We had been living in Jamaica for at least a year.  We didn’t cook too much at the beginning because it was expensive for groceries and eating out was pretty much the same.  But we moved from our first apartment to a new one and the kitchen was amazing.

While my mom was in Jamaica after Michaela was born she made us some vegetarian chilli and it was to die for.  I was out shopping and I bought some ground beef.  When I brought it home I noticed blue pieces of plastic in it.  Like hard blue plastic.  I was disgusted.  I thought how much meat have we consumed here that could have had that in it!!?!  I stopped buying ground beef.

Later that month we watched the documentary Fed Up and Vegucated on Netflix.  For those of you who have not seen it, it’s about the meat industry and how we treat animals in mass production.  I decided that I was done.

My Mother and Sister are both vegetarian and my sister is moving to veganism.  When I was home in Toronto they were both unhappy with my choice to eat meat.  But at that point I was not interested in hearing it.  I was happy with my ignorance.  After watching that documentary I changed my mind.

Now, I am not a full fledged vegetarian.  I still eat meat on occasion.  I eat chicken if I am out.  I just don’t buy meat while shopping anymore and still I buy eggs, fish and dairy.  I am sure I will eventually not eat meat altogether I am just not there yet. With that being said, cutting out meat has definitely made me more creative in cooking.

After watching Vegucated it made me realize there are only a few types of meat we generally eat, Pork, Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Turkey, and I am sure there are a couple more but I never have had.  However, there are tons upon tons of different types of vegetables and fruit!  There are endless combinations.

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I also really enjoying trying all the meat alternatives.  I make spaghetti sauce with out ground meat and use tofu.  Last night I made Cauliflower with Orange Sauce (blog post to come) and it was delicious.  And the other day I bought some vegan tofurky and apple sausages and they were very nice in our chow mein!25583006065

With all that being said and the reasoning behind it all.  We decided to not give meat to Michaela.  Again, I am not super strict and she has had some chicken.  I just don’t give her pork or beef.  I try and steer clear of it.  That may be a little difficult when we go back to Ireland.  After living there for a year and half, I feel that is a country where they at least have a higher standard of they way they treat their animals.  You see fields upon fields full of cows and sheep.  I will revisit my vegetarianism when I move back.

And the whole other ball game is to give eggs, fish and dairy to Michaela.  I know dairy cows have it the worst.  And I hope to one day be a vegan if I can, I am just not there yet.  And Michaela eats milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs and fish.  I need to have a better understanding of making sure that as a family we get all the nutrients in our diet when we have cut out so much.  I just don’t have that yet.

I know that the little we have cut down on will make a difference.  That is important to me. I hope one day that we as a people realize the effect we have on ourselves as well as the environment with the way we treat and produce animals.  Hopefully one day there will be stricter ways of raising animals we use for sustenance.

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