By: Sebastian P. Henrich

I am 24 years young and have been vegetarian my whole life. As son of a vegetarian mother and a meat eating father, it had been my very own choice which path to go. However, already as a child I was disgusted by the mere thought of eating meat, and thanks to a respectful father as well as a rather astronomically thinking - yet meat eating - family, I was never forced into even trying meat. Why would one even have to try something, if there is no inner desire?

Nevertheless, already in the early days when I was in kindergarten, the teachers would not easily accept my choice and would try to force me to eat up what I was given. Excursions with overnight stays were especially tough, since I could not just skip lunch and eat whatever I would find afterwards in the kitchen. Inner strength prevailed over temporary hunger and society could not take me down.

I somehow survived kindergarten - in terms of lack of proper vegetarian nutrition - and elementary school turned out to be a little more easy going. Lunch variety was slightly bigger and would not always contain meat. Also, apart from one exception, teachers were more respectful toward one's choice of diet.

From then on, there were no particularly hard times in my life in regard to my vegetarian diet. However, there has forever been a struggle with intolerant meat eaters who always tried to convince me. Be it in restaurants, at friends' places, campgrounds, festivals, university, - name it, I have been asked to explain myself.

I am sure, thus far more than one hundred people have questioned my choice of living by asking or telling me the following: 
Why are you vegetarian? 
You don't know what you're missing. 
I could never live without meat. 
Do you eat fish/chicken? [Never understood how those were not "animals"] 
Have you ever even tried meat? 
Do you take some sort of supplements? 
You must be sick very often. 
How can you build up muscles? 
Do you want to try? [Showing me any kind of meat] 
--- 
This list could be continued by many more questions and smart-a** statements.

My whole life I have accepted meat-eaters and I never asked anyone to stop eating meat. I never asked anyone why he likes to eat meat and I never would even have the idea to force someone into avegetarian diet. But my whole life my vegetarian diet has been questioned in so many different ways.

For anyone who eats meat, it's fine with me, but don't even try to convert a true vegetarian into a carnivore.

I have the flu once a year and have never been subject to any other disease (apart from the usual stuff you have as a kid). Four times a week I go to the gym without taking any sort of muscle-enhancing products. I am 6'2, weigh 165 pounds and bench-press 200 pounds ten times in a row. And this it not to show off, but to display my vegetarian pride and the fact that I have never ever suffered from being vegetarian my whole life of thus far 24 years. Who knows how life would be as a meat eater, but I am a very happy and well-balanced person.

Sebastian runs an international (English, Spanish, German) YouTube channel, in which he puts all sorts of videos, funny and also deeper stuff. Some video discussing his life choice of vegetarianism will also be taken on shortly. Please go to http://www.youtube.com/user/AllAboutEthics to get connected with Sebastian.

PS. If every one of us inspired ONE person to go meatless imagine the difference we could make in ten years time. I am going to collect inspirational vegetarian/vegan stories to share with everyone. If you think your story will inspire others, please share with me by sending it to info@veglov.com. I will post your stories to www.veglov.com blog. I believe everyone has his/her own story, I think it must be great when we can share our stories and inspire others. Let’s make the world a better place. ~ Xiao Kang.

Source : http://www.veglov.com/2012/09/vegetarian-athlete-my-whole-life.html

Views: 46165

Comment by Lauren Woods on October 21, 2012 at 7:58am

I LOVE this story :)! I especially like showing my brother that plenty of body builders do so on veggie diets, since he wants to be one and he somehow things he needs to consume large amounts of animals to do so -,-!

Comment by Ritchie on October 26, 2012 at 1:23am
great testimony and you can hear his inner peace within the article.
Comment by Teesra on November 24, 2012 at 7:43am

That's great. Hope other athletes take you as inspiration and change their meat eating habits. Cheers!

Comment by Elia Johnson on November 24, 2012 at 7:53am

What an inspiration !! Love it! And I hope my kids will be vegetarians as well <3

Comment by Kartikey Bhatt on November 24, 2012 at 11:12am

me too a taekwondo player and a aspiring muscle builder,and i see very good results in just 5 months,being a pure veggie...its just about hardwork,not about taking supplements and lot of animal proteins...

Comment by Passaragon on November 24, 2012 at 11:57am

me too , for my friend I know they have good wishes with me

Comment by vegetarianunique on November 24, 2012 at 12:47pm

I can relate to two of the statement that you list. The one where people ask you do you eat chicken and fish. I had a girl tell me that I can eat predue chickens because they was cage free. when I told her no I mean I only eat eggs form cage free chickens. She then said oh well chicken is poultry it isn't meat. I ended the conversation quick. I also have people say they can't live without meat they love it, i try to tell them maybe they just love the texture of meat and the seasoning  that they use in they should try other plant based texture food that can be use as substitution  to meat texture, like tofu tempa mushroom, they are still refusing. 

Comment by Stan on November 24, 2012 at 5:19pm

Well, once you become a vegan you realize how easy is to be vegetarian. Try going vegan, vegetarian is just a transitional state and you've been there too many years ;)

Comment by Jenny Matzke on November 25, 2012 at 1:23am

good for you for being such a strong person.  Just by looking at you, you look like you are very healthy and in great shape.  Have you ever considered going vegan?

Comment by Melanie on November 25, 2012 at 9:41am

I love this story. My 6 month old son has an almost vegan (I like honey) mother and a meat eating father. After much discussion, his father and I have agreed to raise him vegetarian. But we still will allow him to ultimately make his own choices. I sincerely hope he decides to stay on the vegetarian path. And if he does, I worry about how he may be persuaded, influenced, or ridiculed by others. If he doesn't, I worry I might try too hard to persuade him otherwise! This story is inspirational, indeed.

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