hesitant to answer, for fear I’d be grossed out, but she was truthful and would say, “pig” or “cow”.  Apparently I’d nod and go back to quietly eating.  I was trying to make sense of “pork” and “bacon” and “ground beef” because those didn’t sound like animals to me and I was confused as to which meat was which animal.  I wanted to understand my food source better but, if I had my preference, I always liked my meat to look as little like an animal as possible.  I was okay with eating bacon and meatballs, but a t-bone steak grossed me out.  Anything with bones and tendons was so off-putting to me.  My maternal grandparents loved that kind of thing though, and were horrified when I’d barely pick some meat from a chicken wing and put my bones in the communal bones bowl (barf) at the center of the table – they’d pick my scraps back out and suck all of the tendons and stuff off.

Ugh, some dinners were rough as a kid.

But I was raised to eat what was on my plate – bone in or bone out.  My family didn’t negotiate.  There were no “please just eat one more piece of broccoli” kind of indulgences I watched my much younger cousins afforded.  I had to eat it all or I couldn’t leave the table.  Unfortunately for the adults, I have always had a strong personality and incredible will.  I distinctly remember one night when I wore my poor mother out.  I can’t remember how long she stayed at the table with me, begging me to finish my dinner, but she eventually gave up and I was allowed to leave because it was bedtime already.  I had sat there for hours and hours.  I’m not sure what it was that I refused to eat, but I bet it was probably something with bones.


It Wasn’t Wolf Meat After All

If given the choice, I would have preferred to skip most meat dishes but I didn’t have a choice, and meat became an accepted part of my diet.  I stopped asking about dead animals.  My line of questioning had made me the butt of many jokes anyway.  There was a kind of deli meat I enjoyed, because it was dry and salty, and my maternal grandfather told me it was wolf meat.  I believed it.  It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I learned the truth.  Hubby and I were visiting my grandparents and I told hubby, “that’s weird, it’s wolf meat, but it’s really good” and my grandfather dissolved into peels of laughter and confessed that it wasn’t actually wolf meat.  I think it was just some kind of dried pork.  Everyone thought it was hilarious I had been convinced so easily – and for so long.  But it did not seem weird to me that we were eating “wolf” (we weren’t), because why is that less weird than pig, cow or turkey?  All meat was weird to me, so I wasn’t shaken by an “unusual” meat source – I’d learned to eat it all.  When I actually thought about it (so I tried not to think about it), all meat seemed gross to me.  So I didn’t understand the joke.

Turquoise Pots and Pans

“No Meat, No Me” – Cooking Meat as an Adult

Despite my reservations, by the time I moved out of my childhood home eating meat was really ingrained in me.  My family had framed “meat and veggies” as the healthiest meal possible.  Lots of weight loss diets did too.  I went on numerous low carb/high protein diets and, motivated by weight loss and “health,” forced myself to touch raw meat and cook it for dinner.  Those first few years of preparing meals were rough – I tried so hard to flip meat into a pot from the wrapping, without actually let it touch my skin.  But I became a good cook – I had a steady rotation of meaty meals.  There was a cat treat commercial airing at the time that said, “No Meat, No Hubert”.  Hubby would joke, “No Meat, No Me” when I made dinner.  For over a decade, I cooked meat for us and modelled my meals after those that had been served to me all my life.  I even started asking my maternal grandma (the bone picker) for her recipes and worked those into our rotation, with one exception: I always bought de-boned meat.  I preferred chicken breast, ground turkey, and anything else that didn’t look like it came from a carcass.  I even shared some meaty recipes here on the blog!

