I don’t know what’s going on for me lately, but I am having a hard time with eating meat! And I don’t mean only physically, but emotionally. While I was making lamb patties the other day for our lunch, I looked down at my hands covered in the ground flesh of this animal that had been living at some point, and I nearly hurled. I felt like Lady MacBeth trying frantically to wash the blood off my hands along with the flesh, fat, and tissue.

Thinking it was a passing thing and linking it to my absolute joy at watching our fawns skip and run in the field behind our house, I thought maybe I was transferring how I feel for the fawns onto the sheep I was getting ready to eat. [Here’s another one of my Famous Asides: I’ve known for some time that “lamb” sold in the store is usually not the babies, but the full-grown sheep. “Mutton” does not sell as well, so the marketing strategy is to call it lamb so more people will buy it. Did you know that?]

And then I made chicken for our lunch yesterday. I felt sick to my stomach while I was cooking it. It didn’t smell good. It smelled horrifying. I served our lunch, giving myself a small portion, but I could not choke it down. I just felt sick the whole time. Even writing about it now makes me feel sick to my stomach.

I have a vegetarian kid; from an early age, this child could not eat meat. And our son stopped eating meat when he was three. Finally, at the age of five, he was able to express why he did not want meat: “I love animals,” he said. I am sitting with my own physical and emotional rejection of eating meat, and I’m realizing that it IS because I love animals. I know that feedlot animals are brutalized before they are slaughtered for us to eat them, and that really does bother me at a very deep level.

There is so much violence on the planet. I don’t want my eating habits to contribute to it. I’ve always feel deeply that when violence is breaking out in our society, the best way I can counter it is to deepen the peace within my own “self”. . . amplify that peace to create strong ripples of peace that will move out into the world to counter balance the ripples of violence.

I’m starting to see that, for me, this extends to taking the life of animals in order for me to eat. I will have to eat more intentionally; however, as a nutritionist, I know I can get complete proteins from vegetables. And although I know the animals are still going to be slaughtered for others, I can be one less person contributing to the bloodshed and pain.

So for now, I am planning a fully plant-based diet. It feels better to me at the moment.