OFFSTAGE: Why Carrie Underwood Gave Up Meat

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I’ve always known Carrie Underwood was a vegetarian. But I never knew why, until I heard some of this interview from her episode of VHI Behind the Music . In it, she talks openly about life on the farm growing up, but this time she also shared the turning point for her.

“My whole life, we always had cows. Everybody had cows. People had sheep. People had everything and I never thought why. I’d eat my hamburger, or we’d have spaghetti or bologna or hotdogs or whatever, and I just never thought about it. It never crossed my mind what that used to be,” she said.

Underwood didn’t make that connection until she was bringing her parents iced tea one day when they were out working in the pasture, banding calves (which is a non-surgical form of castration). “I was mortified. I said, ’Why do you do that?’ And she said it will make them grow bigger. And … light bulb! I was horrified and sad and I just couldn’t believe this was happening in our pasture,” Underwood recalled.

“These cute adorable baby calves jumping around, playing around, would be on someone’s plate someday. And I said, ’Wait, so people can eat them?’ Mom just shook her head because she knew what was going to happen.”

Underwood added that her mom wasn’t too happy when she stopped eating what the rest of the family was eating. But she was steadfast in her vegetarian ways, even as a young girl. “I couldn’t eat those precious cows. They were my babies. I bottle-fed some of them. And now I knew where they went.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.