The moment I knew I was a vegetarian was during dinner at my grandparents’ house. Though, before I recall the exact moment, let me fill you in a little on the back-story.
My younger sister and I lived with my maternal grandparents for several years during our childhood because our parents divorced when I was 4 years old. Up until then, our parents had raised us as vegetarians. So, while our parents got their lives back on track after the divorce, they thought it would be best for us to live in a stable environment. My grandma is an excellent cook, but to her meat is considered something you eat at every meal. For that reason, I had to hide my dislike of meat while I lived with them.
Soon after we moved in to my grandparents’ house, we were served pasta with meat sauce for dinner. This was the first time a meat dish had been served to me and (to a young Binary Blonde, at least ) it was something altogether gag-worthy. I remember staring at the little bits of ground beef covered with marinara sauce like it was oozing blood. I was appalled and refused to eat it. My stubbornness was not appreciated and I was told by my grandma that I was to eat what was put in front of me or I would go to bed hungry.
Since I didn’t like her latter option, I did what any hungry vegetarian child would do in this situation: I meticulously picked out the bits of meat (hiding them in several napkins) and ate only the pasta. It took forever and I am sure my grandma suspected something, but she never said anything. I could have just given in and eaten the meat-sauce, but I didn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to. That was the moment I knew I was a vegetarian by choice and I have been ever since.
Scientifically speaking, I’m not sure if certain people are hard wired to be vegetarian, but if there is such a thing as a “meat-hating brain” or “vegetable-loving taste buds”, than I most certainly have them.