"Dear Aunt Traci,
I've been a vegetarian for almost ten years now, and have never once voluntarily eaten meat. When I first converted to vegetarianism, I would dream of accidentally eating meat, but haven't had a dream like that for years. Last night, though, I had a dream that someone brought home a bucket of fried chicken and I'd eaten two and a half pieces before I realized that I'd been eating meat! I threw it away and was really grossed out by it. I went to tell someone, in the dream, maybe my mother or my boyfriend, but they weren't interested in hearing about it. The next day, in my dream, I was telling someone else that even though I'm a vegetarian, the meat tasted SO good. I told them that I guess it's because I've been eating so many Gardein chik'n strips lately. The funny thing is that in real life, I never even liked fried chicken! Aunt Traci, what do you think it means?
Dear Chicken Lover,
First of all, congrats on being vegetarian for so long! I've been one since February of 2008 and have been vegan since April of 2014. I've had those dreams and they are disturbing.
The thing to remember about dreams is they are symbolic. You weren't eating a burger or a steak, you were eating chicken. The word chicken is often associated to being afraid of something. Yet it was dead and you were eating it. Have you recently overcome a deep fear or confronted an issue of anxiety? Maybe you're unconsciously concerned of going back to old ways...
It's also meaningful that when you tried to tell someone important, they weren't interested in hearing it. Is it that there is something in your life that you've recently done, that was hard for you, and you think that some of the important people in your life are having a hard time accepting it?
The key in understanding dreams is looking at the emotional tone of the dream, the symbols and what they mean to you (a chicken means something different to a vegetarian than it would to a chicken farmer, for example), and things in your life that might be issues you're dreaming about.
Now, go have some of those guiltless Gardein strips!
"I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?"