I am a vegetarian. I decided to go for vegetarian diet in July 2009 just before I joined University to continue my studies. Why I became vegetarian? You will find the answer here (Being vegetarian)
I knew I didn’t want to eat meat. I didn’t like eating onion or garlic, I stopped eating onion and garlic. I didn’t eat egg because there was a debate whether egg came from chicken first or chicken came from egg first. Whichever came first, it didn’t matter to me because that egg eventually will become a chicken. Or maybe it will be injected with something so that it will never become a chicken. This was my understanding back then and I decided not to take egg into my diet. And also I was active in spiritual line at that time, I was told not to take egg, so I followed.
Somewhere in the year of 2016, I found out something interesting but didn’t really bother to think about it at that time. There was a chinese vegetarian shop where I used to buy breakfast and lunch at my workplace. The lady who was also the owner of the shop was very friendly. If she was not busy, normally I would take some time to have a chat with her. One day, I noticed she was selling egg on a separate plate. I was curious and asked her why is she selling egg when vegetarian mostly don’t take egg. She told that some people considered egg is vegetarian because these eggs will never become a chicken. She mentioned something about fertilized egg and unfertilized egg which I didn’t really care to understand back then.
Why now this question pops up in my head? Well, there were quite a number of people who told me to leave vegetarianism so that I could get a “husband” easily. It will also be convenient for the family to cook for me and also for me to cook for them. I was like why should I change just for the sake of someone accepting me into their family. I didn’t choose to become vegetarian because someone told me to do so or for some religious purpose. I became vegetarian because I don’t want those animals to be killed and now there is no way anyone going to change my diet just because I want them to accept me.
Then, I remembered another story where one of my former colleague shared with me. She was a vegetarian. Her husband became vegetarian for her because he finds it difficult to bring her out for lunch or dinner. They had different diet and sometimes he can’t get her nice vegetarian food in a non-vege restaurant. Because he ate meat, she didn’t want to eat in a vegetarian restaurant. She told me when her husband decided to be vegetarian for her, she started taking egg for her husband. She can’t just expect her husband to make the “sacrifice”. Marriage is all about give and take, isn’t it?
There was another one who asked me “How if your husband asked you to cook non-vege?” Seriously I had no idea. I casually said “As long as he is able to clean and cut the meat, maybe I can cook.” Oh my God! I have no idea how I actually said it. I cannot imagine myself doing it. There was only once in my life I have ever handled meat and it was a nightmare. I was forced by my father to learn how to do it. I will never forget that. Thank God after that, he never forced me again to buy and cook meat.
So with all these flashback, I started to think why can’t vegetarian eat egg? I started to think back why am I not eating egg in the first place. It was because I was told not to eat egg. But why? I don’t have a clear answer. So I started to google and find more information on this. This is when I came across an article about the fertilized and unfertilized egg. I felt a little stupid because I never knew this. A hen can lay egg without actually mating. These eggs are called unfertilized egg. If a hen mate with a rooster, then these eggs are called fertilized egg. If we eat fertilized egg, then yes we are killing a potential chick which will become a chicken. But if we eat unfertilized egg, then we are definitely not killing a chick. Most eggs that being sold in the market are unfertilized egg. I’m yet to find out how true is this (referring to unfertilized eggs in the market).
Basically I just followed what people told me. Vegetarian don’t eat egg so I followed. Finding out this information makes me a little relieved. At least I’m not committing a sin. I was actually having a little guilt in my heart. Because I do consume ‘Roti Canai’ without actually verifying whether it contains egg. Working in hospitality industry, it is really hard to say no to that moist, delicious, black forest cake which tastes really good. And yes it does contain egg. I have tasted delicious vegetarian cake too but unfortunately not everyone can make a tasty cake. Chocolate cake is definitely my weakness.
Yes, you can tell me it is still coming from a chicken. What is the difference of eating a chicken than eating an embryo? It is the same. It was meant to be a chicken somehow. It has animal protein. Ok. So what? It is not going to become a chicken anyway. Then I shouldn’t be taking dairy products which is coming from animal. I should stop drinking milk from cow. Maybe you say in our religion, it is mentioned somewhere in the scripture, we shouldn’t be taking egg. Owhh is it? Are we really following everything mentioned in the religion? I don’t think so. What’s next? Maybe you say because how the hens are treated in the farm. Cows also treated bad. Goats also treated bad. Humans also treated bad. Who is not treated bad? Oppss…diverting from the actual topic. Haha
I know there are a lot of things we can debate on this. On one side we have vegan and another side we have meat lovers. There are so many types of vegetarian. From occasional vegetarian, lacto vegetarian, ovo vegetarian and even there are some vegetarian who do not eat anything that comes from underground like potatoes, carrots, onions, etc. I think we should do and follow what we can in our capacity. I am proud of myself. I am proud of my achievement so far. I think I have saved countless of chicken, fish, seafood, etc in the past 10 years of my journey of being a vegetarian. I am considering to go into vegan but I don’t think I am ready for it yet. Even considering to let go of buying leather product. True vegetarianism is not easy. I can only take step by step. A step which is comfortable for me.
If you are reading my post, take a step back to think. Why are you eating what you eat? Are you eating it because everybody eats it? Is there any small contribution that you can do as a human to help dying animals. If you eat meat every single day, maybe you can try not to eat meat at least one day in a week. It is just a small step. But you could be saving one live, be it a fish, chicken, cow or goat.