So, I folded. I did it reluctantly, but I did it. The pressure was too much, the temptation too strong, and I stepped back over the line. I felt a little sick to my stomach as I did it, but I did it anyway. Part of my psyche screamed at me unheeded “DON’T DO IT!!!” I ignored it and did it anyway.
What am I talking about?
I ate meat.
I admit, I have been thinking about meat a lot lately. I have found myself salivating at billboards, sniffing a little too eagerly at the savory aromas floating off of the HEB sample tables. At meals, I have eyed the meat on other’s plates from the corner of my eye, hoping not to be noticed. I would have denied it had they asked, but yes, I was eyeing their meat.
I have even had dreams about meat. The other night I dreamt that I gorged myself on a delicious buffet of animal flesh cooked in myriad ways. It was BBQ, salt cured, fried, broiled, boiled, baked, sauteed, grilled, pan-seared, and slow cooked. I had grease dribbling down my chin, sauces all over my hands, and an extremely full belly. It was awesome.
Last night we opted for the quick and easy dinner, so we pulled into a Little Caesars Pizza to get a couple Hot-n-Ready pizzas. They offered cheese and pepperoni, so I told Samantha I would get one of each. You know, in case other people wanted pepperoni. We got home and made our plates. After awhile, she noticed my plate. There was only one piece of pizza left, a slice of pepperoni with a Frank-sized bit taken out of it.
I honestly think it surprised her more than it did me. For someone who has patiently put up with more flip-flopping from me than a DC politician, she certainly didn’t attempt to hide her rolled eyes. I agree. I am rolling my eyes at myself right this moment.
I didn’t feel quite right eating the pepperoni, after all, my brain kept telling me, this was a living animal at one point. I was participating in its death by consuming its remains. I said a silent prayer of thanks for the animals that contributed, but couldn’t help imaging the celestial grimace when I added “to the nourishment of my body.” Remember, this is Little Caesar’s pepperoni. I am pretty sure it only nourished my love handles. Samantha brought up a good point as well, could we even trust that it was real meat?
Lunch today consisted of fried seafood, and amazingly I was less bothered by the prospect of eating fish and crustaceans than I was cute little mammals. So maybe, I will be a pescetarian. I have friends who follow that lifestyle quite successfully; they are healthy and seemingly guilt free. As my mom told me a long time ago, there are always more fish in the sea, right? Wait, that was about something entirely different. Oh, well.
What is interesting about this whole situation is how I felt about it the entire time. I was conflicted inside. I knew my physical desire was to eat meat. Whether this came from social pressures pushing me towards the norm, or from something my body was lacking, or something else entirely, I practically sweated desire. On the other hand, I felt morally guilty for doing it. In my mind’s eye, I kept imagining what the slaughtered animal might have looked like. I wondered whether or not I could have killed the animal I was now eating. Could I kill and eat my own pets if I had to? They are just animals like these pigs or those fish.
So, essentially, I feel lost. Although I have brushed my teeth twice since then, I still imagine I can feel the grease from the animal fat coating the inside of my mouth. I also can’t stop thinking about the fact that there is left over pizza waiting for me in the fridge. I could go eat some meat right now if I wanted to. But do I?
I don’t know.
I am sure you all have gone through similar situations before. Half of you wants one thing while the other half reasons against it. Part of you argues that your actions are wrong, while the other half basks in the rightness of it. In the past, I have taken both courses of action, sometimes successfully ignoring the desire and other times succumbing to it. Ultimately, it is simply a choice. The goal is to be at peace with the option you choose.
What is my choice? I have no idea. But I have faith I will get there.