Why I Gave Up Eating Meat and Became a Vegetarian

Meatless Mondays & The Build Up to My Breakdown

Throughout all of this, I struggled with my meat consumption and concerns over animal cruelty.  I’d see a truck ahead of me on the road, with pig snouts poking out, and I’d have to pull my car over and cry.  Counter-intuitively, I suggested that hubby and I get into hunting with his buddies.  I thought if we were going to eat meat, maybe we should get “closer to the land” and save the animals a life in captivity and that sad, traumatic trip to the abattoir.  I just figured that with hunting, at least the animals wouldn’t live in captivity and die a slow painful death.  We could ensure it was swift and painless!  But for someone who looooooved meat so much, he wasn’t game to get in there and kill and gut an animal himself.  When that plan failed, I started to read about the environmental impact of a meat-loving diet on the planet and I proposed “meatless Mondays”.  It saved us money and was good for the planet, so hubby didn’t complain – and I was relieved because it was one fewer raw meat handling day, which was a relief.  Meatless Mondays really planted the seed for my big life change.

The last time we visited hubby’s mom, I noticed that hubby’s grandpa’s wife, formerly a vegetarian, had started eating meat again.  She was the only vegetarian I knew and years ago I’d asked her why she didn’t eat meat (ethical reasons).  I was so curious back then, so I was equally curious when I saw she was eating meat again.  Hubby’s mom had been raising cows and chickens and making her own cheese and everything – a lovely little homestead.  She told me that the animals are thanked for their life and killed swiftly and so it was a better method, and that’s why a former vegetarian had converted back to being an omnivore.

It was the same logic I had used when I wanted to get into hunting, but I blurted out without thinking, “given the choice, I don’t think animals want to be eaten”.

I hadn’t said it to antagonise anyone, it had just tumbled out of my brain.  Everyone glared at me.  I ate the meat we were served that night, but something clicked for me.

I really, really didn’t want to eat meat anymore.

Why I Became a Vegetarian

For a short time after that epiphany, I started buying more locally raised meat, and hoped small scale farms treated their animals with more kindness.  But it didn’t soothe that nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I was going more and more meatless when we got the chickens.  At first I was dead set on eating them if I had to, but in the end, as you know, I could not.  I couldn’t even bear to give my roosters to anyone else who wanted to eat them.  I eventually stopped eating chicken completely.  I could no longer reconcile the death of some chickens with the love I had for my chickens.  Shortly after giving up chicken, I couldn’t bring myself to eat any meat at all.

Out grocery shipping with my Mom in the fall of 2019, I broke down in the meat aisle and started crying over the rows and rows of flesh.  It was awful.  Actually having farmyard animals in my backyard really put things into perspective for me and clarified my feelings.  After that breakdown, I just stopped buying meat.  Even though I’d been cooking more and more meatless meals, a permanently meatless existence felt daunting (what would hubby eat? would we get enough protein? will I gain weight?) – but also very, very comforting.

Why I Gave Up Eating Meat and Became a Vegetarian

Officially a Vegetarian!

After my grocery store breakdown, I officially (and finally) decided that I wanted to give up meat.  I didn’t want to eat less, or be half in/half out.  I didn’t want to cook it or eat it or look at it anymore.  I thought maybe I’d make allowances if someone invited us for dinner and served meat, because I didn’t want to be “that person” who needs a special menu.  I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.  But once I made the decision, I quickly realized that I didn’t want to eat meat again, for any reason at all.  Once I fully committed, it was an easy choice for me and it felt really natural.

I think it’s what I had wanted all my life, ever since I asked about the dead animal for dinner, but I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do it for various reasons (and people).

Why I Gave Up Eating Meat and Became a Vegetarian

2020 was entirely meatless for me and I have no regrets.  I feel good about reducing my personal environmental impact a little, and I feel really, really good about no longer eating animals.  In my limited experience, even chickens have complicated little personalities.  They are not alike.  Some like sunflower seeds, some don’t.  Some like to be pet, others hate it.  Their personalities change when they suffer trauma.  They were all raised the same, and yet they’re all different and I just can’t eat something with a personality.  I’ve seen them behave when under attack and now I know for sure that they want to live.  Worse, they mourn the loss of their chicken companions.  Remember my pair of silkie chicks?  When one died, the healthy chick kept nudging her and snuggled up to her while the sick one was alive, but once she passed the healthy chick laid beside her and cried.  There’s no other word for it.  It broke my heart.

