When I was a little girl, maybe between the age of three or four because I had just learned to walk and speak simple words but had not started taking the piano lessons, my parents took me on a trip to my grandparents' farm. My grandparents were traditional Chinese farmers who lived their entire life in the most remote area of Chinese country side, which, to give you an idea, a bicycle would be the most cutting edge piece of machinery in the entire village back then. To my knowledge, at that time they had one pig in their possession and a lot of chicken roaming free in the front yard. I remember I was not so much taller than the chicken and were always terribly afraid of them. While we were there I saw tomato fields for the first time in my life and it was not the image of tomatoes but the fresh smell of the field that got stuck so vividly in my memory. There were girls older than me taking me running wild in the field, one time an older girl got hold of a sun flower the size of a large frying pan, so we sat down on the curb and picked the sun flower seeds and ate them right out of the flower.
Soon after we arrived, to celebrate this very special occasion, the pig was slaughtered. It was a major event and over a doze men from the village helped out. The pig in my memory was enormous. Its legs were tied to a stick and carried to a large outdoor table used specifically for slaughtering animals. Somehow I was walking outside and saw the pig being carried to the designated spot. Out of pure curiosity I followed them and hid behind a brick wall to peek at it. Not that watching a pig being slaughtered was forbidden but I was scared. I don't know where my parents or anybody else were at that time. I don't remember anyone was with me, I don't think I saw very much of it but I remember seeing blood running everywhere on the table and the desperate piercing scream of the pig filled the entire air made me want to run out and help it get away. I covered my ears and crouched down behind the wall, and told myself a made up story that actually pigs don't have feelings and it can't possibly hurt. It must have been the first heart ache I've experienced in my life, a sentiment I didn't understand when I was that little, I felt very very sorry for the pig.
I grew up without thinking about it again, at all. Until quite recently when I read Jonathan Safron Foer's book Eating Animals. It didn't take very much for all the memory flash back to me again, and also made me question the food choices that I made on a daily basis. Taking a look at my own pets whom I love so dearly, it suddenly dawned on me that I've always told myself a made up story to justify eating animals, and that it was just an excuse so to convenience my life.
So how does this has anything to do with anything? Well, ever since I came back from China, I've decided to adopt a more plant based diet in my household. My husband is very supportive for any short lived new ideas that I can come up with, eating my soy mozzarella cheese without blinking an eye, so I take it that it's going to work well in my house. I plan to document this process on my blog. I don't know how long I will be able to keep up with this vegan diet, but it will definitely be fun to post a few recipes or two, and as someone who's never had anything to do with vegan diet before, it has been a pretty interesting experience for me, so stay tuned!