Before I answer I will say this will NOT be a PSA as to why you should too. Diet is a personal choice and I've never been out to convert ANYONE with my eating habits. Feel free to be you, eat a burger, no judgements here. I simply chose to answer this one because it's a question that comes up a lot.
The simple answer is Kidney Stones. Have you ever had them? You feel like you are dying-literally. Many years ago I had a bad case of Kidney Stones that I had to have surgically removed because they were so large. Fun!! Not really. Once removed they sent them off for testing to see what could have caused them. Mine came back that it was due to an over-abundance of animal protein.
My Doctor recommended I cut back on meat. I decided to go all the way and eliminate it from my diet completely. I have never eaten meat, or had kidney stones, since. That was almost 8 years ago.
While Kidney Stones started the journey I will say what completed the journey were the studies I started to do on Factory-Farming (where most of the super market meat comes from) and how they raise/slaughter the animals. I won't get all PETA on you but it's gross. Really gross. I think reading about all of that stuff will turn someone who wasn't even thinking about becoming a vegetarian into one. For me it just helped cement what I was already feeling was the right way of eating for my personal journey.
For most of our marriage I didn't eat meat and my husband did. Our compromise was to buy his meat from a local farm, grass-fed, no hormones or antibiotics.
The other thing people always ask is "how do you get your protein?" We get more than enough through green leafy veggies, legumes, nuts, eggs, whole grains and other foods rich in protein. You will be surprised where protein is lurking when you really pay attention to it. I get half my daily needed amount of protein in my Greek Yogurt alone.
Do I eat dairy? Yes, I'm not vegan. Although Joel & I tried our hand at it to aid in his cancer recovery. It was hard. Really hard. I ultimately decided that for me trying to limit dairy worked better than completely cutting it out.
Last thing everyone wants to know-do my kids eat meat? Nope. They never have. And they're growing like little amazing, healthy and incredible weeds. Not that weeds are incredible, but well....you get the picture. ☺
Thanks for the question Courtney!