Out in the Open

A former vegan wonders if the taste of guilt is worth it

Annabel Turner was a committed vegan for more than a year, but now she’s a guilty meat eater.

 When she was 15, Annabel Turner decided to become vegan.

"I think mostly it was just an ethical decision. I really wasn't comfortable eating animals anymore and I'd researched it a lot and at the time it seemed like a really good decision for me." 
Annabel Turner (Annabel Turner)

For a year, Annabel stuck to a strictly plant based diet. 

"I think in the last two or three months is when I really started to sneak little things."

She says it started with little things, food that she knew contained dairy products, for example. But she says little by little it became more frequent. 

She says that part of the problem was the limited options in so many situations: being faced with limited options at restaurants, or dinner parties. To make matters worse, despite her convictions about the ethics of eating meat, Annabel was missing it.

"Yeah, I love meat and I was a big meat eater in my entire life leading up to it. Like steak, bacon, everything"

Then Annabel decided to give up veganism all in one go, with a big meal at an Italian restaurant, where she feasted on meat topped pizza. But even now that she's enjoying meat again, she says she still feels the guilt.

"I think it's been a big moral dilemma for me and it's come up a lot and I've thought about it a lot and I don't know, maybe that's just human nature to do the thing that brings you satisfaction or pleasure. I think I just don't let myself think about it very much and that's how I deal with it."