Everyone who knows about my becoming a vegetarian has asked me why, and that answer is quite obviously evaluated.  If I say it’s for environmental reasons (which is part of the reason), people nod approvingly and share their own “meatless Monday” stories.  I guess that’s a socially acceptable reason.

If I say it’s because I started to keep backyard chickens and learned that they have complex little personalities and want to live, and I can no longer eat an animal knowing this, people scoff and treat me like an idiot.  I’m not an idiot, I actually have a PhD so don’t be surprised that I’ve also done a lot of research to back up my anecdotal evidence.  New research supports the idea that animals are more complex, socially and emotionally, than we previously realised – or were willing to realise.  Some studies suggest that cows have the capacity to react emotionally (this is an interesting article about cows too).  It’s just in the best interests of the meat industries to keep that information from people.  It’s also in the best interest of meat eaters not to think about it – it’s more comforting to reject the idea of the animals we eat being a lot like the dogs we cherish, and write people like me off as overly emotional.  I totally understand this, I did it for three decades.

Why I Gave Up Eating Meat and Became a Vegetarian

I don’t care if people think I’ve become overly emotional.  I don’t care about people’s opinions about me in general, lol.  I just want to make decisions I feel good about and be at peace with my life choices.

Vegan Leanings

I’m still learning about vegetarian cooking and making sure we get enough protein from other sources, which turned out to be easier than I realised – and way less expensive.  Some days I think about going vegan, but I really love cheese so I try to shop more “ethically” and buy more of my dairy products locally.  I pull my car up to the rural dairy and look at the cows grazing.  They seem to be well cared for, but then I read about the terrible things that happens to dairy cows and I waiver.  I have at least given up cheese that has rennet (although sometimes I forget to check), along with marshmallows and jello – things with gelatin.  I might just go vegan one day – I already haven’t drank milk in many, many years (I prefer almond or oat “milk”) and I also don’t buy commercial eggs anymore, because I have my backyard chickens, but also because chickens are notoriously abused and mistreated, often confined to tiny spaces.

blue and brown eggs

Worse, when a hen is “spent” and doesn’t lay profitably anymore, she’s killed.  Because they are my pets and I can afford to keep them, my hens will be allowed to grow old and be useless.  I have failed many times, but I try my best to keep them safe and happy.  So I’m sort of leaning toward some vegan choices, but cheese and yoghurt are my weaknesses.  Oh – and honey!  I really rely on honey in my tea when I don’t feel well and it cures a sore throat like nothing else.

Why I Stopped Eating Chicken

Outside the kitchen, I’m re-focusing on the products I buy and trying to support cruelty-free and vegan brands and companies.  It’s a learning process and I’m slowly educating myself.  Growing up, I was not allowed to shop at The Body Shop because the brand was against animal testing and my household was pro animal-testing but now I shop for cruelty-free and vegan makeup and skincare products.  I am making mistakes and I’m sure many of my actions are contradictory.  I’m trying not to be too hard on myself because this is my own journey, not a set of hard and fast rules I need to follow.  But it’s a struggle to unpack my long held beliefs.

Turquoise Suede Moccassins

For example, for so long I viewed leather goods (shoes and purses) as better quality and therefore more sustainable.  When we emptied her closet, my late maternal grandmother still had leather bags and shoes from the 1960s that looked pristine, meanwhile I blew $1000 on a faux leather sofa, back in 2007, that peeled after a few years.  I could barely give it away for free, and I’m sure it’s buried deep in a trash heap by now.  I eventually replaced it with a secondhand leather sofa that we enjoyed for years and were eventually able to sell for almost what we paid – the leather was pristine and I’m sure that sofa is still being lounged on somewhere.  When it came time to invest in a sofa for the lakehouse, I bought leather again and it’s been easy to clean and still looks brand new.  I used to joke that “vegan” items were just a way to charge more for cheap, synthetic materials – and cheap synthetic crap is something I’m trying to cut back on more too.

