Dark-haired girl with long plaits, sitting on a toddler bike with her arm around her pet lamb.

By the way, this isn’t me, but it is our friend Lily the lamb who didn’t live long, but at least escaped the horrors of the abattoir.

When I was about 4 years old my mum and I had a weekday routine. We’d see my 4 older siblings off to school and work, then at about 10 am we’d settle down for a cup of instant coffee and our morning viewing. (Yes, I had coffee too, and Mum is horrified at the thought of this now…but at least mine was a milk coffee…great for my growing bones). ๐Ÿ™‚

First we’d watch Swami Sarasvati’s yoga show and then the Roy Hampson Showโ€”an infotainment show, a bit like that thing with David Campbell and Sonia Kruger that you’ve probably never seen unless you go to a gym in the morning.

The jolly butcher and the squeaky lamb

One of the advertising segments was for MasterCut Butchers (I can still remember the song). I loved it because the butcher was a jovial man with an apron and he had a smiling, squeaky toy lamb positioned in the front corner of the screen as he talked to the housewife viewers about cuts of meat and weekly specials.

I remember one particular day he was talking about cuts of lamb and, being a lover of language, I thought it was funny that we used the same word for meat as we did for baby sheep…I can still feel that dull, horrified feeling as it dawned on me…but I thought I had misunderstood some grownup thing, as children often do.

“Mummy, the lamb we eat, that’s not the same as baby lambs, is it?”

The awful truth

I remember Mum looking a bit guilty and apologetic as she confirmed that yes, actually, it was.

She told me once that she knew at that moment that I’d be a vegetarian eventually. She wasn’t going to encourage it, and I understand why. It was the 1960s, and with a family of 7 (including 4 teenagers) to care for, she didn’t need any futher complications!

I think I said I’d never eat meat again, but after a stern warning that if I didn’t eat meat I’d have to eat my vegies, I went back to eating animals, while trying to damp down the nagging guilt and disgust with what I was doing.

The much-too-late decision

I think I was in denial. I know I didn’t really allow myself to think about it properly until I’d finally stopped eating meat altogether many years later.

Recently, I had a series of similarly confronting experiences, and at 47 have stopped eating animal products (with the occasional mistake) and won’t replace other animal products I use in my life, like wool and leather.

I can’t make up for the 47 years that I contributed to animal cruelty. All I can do is raise awareness so that others might have a light bulbย  moment of their own and make the choice not to support death for food.


(Thanks to my sister Helen who kindly allowed me to use her photo of some of her vegie garden produce as my blog header picture. I’m afraid I’m not much of a gardener, and my meagre produce wouldn’t inspire anyone!)

11 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Eating and behaviour change | The Lentil Institution

  2. Hey Linda! Sounds like you were a wise and compassionate child. Still, it’s hard for a child to stop eating meat in a meat-eating family. Anyway, it’s so wonderful that you’ve come around. I’ve recently come around too. My husband and I have been vegan for a year and a half. We actually started down this path for health reasons, but after watching the movie, Vegucated, we became ethical vegans. I’m so glad I discovered your blog – it’s wonderful! Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Celeste. It’s great that your huband is vegan too. Mine isn’t …yet, but he’s a lot more vegan than he was, and hasn’t eaten meat at home for about many years – even when he’s cooking. He also bought himself a pair of Vegan Doc Martens recently, instead of his usual leather ones, so he’s getting there! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I feel so thankful that my hubby’s vegan. I know a lot of couples where one person is vegan and the other is not, and this can be challenging. It sounds like you’ve made a lot of impact on your husband, however. I bet he’ll be a happy vegan in the near future. Have a wonderful week! Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Pingback: Kids get it | The Lentil Institution

  5. I also had an aha moment as a young child. I think a lot of kids–most–are compassionate by nature. We’re forced to repress that kindness toward animals and live in denial. I’m glad you’re vegan now. It took me a long time to go from veg to vegan, but better late than never!

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