How and Why travelling made me vegetarian

I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years (well, 10 actually because in 2005 and 2006 I still ate fish).
Before I tell you the reasons why travelling has turned me into a vegetarian I would like to state the background reasons of my personal choice.
It’s a political choice, mainly aiming at making people reflect about how much and how crazily we consume stuff (or food, like if it was ‘stuff’).

When I was a teen ager I started thinking about policy and global issues, ecology, environment, still the focus of my concerns. I wanted to do something useful to change things but I still didn’t know what and how. But I knew why, and when you are 17 that’s more than enough.

So, I can say that LOVE for the world and POLITICAL ACTION changed my mind much before than my travels could do that.

So, what about travels? Why do I say that they actually made the change?
I’ll tell yu now how travelling saved my life and made me veg.
Travels gave me the key.

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#1 – Travelling and the importance of diversity 

As I old you, I started studying and reading about environment and desertification when I was a teenager. But at that time it was so hard to me to make a decision.
Nowadays there are a lot veg-teens around, also in my South Italy, but 15 years ago I had never met a vegetarian.

I was told they suffered lack of calcium, they were sick, I was told it was impossibile to be vegetarian unless you accept to take pills and medicines for the rest of your life.

also read What to do when your travelmate is a Veg

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#2 – Travelling and the importance of anonimity

Then, when I was 23, I left my parent’s home, for work. And leaving I met people interested in enviromental issues just like I was, and I met the very first veg of my life.
Moreover, nobody knew me, I was alone… so nobody had expectations on me and on what I was supposed to eat.

I could be whatever and whoever I felt like to… or at least I could start making a try!
So I tried… and I liked it.

While living alone, I already stopped eating meat without even realising it. I just didn’t need and wanted to.

Then I made a decision, and this was political action.

#3 the personal issues became global;

the global issues became personal

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When you feel a country and a place like yours, you don’t accept to have it damaged.
I love the world, I love the places I visit and even more so I love the places where I’ve never been.

I feel like being vegetarian for ecologic and environemtal reasons and for sensilibilzation is a way to protect the world and tell people that every single person can make a change.

#4 You realize ‘consuming’ is not just a matter of food

Travelling you understand that generally people eat like they live and live the way they eat. And I’m no exception. Any kind of diet choice can be nothign but fashion. Vegetarians and Veg are no exception and there are, in my personal opinion, quite useless ways to be veg as well.

So I wanted to stop my personal ‘consuming’ attitude, and so I wanted to stop being consumed. If you can, read the novel ‘The edible woman’, by Margareth Atwood. This book made all my early and unaware veg and feminists thoughts become practical actions.

#5 – the more you care for the environment,
the more you mind what you do

It’s like an awareness production chain. When you start reflecting about what you eat (food keep us alive, let’s keep it in mind) you can’t help asking questions about all the rest: what you wear, where you travel and how you do that, how you live your relationships etc.

#6 – You change people, people change you.

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Generally people understand I’m a veg when they see me eating or when I casually tell it. I don’t like judging and I don’t think anybody has ever persuaded anyone with an aggressive attitude.
If I’m asked why am I veg, then I explain it, from the benefits of not eatig meat to the necessity to stop the intensive farming because it’s detrimental for the earth and for the human kind.

Nobody will ever start to consume more wisely after a short conversation, but every good word said with a smile is a seed and the beginning of a trip that will lead somewhere good. At least, everytime some friend or travel mate has persuaded me about something new, it all started with a soft and calm reflection made during a friendly night.

When I was yuonger I was told that just one person can’t change the world. Sometimes they still tell it to me now.
I don’t know exactly why, but I never found this sentence credibile.

 

 

32 pensieri riguardo “How and Why travelling made me vegetarian

  • Giugno 26, 2016 in 7:23 am
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    I absolutely loved your post! As someone who is gradually making the move towards becoming vegan, I just felt every word. And I couldn’t agree more about how people change us and we change other people. Whether it’s our example or words, we’re making lasting impact.

