I tried to be a vegetarian when I was in high school. I would have to ask my younger self, but it seems like it was a fad for me then, instead of a lifestyle and political decision. This time was different.

In April 2018, I decided to eliminate most meats from my diet.

The reason being that meat didn’t make me feel good. My stomach would hurt immediately after eating any beef or pork. I also gave up poultry because I had never really liked it and I thought it was the perfect time to be honest about that. I ate poultry in the past because it was a good, low calorie protein source. But, alive or dead, I don’t like chickens or turkeys, so it was out.

I kept eating seafood and certain pork products for about a month, but within a month, I adopted a pescatarian lifestyle and felt great. Giving up the few pork products I was still eating was mostly due to the fact that I felt silly being an almost pescatarian.

Only a few months into my pescatarian lifestyle, I went to the Outer Banks with my family, ate tons of fresh fish and came home. That same day, I watched the documentary Blackfish on Netflix. That day, as I sobbed to my now husband, I proclaimed that I was not eating seafood anymore. I don’t want to get too far into what happened in the Blackfish documentary, but I was struck by the treatment and reciprocated behavior of the animals, whales specifically, that are kept in captivity.

This was tough for me because seafood has never made me feel sick. I actually love seafood and regularly sniff into the air like a dog in the fish section of the grocery store. I love the smell of Old Bay to this day. But, after watching Blackfish and other documentaries and videos about the plastic pollution of the sea, I was done with seafood and all meat for good.

It’s been almost a year since I decided to be a vegetarian or a veggie lady, as Logan calls me, and I am very happy with my decision.

What started as an attempt to feel better, turned into a lifestyle and has changed my outlook on life, specifically in regards to animal rights.

As with the clothes I put on my body and the products I use on my body and in my house, I try to invest extra time in knowing more about the foods that I am consuming. I want to know how foods were harvested, who harvested them and how they were treated by their employers, and how they got to me and what that supplier’s role in the process looks like. I still consume dairy products, so I am very concerned with how the chickens and cows are treated that are the source of the eggs, milk and cheese that I eat.

I will never tell someone “you should or shouldn’t do this,” but I will encourage anyone who wants to listen to be more conscience of where you are putting your dollar and what you are consuming.

Let me know if you want me to do an in depth review of Blackfish or if you want me to go further into my vegetarian diet and my opinions on animal rights.

Shoutout to my friends and loved ones who have never made me feel bad for being a vegetarian including my momma and my bestie, Abigail. I also want to thank Logan for supporting my lifestyle even though he is 100% a meat eater.