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How Did YOU Get Turned On To Vegetarianism?

Posted Oct 25 2008 9:54am

The vegetarian lifestyle is really a wonderful opportunity, in that it gives so many people different and unique experiences.  You can dabble in it or jump full in.  You can go vegan, or just avoid meat.  There’s complete freedom, and so many benefits — social, health, environmental, and moral.

(no fish were hurt in the writing of this post)

I feel very fortunate to have been able to be raised a vegetarian — but my parents were not vegetarians when I was growing up.  No, I turned my parents to vegetarianism at age 5.  I wanted to dedicate my first post to this story, which I feel is just one example of the diversity of the experiences that turned each of us on to vegetarianism.  And I encourage you to share your own story after reading mine.

My Love For Nature, Fish, And How I Helped My Parents Go Veg At The Age of 5

As a child I was a bit precocious in my environmental consciousness and love for all things nature, including its animals (it’s no wonder I would one day be fated to blog).  I gave up diapers at a ripe young age of 2, when I heard that they had to cut down trees for them.  Yes, I was a bit of a weird child, but my parents catered to my unusual whims.

One of my early loves was fish.  I memorized every single type of fish and could repeat them with alarming accuracy.  My grandmother at one point became quite unnerved when I began to recite the names of fish in a book of hers.  She quickly closed the book and said “That’s enough of that!”

My love of fish, however, brought me sadness because at an early age I could comprehend at some level that the fish in the store at the butchers counter were dead.  These weren’t like the magnificent creatures that I saw swimming in my beloved fish cards.  They were cold lifeless, and if I dare say, a bit sad looking.  So whenever I saw my favorite fish — the rainbow trout — at the fish store, I took to saying “Rainbow Trout want out!” in a mournful voice.

My parents at the time ate a pretty healthy diet, but did eat some fish and chicken.  However, they began to feel increasingly guilty taking home fish, when it obviously upset me to see them dead.  So when I was just 5 they made a big decision — they were going to go vegetarian and give up fish and chicken, raising my brother and me vegetarian.


Over the years my enthusiasm for vegetarianism has waved a little bit at times, but has never faded.  And I find myself today finding great joy in exploring it.  And my parents?  They are still vegetarians, and its already helped them.  All of my grandparents had severe heart disease by their 40s, but my parents, thanks to a vegetarian diet and exercise are virtually problem free.  For families with genetic predisposition to high cholesterol and heart disease, the vegetarian diet definitely seems a great choice from my experience, and studies have backed that up.

So, How Did You Get Turned On To Vegetarianism?

My story’s pretty fun I admit, but I’d equally love to hear each of yours.  Diet is a very personal topic.  I’d love to hear how each of you got turned on to vegetarianism, and what challenges you faced!

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