How I became a Vegetarian
I gave up all meat and fish one day in August 1975. I had just started graduate school at San Diego State University and worked half time on campus in a small department library. My co-workers (all three of them) were lacto-ovo vegetarians.
My co-workers asked if I knew anything about vegetarianism. I told them that I had taken a nutrition class as an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley and that the majority of the class was spent learning about vegetarian diets, how to combine foods for “complete” protein, where to find foods with essential fatty acids and the importance of taking vitamin B-12 supplements if you didn’t eat meat or fish.
I took this class because my roommate, Lol, and I didn’t really have a lot of extra cash for food. There was little if no meat in our refrigerator. Ever. We got our meat fix if we went home for the weekend or visited with friends and stayed long enough to be invited to sit with them for dinner (remind me to post about our experiences after accepting a free vegetarian meal from the Unification Church and Reverend Sun Myung Moon one night). If I was forced into a diet with little or no meat, I wanted to know what I was doing to my body. That class taught me well. The vegetarian basics and the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle that I learned at U.C. Berkeley in 1972 have stayed with me ever since.
After working in San Diego with my new vegetarian friends for just one week I made a commitment to eliminate meat and fish from my diet and to eat as healthy as possible. With these 3 as my support group I made the transition but it wasn’t always easy.
Read my post next week to see what it was like to be a traveling vegetarian in California in the mid-70’s.