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True Confessions of a Nearly Lifelong Vegetarian
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True Confessions of a Nearly Lifelong Vegetarian

I must confess: I'm not a vegan. Although I have though about making the switch frequently. I have been a proud vegetarian since I was in first grade. I tell this story and many people laugh at me or shake their heads or just smile at the amazing moral person I have always been since the ripe out age of six. Back when most people couldn't even tie their own shoes...

I was a typical Generation X kid. I was fasinated by the new fad: light up sneakers, a pair of which I owned, which in the 1990s was a coveted treasure. Unlike today, when they are a dime a dozen and my three year old niece loves them, just as I did as a child, but sees them everywhere. I downed copiuous amounts of pepperoni, apparently my meat fetish back when I ate meat, as a four or five year old at my uncle's wedding. I drew curlycue curvise in my Lisa Frank pink and purple and animal themed notebooks. And was, as much as a six year old can be, an avid and aspiring animal rights advocate.

Then, disaster struck, in the form of the newest "children's" movie: Babe. Well most people my age remember a darling, talking show pig who narrowly escapes being slaughtered by a farm family, I confess I never mentally or emotionally made it past that first scene. This is the scene if you don't remember or have never seen the movie: where Babe's mother is brought into the slaughterhouse to be killed and harvested for her meat. They don't show the actual slaughter, this is a CHILDREN's movie, remember, but as an avid observer and future English major, I understood the implications and infered what was going to happen next, if they'd kept the camera rolling. And I was six and horrified and tramatized. And the idea of where meat came from had never occured to me before. It just materialized cooked on my plate at the dining room table. A product of my mother's cooking magic preformed in the kitchen whose shows I peeked at behind the curtain and helped with at any moment that I could. Until that day, when nothing was ever the same again. 

Meat wasn't tasty magic anymore. It was cruel and unusual punishment. A moral impretive demanded I never touch the stuff, let alone digest it, ever again. And so, when we sat down to dinner that night, I asked my mother, if what the movie portrayed was true. Yes she told me, that is where meat comes from. That is what meat is. I stared over at the hash she'd prepared as part of our meal (something I would later take to calling dog food for its appearance and smell) and shook my head. When she offered it to me I was more adamant. No, I told her, I'm never eating meat again.

And, I never have.

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Desiree Marchand has been a vegetarian since the ripe old age of six, when she learned where meat really came from from the movie "Babe." Ever since she has stayed true to these convictions. Recent manifestations of this belief/moral code have taken the form of refusing to eat beef rennet cheese, refusing to use soap containing lanolin, refusing to touch or wear leather, buying only personal care products that are cruelty free and ideally organic. And aspiring, although not living up to an all organic diet. As well as interests in dairy, egg and gluten free lifestyles and recipes.

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  1. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. I am impressed you became vegetarian at the age of 6! It took me until I was 25 to become veggie and until 43 to become vegan! So maybe you will become vegan too at some point. With reference to Babe, apparently the actor James Cromwell, who played the farmer, became vegetarian as a result of starring in that film, and now he campaigns for animal rights! Good old James, eh?! You might be interested in my recent post Vegucating the World, and if you like it, please vote! (and don't forget to vote for yourself, btw!) Look forward to seeing more blogs from you in the future.
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  2. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    Very good story - sounds like you are on the right track! Even if you only eat vegan twice a week it benefits your body and the environment:) Voted and welcome to flaming vegan!
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  3. SnakeWitch
    Voted! By the way, you make me feel old. You were a kid when Babe came out? Ouch. Reality hits.... Enough about me, your article is great! I think I've heard a few other vegetarians making the change this way, but a bit older than you, like when a friend of mine was told that the hunted deer he was about to eat was Bambi. He made the connection with all other animals and called it quits after that. Another actually saw the killing of a cow with her own eyes and bawled her eyes out for so long her parents started to get scared for her mental well-being. They were so relieved that the only outcome was her food choice that they let her stay with it. I voted! If you want to know how I became vegan, please check out my article They Say It's Misplaced Pride, and vote if you like it!
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