I'm thinking about something 'big' now. Something that will greatly surprise those who know me well and have known me a long time ... I'm thinking ... Hmmm, am I ready to disclose this? ... I guess I must be in some respects as I've started writing this post ... ... ... I'm thinking of giving up vegetarianism. There, I've said it.
I haven't yet made my final decision, and it is a major decision because I have been a lacto-ovo vegetarian (a vegetarian who drinks milk and eats eggs) for twenty years. There were a number of reasons I decided to become vegetarian all that time ago: firstly, there were the ethics of eating meat, manufacturing animals, and slaughtering animals; and then there was the fact that I was in the midst of an eating disorder, and any reason not to eat something was helpful in maintaining that disorder 'legitimately'. There were other reasons too, but these are probably the two that are most influential in this time of reconsideration.
I have battled with my weight for years, but during my late teens and twenties I fought with both anorexia and bulimia. I have overcome these, but I have soared into the obese range, and I don't just mean this as a subjective thing from my perspective. As I've said, my decision to become vegetarian was also based upon my ethics, but it was also influenced by my fear of food at the time. Yes, I still battle with food, but I wonder if it might make a difference if I tried giving up this last restriction I imposed upon myself, although I have to say that it hasn't felt like an imposition.
As for the ethical thing, that's more difficult. I still have big uncertainties about the meat industry, and should I decide to become omnivorous again I would avoid mass-produced meat. Mind you, I wouldn't be able to eat most of the mass-produced stuff anyway because of allergies. Most supermarket meat is injected with red food colouring to make it appear bloodier and therefore fresher, and some are also covered in preservatives. Both colourings and most preservatives instigate anaphylaxis in me.
That said, health is one of the things that's been making me think about giving up vegetarianism. My diet is so restricted because of my allergies, and although I've managed well since all the allergies were eventually diagnosed seven years ago, I depend on dairy products and eggs a great deal as sources of protein. In recent years I have also been prone to anaemia, which is exhausting and doesn't at all help the POTS, or my health in general. Yes, I have beans and pulses regularly, but I'm still lacking in protein and iron.
I know that some vegetarians who return to an omnivorous diet eat only fish. Some still continue to call themselves vegetarian even though they eat fish. I don't hold with that view - that you are vegetarian if you eat fish, because it's still a body. I wonder what the ethics are behind only eating fish... I'm not convinced that eating fish is any different from eating any other animal, and I think that if I decide to give up vegetarianism then I will not differentiate between fish and meat.
I was in the supermarket today, and whilst I wouldn't be able to eat supermarket meat, as previously mentioned, I did make myself wander down the meat aisle. I'm not sure how I felt.
Contemplating this change in lifestyle feels very controversial ... mainly within myself, but maybe too with those who've known me for a long time.
I haven't yet made the decision, but I know which way I'm veering.