So what do I buy now, that leather isn’t an option?

Cream Leather Sectional Sofa Made in Canada

My solution has been to not buy anything, lol.  Shopping vintage and secondhand is an easy answer, and something I already do, but I’ve never thrifted shoes and I am not sure I want to go there.  Luckily I haven’t needed to buy much this year – I bought boots in 2019 and my only option was pleather anyway, so I haven’t had to make this decision since becoming a vegetarian.  I have continued to use my previously purchased leather goods – no sense wasting them!  And I turned down lucrative brand collaborations with multiple companies selling leather goods.  So I feel okay about my choices so far, but I figure that with anything like this, eating healthier or trying to save the planet, small steps are better than no steps, and missteps are bound to happen.  Even meatless Mondays had a positive impact, so giving up meat entirely, even if I eat my vegetarian meal on a leather sofa, is better than not doing it all.  (As a fun fact: I actually used to work at a leather goods store when I was in University and all of the leather was a by-product of the restaurant industry, which always made me feel better.)

Do I Miss Meat?

I think the number one question will be: do I miss meat?  Very rarely.  But I only miss terrible-for-me meat, like Hungarian salami.  But there was one time I thought I might die of hunger because I’m a vegetarian.  As volunteer fire fighters and first responders, Hubby and I (and the rest of our team) were asked by another municipality to help with a large factory fire earlier this summer and we were on scene until the wee hours of the night (we got home 4:00 am).  We’d been sailing all day and on our way home when we got the page, so we headed straight there (we always have our gear in the truck) and helped with what we could.  Everyone was starving and at one point pizza came and it was all thin crust pepperoni – my former FAVE.  I was absolutely faint with hunger and drooling from the smell, but I didn’t waiver.  Now I put protein bars in with my bunker gear because everyone on the fire team is a certified meat eater, lol, and I don’t want to faint on the job!  That was the only time I really felt myself close to giving in and eating meat.

More recently, I was visiting someone who was cooking meat – it was the early stages, when it’s still raw – and the smell made me feel like throwing up.  I was surprised by the visceral reaction I had, but I had to immediately leave until the meat was cooked and the smell was gone.  It was absolutely disgusting!  So I think it’s safe to safe I will likely be a vegetarian for life – I don’t think I can go back.

Why I Gave Up Eating Meat and Became a Vegetarian

Does Hubby Still Eat Meat?

I know people will also ask: Hubby still eats meat because he eats 50% of his meals at work – his work provides them, buffet-style – and he said it would be impossible to be a vegetarian there.  But he has cut back a little at work, but at home he eats no meat.  He recently told me he doesn’t even miss it at home.  I do admit that I have made him feel guilty though (making little mooing sounds when we pull up to a drive through), so he’s been ordering veggie burgers with me if we eat fast food.  At first I kinda thought I’d still cook him meat, but I can’t – it’s too gross now.  Being near meat makes me feel physically ill now and I didn’t know I’d start to feel that way.  So this is a meatless house, but I am still an awesome wife: I’m fun, I’m kind, it was my idea to get our bright green Chevy Camaro, so Hubby still loves me 😉 lol.  Okay but seriously, I am so grateful that he’s been so chill about me unilaterally making this huge life change that impacts him too.  It means a lot to me.  He gets a little panicky when I talk about giving up cheese though…

Why I Gave Up Eating Meat and Became a Vegetarian

That’s my story and it’s still taking shape, but for the first time ever I feel like I’m making decisions about my food because of what I want to eat and what I think it right, not what other people want me to eat or do.  It’s also the first time I’ve ever changed my diet for a reason that wasn’t weight-loss motivated.  It’s so embarrassing that when I started telling family, they all just assumed I was doing it for weight-loss – I’ve been a life long dieter and after losing 50lbs. I gained lots back, so when I stopped eating meat the assumption was that it was a new fad diet.  I have not lost weight, but I did something that feels “right” for me, so it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders (not the same, haha, but still feels good).

