The Devolving Carnivore

More than one year on, the quest for a vegan lifestyle continues


  1. It was the month before Christmas and all through my gut, my cells screamed "MERCY! Find somewhere else to put your tainted meat cuts!"
  2. And so it began. After 36 years of tenderised animal flesh being part of my daily diet, I embarked on the crazy scheme to fulfil the impossible notion that life could be lived without meat and animal products.
  3. Having reduced my palm oil consumption to practically 0% (including soaps, toothpastes, shampoos and that bane of female ritualism, cosmetics), I figured "how hard can it be?" Turns out? Very.
  4. I love animals. But I've been conditioned throughout my life to compartmentalise them into those we eat and those we don't. Those we farm and those we permit freedom. Those it is OK to slaughter and those we use to appease our conscience by giving them a home under our roofs and a place in our hearts.
  5. Even working in a poultry slaughterhouse during my PhD, the knowledge seemed to wash over me, consciously desensitising myself to the bloody floors and smell of death being the only way I could collect my samples and write my papers.
  6. That was 16 years ago. And while it was taken some time for the light of my particular dawn to permeate the thick, Irish skull with which I was so thankfully blessed, some of those packets of light are finally breaching the walls.
  7. So with regard to shaking off the consumption of the mortal coil of our animal brethren, what have I managed to change in the intervening months?
  8. At the very least, all red meat, fish, cow's milk and cream no longer grace my fridge. I had occasionally indulged in chicken (about once a month) but that weakness is being erased. Butter and cheese continue to haunt my digestive system, the primeval part of my brain sometimes screaming for the satisfaction of dairy produce while eggs? Well, after reading this, I'm pretty sure they'll shortly be a thing of my digestive past. I look forward to sending the remnants of that final meal spiralling down to the sewers where it belongs.
  9. Am I weak for taking so long to evolve? Yes. And though it isn't easy living with a meat eater, I'll continue to evolve beyond the confines of a society that has brainwashed me into thinking what it wants me to think about how we treat animals.
  10. I am the staller of my own evolution. We live in a world where all animals are created equal but not treated as such. But then, the same can be said of humans. Maybe it's time they should be.