As a yoga teacher, I've studied from many lineages, and I know that most promote vegetarian lifestyles. Most people feel that those who teach yoga should be at least vegetarian, if not vegan. I've even had a friend tell me she refused to go back to a yoga class after the teacher was spotted eating a ham sandwich.
I first became a vegetarian six years ago after watching the documentary Earthlings, and was convinced my life’s calling was to save animals from being tortured. My Facebook statuses borderlined on denouncing those who ate meat or posted the fancy veal dinners they ate. Naturally, I lost a few friends along the way.
As a vegetarian and sometimes vegan, my meals typically looked like this: I’d start off the morning with a green smoothie, oatmeal or multigrain cereal with almond milk, snack on grapes and cheese, and then have a veggie black bean burger with potatoes for dinner. Some nights I’d have frozen pizza or order take-out. In between meals I’d have a chai latte with a chocolate cookie or sweetened yogurt. After dinner, it was a glass of wine or a cup of ice cream.
Needless to say, I wasn’t a particularly healthy vegetarian. I often gorged on meat substitutes to stifle my meat cravings, and I rarely incorporated salads or more appropriate choices into my daily meals. But I told myself at least I wasn’t eating meat. At least I wasn’t taking someone’s life.