Spiritual vegetarian, rational vegan

Gaspard

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I was vegetarian at birth, because so were my parents. But I started to eat meat when my father decided to breed sheep (and killed them to feed us).
Then during an existential crisis, I became vegetarian. I didn’t want to have my soul eaten. I had the impression that invisible beings were feasting on my consciousness. I wanted to send the message that it was immoral. So I excluded meat from my diet: if you’re consuming another being’s flesh then why shouldn’t you be eaten too?
When crossing the streets I stopped breathing. I thought toxic fumes from dust pipes were killing me.
I slept on the floor sometimes and spend hours feeling my body from the inside.
At the time I walked alone a lot, in the mountains by night, in the ghettos, anywhere. I loved to be afraid. But nothing much happened to me. Once, a group of gipsy children attacked me. They did cast stones at me actually but I didn’t care. It was cute after all. Two thieves asked for my wallet. And I said to them they could take it, but as I looked angry as a devil, they never tried.
I started to experience my first hallucinations even though I never used any drug or alcohol. I strongly opposed to drunkenness and narcotics.
I wanted to feel everything and never believe. I think, I’m still a nihilist and always will be. A god would be an obstacle to my spiritual intoxication. I don’t want anything exterior to rule over my rapture. I can’t help it. I’m permeable.
At the time, half ascetic, half sensually decadent, I encountered ecstasies and bliss every day. Sometimes, I felt the world and I were one. I was addicted to mystic possession and exaltation.
I don’t know how I managed to study Mathematics and music (the double bass).

When looking at all this, now, I think I was a “spiritual vegetarian”.
But nowadays, I would consider my reason to reject meat was ethical. I didn’t want to be eaten, so I had to avoid flesh.
But it’s weird. At the time it didn’t appear moral. It was based on fears, anguishes, hallucinations, and existential insanity.

I went vegan for purely rational reasons.
 

Indian Summer

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Thanks for sharing, @Gaspard - an interesting story! Sounds like you could almost write a book based around that :)

I went vegetarian for what I called philosophical reasons. I was influenced by Gandhi/ahimsa/non-violence, buddhism, taoism and the Hare Krishna (ISKCON), though I probably didn't really understand all that much of their teachings at the time. Yet I considered myself a non-believer, though perhaps not exactly atheist. Yes, maybe a spiritual. I was very curious about spiritual and religious beliefs (and I still am). I had (and still have!) a strong intuition that eating animals and thereby being responsible for their deaths was very, very Wrong.

But, at the time, I didn't consider veganism to be necessary as I believed that it was possible to produce dairy ethically. The fact that the dairy I purchased in the grocery shops was definitely not produced in an ethically defensible way didn't discourage me so much as I felt that the "bad karma" was on the dairy producers and the regulators, not the consumers. And it just didn't seem feasible that the whole world could go vegan anyway - imagine all the poor people in third-world countries, nomads and so on. Vegetarian, yes, but not vegan.

So, like you, I think I was also a "spiritual vegetarian" in my younger days.
 
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Gaspard

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Thanks for sharing
You're welcome
Sounds like you could almost write a book based around that :)
Well, at the moment I write a novel. Some caracters may have this mindset, but it's not the main focus of the book.
Yet I considered myself a non-believer, though perhaps not exactly atheist. Yes, maybe a spiritual.
It's weird the way we say we are spiritual even though we do not beleive in a magical god or spirit. I think I was into "corporéité" (I search for an English translation of this concept but couldn't find it. It means the spirit into the body. It's a form of consciousness : it's the way you perceive your body.) (Whereas "corporalité" means "corporeality" ; we have two similar concepts in french, but their meanings are very different). So I would say I was not at all into abstract spirituality or codified religion. And I would understand now why my connection with my own body would lead to abstinence from meat.
But, at the time, I didn't consider veganism to be necessary as I believed that it was possible to produce dairy ethically.
At the time plant based diets (végétaLisme) were very marginal in France. And my mother thought it was extreme, unealthy and deadly.
 
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Val

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At the time plant based diets (végétaLisme) were very marginal in France. And my mother thought it was extreme, unealthy and deadly.
Well, my mother STILL thinks the same way (and a lot of people over here are of the same opinion). ...I'm not in France though, so we haven't made much progress in this matter.😁