(NOTE: I did not have wifi on my farm so I wrote all of my blog posts in a journal, and I am transcribing them now that I’m home!)
I have been a vegetarian for three years now. I don’t really remember what meat tastes like anymore. I was a vegan for eight months this winter, but I decided it was not the life I wanted to continue while I was in Ireland. I am a vegetarian for environmental reasons; not eating meat significantly reduces my carbon footprint. I have always loved animals but being a vegetarian was more about the planet than it was for animal rights issues. Prior to going to Ireland I knew that I might have to eat meat while on the farm. Overall I was fine with eating meat because I know that locally sourced meat and dairy is loads better than the same that is from a big dairy distributor. I was concerned that eating meat would hurt my stomach, as I have heard stories from other vegetarian friends that Thankfully though, I was able to buy my own groceries and decide what I wanted to eat myself.
Moy House Farm has many animals. There are two pigs: Annabelle and Agnes, around ten cows, too many sheep to count, and three chickens. There were a lot more chickens on the farm, but unfortunately a fox came and ate them all! One of the big jobs I had while working on the farm was making sure that the cows had water. One day I went with Sarah to water the cows. and I was standing over their water bucket filling it up when the cows started coming towards me. I knew that these cows were kind and gentle, so I was not worried. They started to drink water all at once but they didn’t all fit around the bucket. They realized this quickly and took turns instead. While one was waiting around, it stood next to me and looked at me very intently. I was talking to him like you would a pet, when he put his head down and licked my arm. I have always thought that cows are similar to dogs, but in that moment I realized how alike they really are. Midnight (the cow’s name) saw that I was helping him and wanted to show me affection for doing him a favor. After that interaction with Midnight, and with the animals on the farm as a whole, I am sure that vegetarian is the lifestyle for me from here on out. I am now in it not just for the planet, but for the animals too.