My first bite of meat after 3.5 years of veganism was both the hardest and easiest thing I’ve ever done. Tears ran down my face as saliva pooled in my mouth. The world receded to a blank nothingness and I just ate, and ate, and ate. I cried in grief and anger, while moaning with pleasure and joy. When I took the last bite I set back and waited to feel sick. I had just devoured a hunk of dead animal, the most evil thing I could conceive of, surely my body would reject this debasement and I would feel vindicated that I truly was meant to be a vegan.
Instead, my face felt warm, my mind peaceful, and my stomach full but….I searched for a word to describe how it felt….comfortable. I realized that for the first time in months I felt satiated without the accompaniment of stomach pain. I had only eaten a small piece of cow flesh, and yet I felt totally full, but light and refreshed all at once. I reveled in that new and unexpected combination of sensations. How amazing it was not to need to eat for an hour solid till my stomach stretched and distended over my pants just to buy an hour or two of satiety. How beautiful it felt to be able to eat the exact thing that for so long my body had been begging for. I felt profoundly joyful in finally listening to the wisdom of my body. What a revelation.