I'm not sure what the final straw was. Maybe public school cafeteria food. But when I was freshman in high school, I decided enough was enough. I was too freaked out by beef -- the looks of it, the smell, I wasn't a fan of how it tasted or the texture -- and I was never going to eat red meat again. Like most kids born in the '80s, I'd grown up on Spaghetti-Os and sloppy joes. But if given my choice, I'd never ask for it. The only "red meat" that I ever wanted was bologna and that was only as a little kid (on rye bread with mayo, please!).
By 14, if Mom made stuffed peppers, steak, or burgers for dinner, I'd boycott or make my own meal. Sometimes, she'd take my preference into consideration, which was sweet. I declared myself a semi-vegetarian (but was technically a pesce-pollotarian), and I'd joke that if I married a guy who wanted steak, he could cook it himself. I wasn't going to learn. I didn't want anything to do with it. I didn't need it. Until ... I did.