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Mandee. @mindfulwithmandee

My vegetarian journey starts a few years back when I went on my first trip to the Midwest. I was around 20 years old, excited to get out of New York City + explore a totally new world of serenity.

Coming from a big city, I never really took the time to think about the food I was eating - meat was just the norm, and as an animal lover I didn’t really think further into it. It only took about two days into my trip for me to realize what was actually going on... on a typical highway drive I'd pass very few cars, but an uncountable amount of semi-trucks with these little tiny windows that gave a direct glimpse into an animals frightened eyes. For me, all it took was one look for my heart to break as I realized that this was where my food was coming from: the same animals that I had claimed to love and care for so very much were exactly what I'd see when I looked down into my dinner plate each night.

I tried to tell myself to forget about it and move on at first, thinking that the transition into vegetarianism would be inconvenient for not only myself, but for others around me as well. For a while I was stuck in this weird in-between state where I mostly ate no meat, but if I was out at somebody’s house and felt that I was being rude, I’d suck it up and choke it down just to be polite. Over time I came to realize how little it all actually mattered, and that if I didn’t like what someone was cooking I didn’t have to eat it. Over the years I’ve found plenty of amazing plant based alternatives and I don’t really feel weird about packing my own food with me when I’m going out anymore. What felt more weird than anything was going out and pretending to enjoy someone’s home cooked food just to please those around me... and I have a pretty “readable” face so that didn’t always go over too well.

Eat what you want, eat how you want, but more importantly be true to yourself. This post isn't meant to be pushy or change how you live your life, the last thing I ever want to do is push my views on others... it's just a piece of who I am and my story.


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