I’ve always been a huge animal lover. To the point I would cry if I saw my mum killing a little spider when cleaning the house. I thought the right thing to do was to catch it and release the little spider in the garden.

But growing up in Brazil, where meat is always at the centre of the table as the main dish, becoming a vegetarian certainly wasn’t an easy decision. And to be honest, things were very different when I was a kid. We didn’t hear much about animal cruelty and not so many people were concerned that live stock should have a better life – despite it being a short one. I was okay with meat from the supermarket purely because I didn’t have to associate it with any dead animal.

When I moved to the UK, back in 2004, I started paying more attention to what was going into my mouth. And I felt like a hypocrite! I couldn’t bear the thought of any animal being slaughtered, but I would still sit down at a restaurant and order a large steak. And what kept me from changing to a meat-free lifestyle was the fact I didn’t want to be a pain and make people go through the hassle of cooking something else every time I was having dinner at their places. But that quickly changed after a horrible incident involving my dog and a poor sheep, which I rather not bore you with details.

I know some people out there might not be as sensitive to this kind of events and probably think this isn’t enough to put anyone off meat. But for my husband and I that was the last day we had meat. And we’re felling much better now – both consciously and physically.

I’m not here promoting vegetarianism! But that decisions in life should always be made according to what makes you happy, and not based on what other people will think of you. That tragic morning made me see things this way and it’s just so much easier. I wish I had changed my thoughts a long time ago…

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