So, I am vegetarian again - Surprise!!! I can just see the eye rolling as people are reading this. I know, I know, I seem to flip flop more than some of our favorite politicians. Truth be told I have been waffling on the issue since October and finally decided to go through with it again.
For me, the hardest part of making the decision to abandon meat is accepting the inconvenience. For the carnivore, impromptu meals are easy - everyone sells meat. For the vegetarian, finding a dining option can sometimes be difficult. Sure, everyone sells a salad, but I have never once decided to be vegetarian because I am in love with salads. Sure, a salad now and again is good, but every meal . . . please. It just isn’t for me.
Anyway, a brief history of my vegetarianism, for those of you not familiar with the exciting details. By the summer of 2000, my best friend Steven had been dabbling in vegetarianism for a few months. I decided to try it, but for different reasons that his. My reasons were centered in living healthier life and taking healthier food into my body. I wasn’t incredibly impressed with my 20 year old body and was looking for a different way to cut calories.
I decided I would cut out beef. After four weeks of eating beef-less meals, I realized that I hadn’t eaten any meat at all (except fish - which for some reason is not considered meat by some people). So, I kept not eating meat.
|Working at Joe's. Yes,|
the hair is real.
The next summer I was working at Joe’s Crab Shack and the seafood options helped curb my four legged cravings, but I realized that my passion for not eating meat had evolved. No longer was it simply about health (my weight loss was actually quite minimal, by the way), rather I had begun to sympathize with the animals themselves. I couldn’t stomach the idea that the last thing present in the animal immediately prior to death was fear, anger, and pain. I couldn’t imagine bringing that into my body. Additionally, one of my good friends, in a good natured attempt to derail our vegetarian efforts, suggested that I was being even more brutal in my eating habits than he - a regular meat eater. When I dined on a shrimp, I was consuming an entire animal. When he dined on a steak, the cow could have possibly survived. Who was worse? In his summation, I was.
His plan backfired and instead of bringing my wayward soul back to the land of meat eaters, I freed myself of seafood, delving into the realm of ovo-lacto-vegetarians, those who choose to eat eggs and milk. No animals died for my meal, and I felt good about it. I continued this way until two weeks prior to my wedding in 2005, when I resumed my consumption of animal flesh. Honestly, I could not say why I returned. All I really remember about it all was eating my first tuna sandwich, fearing a rebellion in my stomach; none came.
Over the last five and a half years, I have gone back and forth between the two, the battle of meat/no-meat playing out on my dinner table. I applaud Samantha for her patience. There is a solid reason why I cook more than she does; she says it is because she never knows before a meal if I will change my mind on whether or not I am eating meat that day.
|I absolutely love this stuff.|
So, why this time? Is it health? Is it the pain and fear? Is it karma? Is it peer pressure? For me, it just feels right. Vegetarianism is the right fit for me right now. I don’t dislike meat, in fact, I LOVE bacon, but the thought of the process the bacon goes through from piglet to frying in my pan churns my stomach. There have been times I have stood in front of my pets and wondered - could I eat you? The answer is overwhelmingly no, so why should I do it to any other animal.
My decision is my own and has nothing to do with anyone else. I have never been the militant hippy type preaching Save the Animals. While I feel it is the right thing to do, it is a personal choice and has to be left to each individual. I do know that I feel better when not eating meat, physically, mentally, and spiritually, but I can’t predict how anyone else would feel.
So, to those of you who revel in the opportunity to turn a vegetarian back to meat, here I am. Bring on your taunts and jibes! I am ready for them!
Good eating to you all.