Emily O'brien
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They Say Happiness is a Choice

Change can be scary, but when it's for the greater good, why can't people just be accepting?

All my life I have been an animal lover; the typical female that has to stop for every dog on the street just to give it a cuddle, or feed the streets stray cat and laugh at funny pictures found of a horse and monkey being best friends on Facebook but I never could really comprehend the use of animals in this world. 

A few years ago, I wanted to experiment with being a vegetarian and I did last a few months but the idea of not eating meat back then was purely for the fact it looked pretty awesome broadcasted all over social media and I ended up caving in just after a few months as there was no real motive behind it; my mum also used to moan about how annoying it was to try and cook for my family so I ended up packing it in and going back to my normal diet.

I am literally the average uni student, I love new clothes and to explore with makeup and experiment with new food but it has only been recently that I have been exposed to the way animals are treated or tested on. Not long ago, I started a new job working as a waitress just to ensure I kept a stable income whilst continuing my studies and on shift the other day I was left vulnerable when chefs were dealing with game which had been delivered, still with warm blood. 

I tried not to acknowledge what was happening because I am a huge fan of a Mcdonald's burger or sausages and bacon on a massive fry up and a massive turkey on Christmas day but I couldn't be protected from the chefs tearing apart these beautiful creatures just to serve that night for food. 

After my shift I went home and reevaluated what had happened and tried to think of something which would make me feel better — I felt sick and beyond miserable. I came up with the solution of not eating meat, it put my mind at ease and just from thinking it, I felt better already. Being a massive animal lover regardless, I felt like it was the right thing to do. I thought then, that maybe happiness is actually a choice. 

That night I explained things to my partner and housemates...

My partner, being a chef and loving all types of food, and being exposed to that environment, got annoyed and started saying I shouldn't become a vegetarian because regardless if I am eating the meat or not, it is going to sit on the shelves in Asda; she started to say that if I'm not eating it then it's going to waste and the animals died for no reason. 

This reaction angered me because I then started to think, I can't be happy and make others happy so it then has to be a choice. My housemate's reaction, however, was a little different and they were a bit more supportive. 

A few days later, I decided to tell my little brother over FaceTime when we were discussing going out for a meal when my family came to visit, and then he called me an idiot and hung up. This made me really upset but then I tried to make sense of things by reminding myself that he is only 12 and doesn't really understand. This put things in a little more perspective until I received a message from my mum saying she wouldn't go anywhere with me if I wasn't to eat meat and pursued to make me feel awful about myself. 

I realised that even though this story may sound silly and pathetic but, I realised something. I wanted to make a choice that made me happy within myself, I wanted to feel good about myself and just enjoy life knowing I was doing the right thing but the people around me just weren't supportive and basically made me choose whether I should be happy or whether I should continue making them happy. 

In retrospect, I did explain my heartbreak to my partner and she has come around and started to accept my choice but I still feel sad and vulnerable to the choices I make in the future. 

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They Say Happiness is a Choice
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