Monday, September 17, 2012

Look Mom, No Meat!

credit:  lablasco
So I've been a vegetarian for a week.  Woo hoo!!!  I may have gone this long without eating meat before, but not intentionally, and now it's permanent.

Here's an interview with myself about this recent lifestyle change.

{Mary Beth, Why did you become a vegetarian?}

A switched turned inside of me, one that's been slowly moving to the 'off' position for a while, as I was reading "Eating Animals."  I haven't bought raw chicken in ages because I really hate touching it and cooking it.  I've always had a fear of eating meat that's not cooked all the way, of being the lucky one to get poisoned.  Then I read some books.... like Omnivoire's Dilemma, and Fast Food Nation.... and Eating Animals just took me over the edge.  Whenever I see bacon and think - yummm - I also think, Wow, I don't want to vote with my dollars for the way meat is currently produced in our country.  This is personal for me.  I actually like meat.  I kind of can't believe I won't eat bacon ever again.  But I don't want to.  I'm really committed to this.... shockingly committed, considering how fast I "turned off the switch."  And I don't miss it.

{Has it been difficult, not eating meat?}

Nope.  It has frankly been a lot easier than I thought.  I eat what I eat, without the meat.... and with a little lot more planning and thought.  I've already bought cool new things I've never eaten before like Quinoa and can't wait to try it.  I feel more free.  Does that sound weird?  I can't explain it.  I'm gradually feeling free from the guilt I've been feeling for years that I've just been ignoring.  And I'm feeling like there are so many other fun, neat, non-meat things out there to eat that I am resisting the urge to spread my new foodreligion to other people.  I'm excited.  I feel happier.

It's difficult figuring out what to do with all the meat in our freezer.  It's not a lot but....  it's an issue.

{What about your family - are they going to be vegetarians now too?}

Probably not.  Roy has already said he'll eat what we cook/buy at home (veg because I don't want to even purchase meat any more if I can help it).  But he'll do his own thing when he's out which I respect.  I need to investigate some veg alternatives to the things our kids love - chicken nuggets, hot dogs and corn dogs mainly.  But they gobbled up veggie sausage like it was the real deal!  I think it's more about the texture and the weight than the actual stuff that's in it.... which begs the question, why are we eating meat again?  

{Any interesting observations?}

At the airport the other day I couldn't find a single 'salad' that didn't start with the word 'chicken'.  All the 'salads' available started with the word "chicken" or a variation (chicken strip salad, fried chicken salad, etc.).  What's up with that??  Also, I was able to eat vegetarian at a North Carolina BBQ joint!  How crazy is that?  They offer the "vegetarian plate" but reader beware, because several of the "vegetable sides" have meat in them.  Ha ha.

{Do you think you'll stick with it?}

Yes I do.  I might even get more and more tough about it.  I already want to start asking questions like - "Can you tell me what kind of broth is in this soup?" and "Were these beans cooked with bacon?"  Somebody once told me they liked me because I never settle for less than 100%.  That will be tough here because we are so meat-centric as a culture. 

{Are you worried about anything?}

I'm worried people may not invite us over for dinner....  This doesn't happen a lot anyway, but I feel like this will even further get us on the do-not-invite list.  So - If you were ever thinking of inviting us over for dinner - please don't change your mind just because I happen to be a newborn vegetarian.  I may not eat the meat, but I may eat all the brownies!  Ha ha.


  1. I don't think vegetarianism is so weird that anyone will balk at having you over for dinner :) At least it's not like that in Charlottesville - any time anyone has ever asked us over for dinner, we've been asked about food allergies and dietary restrictions! And I have never had any difficulty serving my vegetarian friends at my house.

    All of that said...if you still want to eat bacon every now and again, just look for small local farms where the animals are treated ethically and the meat is not processed. It is more expensive than standard grocery-store meat, and hard to find in certain areas of the country, but you live very close to a wondrous number of excellent small farms. Relay Foods carries meat (including bacon) from a number of them. I have no problems at all with your going vegetarian, but if you still enjoy meat and are mainly responding to the ridiculous over-processing of it (and the hormones and steroids that are too often injected into it), that would be a good way to have meat occasionally without contributing to the bad parts of the industry.

    1. Yes true. I'd like to find a place where I know everything about how the animal lived and was killed and processed. Most days, though, it's sadly a lot of work to learn all of that. Going veg just seems easier.... plus I like it. But maybe for the family I need to find those farmers. Definitely need to check out Relay!!!!