I was really… cautious writing this because it’s a polarising issue and I didn’t want to come across, or to be interpreted, as preachy or annoying, but I did want to honestly share my reasoning behind my choice and how I became a vegetarian.  This journey has been full of twists and turns for me and it took more than three decades for me to get here!

Hopefully I can inspire someone, in some small way, to make a change – any change – that results in feeling at peace and happy, because that’s where this journey led me.  I feel really good about myself and my choices and that’s a beautiful feeling.  I’m happy to answer any questions (although I’m far from being an expert), but please feel free to ask away!

Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!

Why I Became a Vegetarian



  1. Melissa Dalgleish
    January 20, 2021 / 11:25 am

    Loved hearing your story! Also loved your reference to the Hubert commercial, which stars my cousin! (He HATES being reminded of it.)

  2. Miss Boots
    January 20, 2021 / 2:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. Although I am a meat eater and have no plans to stop being one, I respect your choice and your reasons behind it. To each her own!

  3. mimi
    January 20, 2021 / 3:19 pm

    This raised in the city girl visiting cousins on a farm during childhood learned that their cow was named Tbone and thought that was odd, why not Charlie, Sam, or Laura? Then to get eggs from chickens and NOT the store was an education as well. I had dogs & cats and they had a cow and chicken and geese that were not pets. I’ve been leaning into a more vegetarian diet as I get older but not completely there yet…. a work in progress and trying to undo what I learned with the book the Blood type diet.

    • January 20, 2021 / 4:39 pm

      I have never heard anyone reference the Blood Type diet! My Mom and I did that too, it’s why I stopped drinking milk and although cheese worked its way back into my diet I couldn’t drink milk anymore. I can be very slow to change and so I really relate to being a work in progress. But progress is always good and I believe in progress over perfection!

  4. January 24, 2021 / 1:50 am

    So happy for you that you were able to follow your heart and stop eating meat! I’m with you that small steps are better than no steps at all. Before going vegan I was a vegetarian for almost 20 years (became one in my “overly emotional” teen years because of how much I love animals) and felt the same way about it, in that I knew it wasn’t the best I could do ethically and environmentally, but it was better than nothing. People get way too dogmatic about this stuff. It’s not a religion, and even if it was, people make up their own rules for those, too.

    I had some of the exact same concerns about going fully vegan that you do, so if you’re curious, I’ll address them. I’ve eaten plant-based for four years now. (I do live in a relatively vegan-friendly town, though.) I’m not trying to convert you, just give you another point of view.
    Like you, I never drank milk, but thought I’d miss cheese too much. But giving it up was easier than I expected.
    There are some really good vegan cheeses now, especially Miyoko’s. And there are tons of plant-based recipes for cheesy dishes like lasagna and mac and cheese. I don’t miss cheese at all now.
    Honestly, if I were you, liked eggs, and had chickens, I’d eat their eggs, too. I don’t actually like the taste of eggs, and egg substitutes in baking are quite easy to deal with.
    Some people would say that I’m not really vegan, because I never gave up honey. But my friend who’s been vegan for 20 years never did, either. Neither of us think we’re harming bees by eating their honey. Opinions obviously differ on this. But do what feels right to you.
    Regarding leather goods, I’m of the mind that if I have it already, I’m not getting rid of it, but I won’t buy new leather. I don’t think I’ll buy secondhand leather, either. My non-vegan husband wants a couch for his office, and is trying to find a vintage leather one, which I support. People are coming up with some amazing plant-based leather substitutes made from things like mushrooms and cactus, so I’m excited to see those become available as an alternative to plastic.

    • January 26, 2021 / 3:59 pm

      Thank you so much for this reply – it was very interesting to read about your journey and why you made/make certain decisions. I appreciate you taking the time to type up your thoughts and experiences. I find it super helpful as I sort out my own thoughts and plod along on my journey. I appreciate you saying you don’t miss cheese! That gives me hope that I can do it too. I’m working on cutting more and more out.

