I was brought up eating meat. Pan-fried chicken breast was my favourite. Mum used to put chicken in soups and rice dishes too. Pork was a bit hard to chew. Few times a year, I might have been lucky to taste beef. I also used to have a lot of that sausage-like food supposedly made from the intestines of slaughtered animals, called “кренвирши” (pl.) in Bulgarian, or Hot Dogs in English. It was cheap and tasted amazing!
I never questioned the meat production process up until my early 20s. When I was a young boy, my family had a few chickens and looked after several pigs. I remember being awfully shocked when my granddad chopped the head off a chicken for it no longer laid eggs. As a young teenager, I got terrified upon witnessing a pig scream while running for it’s life before being slaughtered. My family had pork steaks later that afternoon so I assumed it was alright for animals to be killed and consumed as food. In my late teenage years, I was heavily into exercise and believed that meat would make my muscles grow bigger. In my early 20s, I finally started coming across videos featuring animal cruelty. At a family dinner gathering at the seaside, I was offered crabs. My relatives were eagerly pulling them apart, but I couldn’t bear eating something that was still alive! I then made a mental note to do a bit of research on meat production.
A couple of months later, I came across Earthlings, a documentary about animal cruelty. My reason for watching it was purely for educational purposes, I had no idea it would feature disturbing content. It also spoke about the environmental issues associated with animal farming. By the time the film finished, I had made the decision to cut meat out of my diet, just like a flick of a switch. I had some chicken and fish left in the freezer which I gave to my girlfriend. I read more about plant-based protein too. Few weeks later I watched two more documentaries that reinforced my decision to stop eating meat for the benefit of my health, animals and the environment – Cowspiracy and Forks Over Knives.
Currently, I’m a keen veggie trying to promote vegetarian lifestyle in a peaceful manner. I intend to build a strong healthy shredded physique on a meat-free diet without harming animals and the planet. Hopefully, other meat-eaters would join me along the way too!