As far back as I could remember, I never felt right eating and hurting animals. I have 2 stories in particular to share, that have brought me to the place I am today.
First story; I was so young, I don't specifically remember the age, but I was around 8-10 years old. Growing up in a traditional Portuguese household, eating meat was normal. Not only was it normal, but as many other cultures, killing the animals yourself, was typical. My mom used to make this specific soup when I was growing up, called arroz de sange. Translated in English, rice of blood. Now, I know you can already imagine where I am going with this, but let's continue. My father would go to the farm when my mom was choosing to make this soup, and my sister and I, would beg to go. At first, it was fine. I would pet the animals, feed them and cry because I had to leave. But as we continued to go, and as I got more and more attached to the animals, I started putting it all together. That dead chicken in my car, was just blooded and killed to death, for my consumption. I started stating this to my parents, and I would cry frantically. It got to a point, where my mom banned me from going anymore.
Second story; it was the year 2001, I remember this specifically, because it was the first time going to Portugal since I was a kid. I barely ate in Portugal as it was, because I was never a fish person, but things took an even bigger turn after a HUGE incident occurred. My aunt had a ton of animals, but in particular, there were two huge and loving pigs that my sister and I got extremely attached to. Yes, you already know where this is going as well, let's continue.... My aunt started yelling at us and telling us that they were food, and not pets, and that we needed to stop petting them and playing with them. My sister and I didn't want to listen to her, so we started sneaking in through the back to see them before she even knew we were over. One day, the pigs weren't in their pen. My aunt has a huge garden, so we thought they were running around. We whistled and howled, and began walking towards the house. As we turned the corner, there they were, upside down, hanging, blood dripping, bugs hovered around them. I screamed and began crying hysterically. I refused to eat anything animal for the remaining period I was in Portugal. I got so sick from the lack of nutrition and protein.
Alas, that was only in 2001, and I didn't turn vegetarian until 2011. It was a huge journey, and I regret not doing it sooner, but after that trip, my meat consumption decreased dramatically.
When I officially said enough was enough, and went vegetarian, my parents thought there was something wrong with me. And then, not even a month later, my mom told me that she was surprised I wasn't vegetarian prior, and that it only made sense that I turned into one.
It was always in me. It took a while to finally dedicate myself to it, but I never felt right eating ANY animal. It still makes me upset and cringe when people talk about how 'natural' and 'normal' it is. It's not, we made it that way.
People always ask me if I'll ever go back, no, I won't.
Becoming vegetarian only helped me further understand and be aware of the cruelty there is to animals. I chose to go cruelty free last year and have been cruelty free since.
I will be featuring my favorite cruelty free brands and products to try, along with reviews. Stay tuned!