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The Vegan Network Damon De Backer Marieke Wings Chez Mariette Vegan

Marieke Wings

is a pastry chef.
Photographed by Damon De Backer.
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When was the last time I ate meat?


This question made me go back into time because I really don't remember myself as a carnivore. I never really considered myself as a 'meat eater' but I did eat meat though. I saw myself as an animal lover, but I did eat meat though. I saw myself as an environmentalist, but I did eat meat though... I signed petitions against slaughterhouses and animal abuse, but I had meat on my plate and in my grocery cart. I was one of those 'I only eat chicken and turkey, sometimes steak but not that often' people. That made me feel good about myself, in a way...

When I was 11 years old I gave a presentation in class about the deforestation of the amazon. I blamed fastfood chains and convinced my class not to go there again. They didn't, for a little while. I became vegetarian after all the things I read about meat and the environment. Later I started reading about animal rights (yes, I was a huge booknerd when I was a little girl) and got even more convinced vegetarian was the way to go. I ate what my parents ate except for the meat (so I ate potatoes and vegetables). Two years later the doctor told my mum I HAD to eat meat again. I was losing my hair and had some deficiencies in my bloodwork. "According to her bloodtype she just has to eat meat". So yes, I did, but then again, only chicken, turkey and occasionally some steak... Not that bad, right? Wrong. I just didn't see it that way.

More than ten years after that, in 2013, I became vegetarian again. All about the animal rights. When I started following some instagram pages, I saw a list of great books and documentaries on BrusselsVegan's page. I picked one, Earthlings, and started watching... I had to close my eyes and cover my ears for the bigger part of the movie. I cried and I cried and I was horrified. But the urge to close my eyes during earthlings actually made me open them. Finally I realised what was going on. Finally I made the connection. Finally I became vegan.

So when you ask me about the last time I ate meat, it was in 2013, perhaps september, october? I do know I became vegan in december. I just can not remember the actual last time I ate meat. Because I really don't want to look back at myself eating meat. I wish I had never been a meat eater. I am so happy I made the change and I will always be grateful to Kim-Julie Hansen aka Brusselsvegan for providing me with that list that included 'earthlings'.

The last time I ate meat was a long long time ago...

More photos by Damon De Backer