  5. Annet M
    January 27, 2021 / 5:52 pm

    I found this really interesting because I am less and less interested in meat as well but live with two die hard carnivores! I want to try and build more meatless meals into our rotation.
    However I def agree with local – having run the farmers market in tbay for 4 years and knowing many of the farmers personally as well for a lot longer I can with confidence say that choosing local meat or cheese or dairy is a great first start because they def care for their animals. For example I’ve known the farmers that own the cheese farm all my life and their cows are treated very well. Maybe that helps. I couldn’t give up cheese either!
    Also I agree with another comment above that honey can still be in a vegan diet as good beekeepers (local again!) take only what is excess, help them survive over winter and without bees there would be no fruit or vegetables!

    • January 27, 2021 / 6:46 pm

      I’m glad you have confirmed my theory about the local farmers! I am sure that is the case in many other cities as well. I also like to support our locals wherever I can! I can understand why some vegans wouldn’t want to consume honey but it’s just not something I’m interested in giving up – although I am tempted to get into beekeeping myself. I think, like you said, looking local is the way.

  6. Oona
    January 28, 2021 / 2:04 am

    Hi, Tanya. I always love reading a good philosophical blog post, so you had a thumbs-up from me at the first paragraph! You are right on target pointing out that there seem to be acceptable and unacceptable justifications for what is ultimately a personal dietary choice. Sigh. I strongly suggest checking out the English ethicist Mary Midgely, if you don’t already know her work. Her observations on the abilities of other animals and the ways humans self-servingly aggrandize their own place in nature are both brilliant and entertaining. Somehow I am unable feel that it’s in any way wrong to use the eggs of chickens you’ve raised and cared for — and plan to give assisted living space when they no longer lay. Likewise, I’ve known and loved my beekeeper friends, whose concern for their hives has been exemplary. Thank you for bringing your whole self to this site.

    • January 28, 2021 / 2:13 pm

      Thank you for this reply! I am glad you liked this post. I must have re-written it a 100 times, lol. Pretty much all of 2020 I kept going back and scrapping sections haha.

      I will definitely check out that book – that sounds like exactly what I need to read.

      So here’s something interesting about the eggs. I recently saw a post from a vegan who keeps chickens – I cannot remember the account – and she actually had some of them implanted with some kind of device to decrease or stop egg production. Like chicken birth control. She says it’s because the way chickens have been bred to lay so many eggs, that they have so many health problems. I do know chickens can suffer from reproductive problems and it can be fatal. She claims even eating eggs from backyard hens is unethical because they shouldn’t be producing so many eggs. She tries to stop that egg laying when she can and, for birds she cannot, she doesn’t eat their eggs but feeds them back to the chickens. I was absolutely blown away by this, but it was (pardon the pun) food for thought.

      I also recently read a book about scavenging food, and she made a really good argument for how much more environmentally friendly meat is than, say, lentils and chickpeas, as long as you are raising your own. So she raised quail on her apartment patio and bunnies in her living room (apartment) for years as food. That to me was also wild! And what a commitment. But it made me rethink some of the sources of my vegetarian protein.

      There is definitely a lot of unpack and mull over, when we think about the foods we eat.

  7. Heather
    February 2, 2021 / 11:22 am

    I had the same childhood experiences at the diner table, ugh! Like you, I would sit for hours before shoveling another heaping of mashed potatoes into my mouth. My mother was given strict orders to NEVER do that to my son when he visits her.

    I don’t ever see myself giving up meat but like you, the factory farming industry horrifies me. I am lucky to have access to and the income to by from organic farms that treat their animals well.

    • February 2, 2021 / 12:36 pm

      Forcing kids to finish their plates is well meaning, I know, but it really does more harm than good! I was reading an article that linked being overweight to kids being forced to clear their plates and it made me realize I still finish every plate – even if I’m full – and that’s been a big role in my struggle with maintaining a healthy weight. So I’m unlearning that too, and it’s been a really interesting process.

