I have been meat-free for seven years, since the end of December 2013. The journey has been a ridiculously amazing one filled with lots of eye-opening moments, and some that were not the easiest to get through. Giving up consuming the flesh of animals was something that I never thought I would have done, yet fast forward the nearly seven years and here I am. A new me, with a different attitude towards animals and our planet and honestly, just a lot happier.
My Journey started long before I actually knew the terms Veganism, Plant-based, Vegetarian, Pescatarian etc in full. I was also one of the typical kind of guys who would make the mmm bacon jokes and laugh at how arrogant and extreme non-meat eaters could be, but little did I know I would end up being one of them in the end.
For years I would do a meat-free fast for 30 days two times a year, for spiritual reasons. I would do it for the month of May and for the month of October. Always challenging myself and surprisingly noticing various kinds of benefits to it. However, once the fast ended I would devour a massive plate of chicken licken and hot sauce like crazy. Normal right?
As time went one I really started seeing things slightly different. That was triggering for me, as being a meat-eater… you definitely don’t want to hear horror stories about cows being killed or baby chicks being shredded etc. No one wants too. So I did what most people do. Simply tune it out and move on with my life. They are just stupid animals anyways.
On 24 December 2013, the night before Christmas, my beloved Daschund named Achilla passed away. I had her for 7+ years. She was a shelter dog named Candy and I could not have her walk around with such a name so I named her Achilla. She was badly abused and when I got her, she never ate in front of anyone. She would take her food and go and bury it in the garden. Scared that she might not get any food ever again. Two weeks into giving her a new home she barked for the first time. The poor pup urinated all over the floor and herself instantly and ran into hiding. Obviously where she came from she was badly treated for making noise.
Achilla needed a proper new home and I needed a proper new friend. We became inseparable. Anyone who knew me knew that no one stood a chance against me and her. She had such a prim and proper attitude. Knew how to manipulate anyone to get free snuggles and she would strictly listen to me and only me. In a room full of people I can simply snap my fingers and she would run after me. She became my best friend.
The week before she passed away Achilla managed to get hold of a bone (that she dug up somewhere) and she swallowed it whole. The bone got stuck inside her making her extremely constipated. By the time I got her to the Vet, the damage was already done without me even knowing. The bone was removed and she spent a week in pain and agony trying to recover.
The night of the 24th of December 2013, she was the illest that I have ever seen her. She was weak, she could barely lift her little head but she kept looking at me. No matter where I would go all she wanted was me. It broke my heart seeing my beloved friend so badly ill and her puppy brown eyes following me around was painful to watch. Around 10 pm that night I took her into my arms onto my bed. She looked at me and gave me licks all happy. I spoke to her and I thanked her for taking care of me all these years and that I loved her with all my heart. Then I continued to say to her that it’s okay. I will be okay. She does not have to fight any longer anymore, I promise I will be okay. She can let go.
Achilla looked at me and slowly placed her head down on her paws. Instantly she passed on.
My heart broke. She waited for my blessing. She waiting for me to give my permission. She listened. She understood. She loved.
My little best friend passed away and boy did I cry rivers that night.
The next day was Christmas. I had to bury her. The whole time I kept thinking about how things happened and remembering seeing her soul in her eyes. Remembering every tiny little detail. Then, I had a thought – how am I eating animals? She was an animal and look at the impact she had on me. How am I eating another sentient being who has all these complex emotions and feelings and thoughts?
That was the day that I gave up meat. That I started the new chapter in my life, in memory of my beloved dog named Achilla.
At first, I became Pescatarian eating only fish, for a few months. Then I became 100% vegetarian and now currently I am trying to live as close to a Vegan lifestyle as possible. Still consuming eggs and milk in baked goods at for example a restaurant, but using no eggs, cheese or milk in daily life at home. SOY milk has become amazing now.
The longer you continue to not eat meat, the more you realise how killing animals, force-feeding them to get fat, raping to reproduce, abusing to obey and much more barbaric acts, have become normal in the main-stream media and in our daily life the more you realise that you do not want to partake in it.
You would think that one person cannot make a difference. BUT even if that was true (Which its not btw) You trying to live a life that caused the least amount of harm is something to strive for. Even if you are only doing it for yourself.
There are various health reasons for giving up meat. Various spiritual reasons and also compassionate reasons for the animals.
Giving up eating animals, because i love animals were one of the best decisions of my life and is my way to always keep the memory of my beloved dog alive.
Animals are sentient. They have emotions. They have intelligence. They create bonds with each other and with you and can live decades most of the time instead of the few months in a factory.
This post was not really to tell you all the benefits of being meat-free or to explain to you why eating animals is bad, its a post to tell you my story and my reasoning of why i gave up eating animals and how i embreaced a kinder lifestyle.
Animals are friends, Not food. Love yourself but still take care of those without a voice.
Thank you for reading… #TheSomethingGuy #SouthAfrica #Blog