From bloody roast beef and swiss cheese sandwiches to vegan overnight… 1,2….3

Oh the things I have eaten that you may never taste or think to taste!! How do I even start to explain this list?! I’m born and raised in the Northeast, United States and I was well vacationed in the Caribbean and Mexico as a youth with my family.  Let’s begin – I’ve eaten and enjoyed black bear, elk, moose, raccoon, squirrel, snake, duck, goose, iguana, frog legs, shark, gator, deer, lamb, goat, ostrich eggs, quail eggs, guinea pig, wild boar, rabbit, mahi-mahi (dolphin-fish), almost every salt and fresh water fish, eel, shellfish and then all the American chosen three – pig, cow and chicken (and chicken eggs)… and God knows what I didn’t eat from the local Chinese food places here in our big city! [Inserted gagging sound effect here].

I literally went from eating savory sesame seed topped hard rolls stuffed full of bloody roast beef, swiss cheese, horseradish, mayo, lettuce and tomato sandwiches to being a hardcore vegan. I don’t regret being a fisherman or hunter because I used the harvest to feed myself, family and friends. I also didn’t know that I could survive without meat, dairy and animal by-products.  BUT I can painfully say, honestly, wish I went vegan 20+ years earlier for the animals and my health.

You may think; WOW that’s wild!! Well, it really is! The end summer of 2016 I started dating the wonderful man who is now my husband; Alberto was dairy free and vegetarian.  As he started hanging out at my home more and more he actually started eating small portions of chicken/turkey I would make dinner for my daughter, him and I.  Overall I was o.k. with him not eating the meat part of the dinner I prepared but I guess it smelled amazing enough for him to want to eat it right along with us.  I’m a pretty good cook after all. *wink*wink My daughter was almost twelve years old and took a huge liking to Alberto; praise to the Most High. She started requesting him to stay with us for dinner quite frequently within the third month of us building a close knit bond. a few months passed us by and early November I started making meatless meals every other day.

….here comes the push, tug and battle!!! I started using Pinterest to look up “dairy-free and meatless” meals. The more I search the results were amazing – I was completely floored by the delicious recipes and stories about plant living!! Then there were the post that shook me right to the core. Animal Rights Activist exposing abuse at chicken meat factory. I watched the 3 minute video with tears in my eyes. I scrolled up a few inches and saw a pin of the egg industry; it was how chicken got on your plate IN REVERSE. From the dinner table to the chicken growers (yes, its a thing) and I decided once and for all to take off my rose color glasses and see the truth. Over and over again my heart was ripped out of my chest (I was sure I didn’t want it inside me anymore because I couldn’t take the emotions that came with it) as I watched a few documentaries on the “American meat and dairy industry”.  I became very very intrigued and disgusted with the thought that no only were the animals raised in awful condition but also tortured as they make the journey to slaughter.   TRUST me I tried to just keep scrolling but the screen couldn’t move fast enough.  There I went down the proverbial rabbit hole!!  Secretly, for many years I felt bad about serving meats knowing that it was the same animals I was petting at the local sanctuaries, nature centers and farms.  Suddenly, almost overnight the connection was there that made it come all together…  The studies of plant based diet and animal suffrage was enough to not put meat of animal by-products on my plate Christmas Dinner 2016.

BOOM!! A vegan was born. I will definitely talk about my health before and after my lifestyle change on a future blog.

P.s. Thank you for spending time with me,

Sincerely, The Ex-carnivore,

Jona Marie