Posted by: conradvisionquest | January 8, 2010

My Vegetarian Path: A Love Story

I have toyed with the idea of being a vegetarian for many years.  I would go through many “phases,” from not eating red meat, to only eating fish, back to red meat sometimes, no pork… etc etc.  It’s been a long and winding road, and this is the first time I have given up meat, ALL meat, for any length of time.  Where did the road start, you might ask?  Well, it started in a bar in Fort Lauderdale…

This is a kind of love story, I guess, in more ways than one. I met my husband-to-be in that bar in Fort Lauderdale in 1998.  And it so happens that he came with baggage.  Yes, the typical baggage we all have, but this baggage I’m speaking of now is a good kind.  This baggage’s name was Sasha.  Sasha was a rottweiler doggie, about 2 years old at the time I met her human dad.  I had never had a dog before, so when we decided to move in together, I was in for some adjusting.  Over time I learned to love Sasha, and I learned alot from Sasha.  Mostly about unconditional love.  We sort of had a love/hate relationship.  I loved to pet her, she hated it.  She loved to wake me up in the middle of the night to be let out, I hated it.  I loved the way she smelled after having a bath, she hated baths.  I loved to hug her dad (my husband), she hated it.  You get the idea.  I was basically the step-mom, and she made that perfectly clear.  But, when it came right down to it, I was now a member of her pack, and I never doubted for a second she would protect me should the need arise.

It was from knowing and loving Sash that I began to think about other animals, and how they must have thoughts and feelings, too.  Others may argue this, but they never knew Sash.  Allowing yourself to love  doesn’t come without pain, and this is especially true with pets.  Because we most likely will outlive our animal companions, saying goodbye is not easy.  Saying goodbye to Sasha was the hardest thing either of us ever had to do, but I’m glad we were there so she wouldn’t be alone.

2006: Elsie on the left, Camille on the right, Sasha in the background.

We now have 2 other dogs, and the love/hate relationships continue.  They love to try and kiss us on the lips, we hate their stinky breath.  We love to sleep in, they hate to let a car go by without barking.  They love to take their time picking out the perfect poo spot, we hate to stand outside in the freezing darkness.  But now, every time I think about eating meat, I think about them.  “But it’s just an animal!” people say.  Really?  You say that like it’s an insult!  I know some animals that have way more integrity and courage than most humans I’ve met.

So I guess my path to being a vegetarian began in that smoky bar in 1998.  And I never would have thought I would become a crazy dog person who tells stories about her pets like they were her kids.  But here I am, telling you this story, and I’m not apologetic at all.  I am crazy and PROUD!  I am also proud that I am not SO crazy that I will dress my dogs in Halloween costumes.  That’s just wrong.

So how ’bout you?  Are you vegetarian, vegan, none of the above? What brought you to make the choices you do about what you eat?  Would love to hear your story…



  1. Sasha is adorable!! Dogs are amazing…

  2. I’m really touched by your story. It reminds me a bit of “The Witness,” only with a step-Rottweiler instead of a cat.

    My experience too started with knowing individual animals — in my case, the rescues (both domestic and wild) my mom would bring home to rehome or rehabilitate. At some point, I began to ask myself why we worked so hard to save this dog or this goose, but then sat down to eat that cow or that chicken. It just didn’t make sense, and it still doesn’t.

    • Thanks for the comment, vegbooks! Yeah, alot of what we humans do doesn’t make sense!

  3. Exactly! It’s so frustrating to me when people call themselves ‘animal lovers’ and then eat a hamburger.
    I always ask, “would you eat your cat/dog?” Then why are cows, pigs, chickens, etc. so different?
    I became vegetarian at age 8, vegan a year and a half ago. I’ve never looked back.

    • i think we are taught not to make the connection that “meat” was once a furry animal. it’s pork, poultry, and beef; not pigs, chickens, and cows. thanks for commenting, Cherl!

  4. I think, I actually became vegan because my dog let me see inside of her – her feelings, emotions, and of course the desire for life. Last week, I hosted a screening of Earthlings at my university, and one guy asked at the end of the movie: But one thing that makes humans unique is that they have emotions, why should we then care about animals?…My friend Antoine, who was leading the discussion answered: Ok how do you know that?…do you have a dog or a cat? and the guy said “No”. There you go…we cannot appreciate how incredible the animals are until we get to connect with them personally, which I think our modern society is really missing. Now people are able to eat flesh of animals, without ever touching/seeing/observing/getting to know a live animal. And that in my opinion is wrong.

    • that is where the problem lies. people are disconnected from their food. it’s a shame.

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