My Birthday Bash Day 3: The Real Reason I’m a Vegetarian

For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.

Erica and Blossom the cow
Me and Blossom. She was the sweetest cow, who'd lick your face if you let her.

I’ve been a vegetarian for 11 years now, but I’m never told anyone the truth about my vegetarianism. When people ask me why I’m a vegetarian, I tell them about how I grew up on a ranch.

How my pet cows had names like Rose, Reese Pieces, and Dandelion, and how every fall, during frozen mornings, my school bus would drive passed cow carcasses hanging in trees. And how those fatten calves would end up in the freezer. My mom would then serve up “Dandelion Burgers.” Same with the lambs, chickens, rabbits, and piglets, though the latter never lived on our farm. And I talk about how the meat from groceries stores doesn’t look, taste, or smell like that from the animals I raised.

I tell about my family, and my maternal grandparents who moved my mother away from the farm and the hard way of life. My grandparents left for a better life. One that included indoor plumping and no need for my grandma to get up every morning and butcher 25 chickens to take to the market to break even.

But then how my parents had the romantic notions in their heads about the life of cowboys, and how I grew up surrounded by sage brush and the scenery in Brokeback Mountain may have been Wyoming, but that’s pretty much what it looked like where I lived. Add in a few more pine trees and mountains that were only a 30 minute drive away. How we moved five miles out of town and what was one more animal on 20 acres when I was 6-years-old.

The first time I declared my vegetarianism was at 8-years-old. Continue reading “My Birthday Bash Day 3: The Real Reason I’m a Vegetarian”