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    • Giugno 26, 2016 in 8:10 am
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      Jennifer, It’s so glad to see “… I’m not the only one” 😉 becoming vegan need a huge awareness and ability to face other people’s fear for it (yes, I’d say fear is the right word). Keep me update and if you write something about it I’d be glad to read and share

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  • Giugno 26, 2016 in 3:45 am
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    That’s very good insight. People don’t really understand why vegetarians choose their lifestyle, there are many different reasons, but most of the time it’s all for a cause. I really like how you stand by your decision and how you choose not be affected by others. I don’t think that one person can’t change the world, I think one person can start and the rest will follow.

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  • Giugno 25, 2016 in 9:21 am
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    I have been a vegetarian for five years and haven’t looked back since. Thats not to say I am a veggie for life but vegetarian meals are delicious!

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  • Giugno 25, 2016 in 8:29 am
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    Interesting perspective, As a meat eater I never really understood the mentality of Vegetarians I mean how can you hate bacon, but this post has been an eye-opener.

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    • Giugno 25, 2016 in 9:39 am
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      I’m happy when I can just give a new perspective. As far as concerns me, it’s never a matter of ‘hate’ but of alternative things to love 🙂

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  • Giugno 24, 2016 in 10:39 pm
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    I totally agreed with your article we need to look after you our environment and science show that being vegetarian actually has lot of benefits for your healthy overall you’ll have more energy and won’t put weights and you’ll keep your blood sugar level low

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  • Giugno 24, 2016 in 5:34 pm
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    I’ve cut down my meat consumption a lot over the past year and give up meat for lent each year. I’m not sure I’ll ever go full veggie but I can see why travelling and seeing more of the world would make you think more about global issues like consumption.

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  • Giugno 24, 2016 in 10:58 am
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    Good for you for sticking to your own believes and opinions on the world and vegetarianism! I love vegetarian dishes and always opt for them!

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  • Giugno 24, 2016 in 10:51 am
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    Great post! That is so true – it all starts from us people, the changing of the world. We so easily think that it doesn’t matter what we as an indivudual do – that it doesn’t make any difference, but it does make a difference. I’m not a vegetarian but I eat meat very seldom. I can feel the difference if i’ve eatn a dinner with meat or a dinenr with vegetables.

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  • Giugno 24, 2016 in 10:21 am
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    Could it be sometimes hard for the vegetarian travelers to find food in some areas? But anyway, I do love you reasons and the way you stand them. Indeed, travel widens and triggers ones perspectives.

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    • Giugno 24, 2016 in 3:38 pm
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      Thank you Jessica. Yes, sometimes it’s hard, mainly in east Europe, in my personal experience. I’m also quite “spoiled” because being Italian is an advantage when you are vegetarian, since there’s so much variety here!

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  • Giugno 24, 2016 in 2:50 am
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    I am also practicing to be vegetarian since past one year! It’s a wonderful feeling and am loving it!

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  • Giugno 24, 2016 in 1:42 am
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    I respect your decision and understand the reasons behind it. I personally can’t see myself going vegan 🙂

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  • Giugno 23, 2016 in 11:09 pm
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    When I was a teenager I wanted to try becoming vegetarian but my parents wouldn’t hear of it. So I’m not a vegetarian now. Could I still try? Maybe not anymore. I do appreciate your “one person can change the world attitude”. Amen to that! Perhaps I can make the world a better place in another way 🙂

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    • Giugno 24, 2016 in 7:58 am
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      Sure, you already have thousands ways to make it al better and better 🙂
      by the way… never too early and never to late to go vegetarian (or to do anything) if it’s what you really want 🙂

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  • Giugno 23, 2016 in 8:26 pm
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    It’s awesome that you were able to learn so much by traveling. I can definitely understand how an increased awareness brought you to this decision.

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  • Giugno 23, 2016 in 6:31 pm
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    This was a good read but I can’t become a vegan. I don’t enjoy my meals if I don’t have a meaty dish. 🙂

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    • Giugno 24, 2016 in 7:59 am
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      well it was easy to me to become vegetarian also because I’ve never been a meat lover indeed (But I miss fish, I must admit)

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  • Giugno 23, 2016 in 2:28 pm
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    It is great to know that you are doing your bit to support and save the environment and who says one person cannot make a change it does start with one person. Wish you best in your efforts!

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