      • Heather
        February 2, 2021 / 10:13 pm

        Oh yes, I am over weight and still never full. My father was a WWII refugee and knew true hunger as a chIld so I know where the behavior originated. I did manage to lose 40 pounds over the past couple of,years, gained ten back and still struggle with not overeating, my husband had the same experience growing up and struggles with the same problems.

        • February 3, 2021 / 11:27 am

          I should clarify, I never meant to assume/suggest you are overweight. I was just interested in what I read about that connection, because of my own struggles to maintain a healthy weight.

  8. Becky
    February 13, 2021 / 10:09 am

    Thank you for this post! I think you should have zero misgivings about thinking about the emotional lives of animals, because it is a very valid concern. In animal behavior research in the 18th through 20th centuries, there was such a knee-jerk reaction to “anthropomorphization” that researchers actively avoided reaching the natural conclusions of their work! The past few decades have begun to turn the corner, and experts (read Franz De Waal,’s work especially) are becoming more comfortable- and vocal- about understanding the widespread, evolutionary basis to emotion across the animal kingdom. Of course animals have emotions- everything from fish to elephants, actually- and they have much more complex inner lives that most humans have ever given them credit for. Just from an evolutionary perspective, it makes no sense to think that we are the only social animals that feel joy, grief, contentedness, fear, love, etc., and the biological, neuroanatomy/neurophysiological and behavioral research backs this up.

    • February 13, 2021 / 7:24 pm

      Thank you for saying this. I get so many eye rolls when I start to talk about this and I was definitely raised not to think about animals as having “feelings”. But it is completely counter to my experiences living with dogs and chickens. I’m happy to see a shift in research, thank you for this history lesson!

  9. Fiona Paraman
    February 27, 2021 / 8:10 pm

    Hi Tanya,

    I just found your blog because I was looking up small sailboats and found your page. We have just bought our first boat, a 1980 25 foot Sunbird made here in Australia and I am a bit nervous and excited about our upcoming adventures. I really like your writing voice and honest spirit – not to mention your chicken and sailing lifestyle! I think you have explained your reasoning very well. I mostly eat plant based for environmental and ethical reasons and also because vegetables and seeds are so good for you! I hope you feel supported by family and friends. In the end the best feeling is to be true to ourselves. 🙂

    • March 2, 2021 / 11:07 pm

      Hi Fiona! Thanks so much for your comment! I Googled and that’s a beautiful boat! I hope you have a wonderful time sailing. My advice is to pay close attention to the weather, haha.

      I’m so glad you have enjoyed reading, that’s so nice to hear 🙂

  10. Doris
    December 30, 2021 / 10:06 am

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I envy your being able to have a meat free home. My husband is, shall we say, old, and quite set in his ways, so I reluctantly accommodate his meat lust. The reason I am writing, though, is to share my reasoning about leather. I only buy thrift store and garage sale leather, including shoes. I figure that I am not supporting the industry, and the poor animal has already made its sacrifice. My purchase makes no difference to their plight. Letting its sacrifice go to the trash heap dishonors the animal. I thank the animal and vow to work for a better life for other animals. If there should be a shortage of discarded leather, I would choose alternatives, but there seems to be an adequate supply to last me my life, unfortunately. Still, how are the alternatives sourced? Are we then funding human misery in sweatshop operations? Life is difficult for an ethical person, I am sure you know. Let us pray for a kinder world.

    • December 30, 2021 / 12:27 pm

      Yes, so many choices just have no good solution. I second your approach for shopping secondhand – something I do for so many things in my life. I have found, though, that the leather goods I bought before becoming a vegetarian continue to be good quality and I have found no need to replace. I’m not really a fan of plastic “vegan” leathers either, for the reason you mention – and I think many pollute the planet also. I have casually been keeping my eye open for leather purses and shoes when I thrift but, so far, I have not found gems but have also not had a need 🙂

Dans le Lakehouse is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. If you click on a link that leads to Amazon, I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases - at no cost to you. Thank you for your support!