Hi, my name is Leila and I’m a vegetarian.

It’s already been seven years since I made an important decision to become a vegetarian. It affected my life, changing my lifestyle in so many ways.

It all started as a challenge. I was 14 when this whole vegetarianism topic was on the rise, back in 2009. As a teenager I was curious about everything and anything, and of course with so many things that had been said about this new not only diet, but a lifestyle, a philosophy in a way, I had at least to try it out and to see if I would be able to become a vegetarian myself. I’m not going to lie and say that there was an ethical reason behind my decision, because there wasn’t anything close to that. I just wanted to know my own limits, and somehow challenging myself has always been very important to me.

And so, I tried it. During the first few months, I counted the days that had passed since I rejected eating meat, but pretty soon I realized that I am actually okay with it and I do not want to stop being a vegetarian. That was the moment I started learning more about the lifestyle and its different types. That’s how I learned that I’m actually a pescatarian, a person who doesn’t eat meat, but does eat fish. However, since not many people really know (or care) a lot about vegetarianism, it’s easier to call myself just a vegetarian.

Now, after being a pescatarian for so long, I am considering becoming vegan. I even tried a few times, but it’s such a hard thing to do when you are a student. You have to prepare most of your meals by yourself, and besides that, you are not really able to go out for dinner with your friends, because who wants to be that picky friend that makes sure her food is dairy-free, gluten-free, anything-else-free? Therefore, I cannot call myself a full-time vegan yet, but I still try to eat as vegan as possible.

In addition to that, after seven years of sticking to a vegetarian diet and doing more research, I am certainly more aware of an ethical side of veganism and I must say that it is more than just a diet for me now. I don’t wear fur or leather anymore, because by buying it I would support the brutal killings of animals, even if I’m not the one who is killing them.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Lachlan Hardy