Approximately six months ago my boyfriend Cameron dropped a bombshell on me. He decided he was going to become a vegetarian. Now while this might not sound something worthy of bombshell proportions, let me explain.
Cam is, or was, a carnivore. He ate his steak blue, he would never cut the fat off anything and a dinner without meat just wasn’t going to cut it for him. He was always extremely adventurous with his food too; continuously being the first to try anything. During our travels around India and Asia he ate some seriously questionable dishes; dishes which I, a self-confessed meat lover, wouldn’t even consider putting in my mouth. One of the most difficult for me to stomach was watching him eat a raw ovary!
It was when we came home though that he made the decision to stop eating meat and to say I was shocked would be an understatement. From the day I met Cam I knew he loved his meat. There have never been any conditions to what he will and won’t eat, unlike me who can err on the fussy side. I won’t touch dairy, won’t even consider offal and if it isn’t cooked quite to my liking then you can forget it. With Cam mealtimes were simple – put it in front of him and he will eat it regardless and without question.
But then suddenly it all changed and the Taurus in me couldn’t quite deal with it. Just like that he quit. Consumed with guilt and moral wrongdoing he put down the steak knife in favour of being more environmentally friendly. Why I took the news so drastically and almost personally I will never know. My own sister has been a vegetarian from the tender age of four so I am more than used to it. I know that it’s not a big deal and that mealtimes have always been a simple task rather than the big ordeal us meat eaters tend to think. Yet still when Cam made the shift it didn’t sit right with me.
Perhaps it was just because change and I aren’t the most natural of companions, or perhaps it was me questioning his morals, and maybe my own. But what I really couldn’t get my head around was how does someone go from total carnivore to tee total overnight.
It hasn’t been that simple for him of course; there have been slip up and times where he has given in and his once vegetarianism has now manifested itself into pescetarianism. And while Cam navigates his new eating pattern so do I. It would be fair to say I think the journey has been harder on me than it has on him, but today I’m ok with it. I have had to get a little more creative in the kitchen, which isn’t a bad thing and I have as a result reduced my own intake of meat, opting instead for healthy fish and vegetables and where possible thinking about the meat that I do buy and consume. I have also had to realise that just because Cam doesn’t eat meat doesn’t mean that I can’t.
I think it is a honourable thing to stand up for something you believe in and to do it with passion and gusto. I believe that you should always do things for yourself and not for other people and that your personal decisions about how you choose to live your life should be just that, personal! And so it is for the those reasons exactly that I will continue to enjoy a good steak and tuck into a burger guilt free and I will do so until I decide I don’t want to anymore; which I can’t see happening any time soon, but then again if someone as unlikely as Cam can do it, then never say never!