On-again relationship with plant-eating feels good after dabbling with meat – The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

BY AVERY YALE KAMILA | March 25, 2015

When Kara Owens was a child, her father worked as a butcher. Needless to say, her attempts to go vegetarian weren’t successful.

She did manage a few months of vegetarianism when she was 15 and a couple weeks here and there afterward. But mostly she ate what everyone else ate.

“We were a meat- and chicken-heavy family,” said Owens, who lives in Scarborough.

In fact, her dad wasn’t just a butcher but the head of the meat department at the major grocery store in her hometown of Grand Union, New Jersey.

“He said, ‘If everyone went vegetarian like you, I’d be out of a job,’ ” Owens, now 40, recently recalled.

Fast-forward to January 2014 and Owen, the mother of a now 5-year-old daughter, was looking at Facebook one day, where she saw a video posted by a friend.

It showed the routine dairy farm procedure of a newborn calf being taken from its mother.

“The mother cow chased after her baby and cried for her baby,” Owens said, her voice still raw with emotion. “It hit me in everything in me that is a mom.”

She decided on the spot to go vegan. She hasn’t looked back.

Such on-again, off-again, on-again relationships with vegetarian eating aren’t unusual. According to a recent survey by the animal advocacy group Humane Research Council, at least 10 percent of U.S. adults are former vegetarians and more than a third of that number would like to go vegetarian again.

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