Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 30: Why I quit eating meat

Usually I have to encourage myself to do my morning pages. Just do it. Get it over with already. Stick to it. Keep going. There is a lot of self talk that goes into this project. As much or more than the project itself.

But today was different. Today my pages were doing the encouraging. See, I just finished reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to be aware of the food they eat, and who doesn't? In fact, I think it should be required reading for the whole country. The book investigates factory farms and the cruel treatment of the animals on these farms. 

It made me want to become a vegetarian.

I love bacon.

This is a problem.

In my morning pages, I was pondering how I could manage to become the vegetarian I want to be. I really don't know if I can do it. And I DO know it's important for me to try. And I can't eat rice and beans all the time. AND, all week I've been mostly hungry because I haven't gotten the hang of how to eat without meat yet. As I write this, I'm munching on toast and almond butter. How long can that really be satisfying over the long haul?

This vegetarianism had me panicked in my pages. That's when I the pages stepped in and said this:
"Hey, you've done these pages for 30 days in a row. You didn't do it a month at a time, you did it a day at a time. With vegetarianism, you can break it down further and do it one meal and one snack at a time. Breakfast is already mostly vegetarian (goodbye bacon), there are veggie options at every restaurant, and beyond that, you can make smart choices when cooking your own meals. You can do this. You've done these morning pages and have shown that you can stick to them. If you want to stick to this new way of eating, you can do that, too."
This entry helped. And it came along at a good time.

Tonight I'm going to a friend's house. He's making ribs. I am already faced with the social ramifications of my new-found vegetarianism.

Growing up, when one of my cousins would announce their vegetarianism, my aunts and mother would haul out a baking dish and whip up a spinach lasagna to add to the family meal. They would do it without complaint. But I knew what they were thinking. "How are you suppose to feed your children on a vegetarian diet?" or "How are you suppose to feel satisfied without a decent piece of meat?" That's just it. With factory farming, there are hardly any decent pieces of meat left.

Factory farming makes up 99% of the meat in our grocery stores. To find that 1% of meat that came from animals that had a good life and a humane death is so difficult that I might as well throw up my hands and say fuck it. I'm going vegetarian.

I'm going to need a lot of encouragement to get through this. I'm glad my morning pages are here to help.

But how to break it to the family. Seeing if they read this blog is one way. Oh dear.




4 comments:

  1. Pork products are my dietary nemesis. I love salami, bacon, proscuitto... Because of them, I'll never go full vegetarian. Ever.

    But I can recommend Morning Star sausages to give you that fake meat taste. They're seriously delicious. I eat them all the time...if only their bacon seemed more realistic, maybe I could make the jump.

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  2. Congrats Janice! This is so awesome. You can SO do it. You'll see it only gets easier with time. You won't miss icky meat type things pretty soon because you'll be too busy feeling good!

    And Eating Animals should be required reading, for sure.

    And you can mos def lay off the rice and beans if you want...Vegetables and fruits have the bulk of the nutrients you need in your diet. I'm not a fake meat fan, but do whatever it takes for you. I think it's fun to explore new ways to eat veggies of all colors and styles, and exploring the grocery store for new stuff.

    Check out veganyumyum.com (scope the archives) for some good lookin' recipes that may spark some ideas. And being in LA is the best place ever to be vegetarian. There are restaurants galore! Whole Foods usually has vegan pizza that's the bizzomb.

    Anyway...I guess I'm saying I support you! And I will bombard you with tons of info if you want it, just ask. And if you don't, that's cool, too.

    :)

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  3. Thanks Mel for the Morning Star sausage tip. And thanks Mr. I Quit Eating Meat for the good lookin' recipes tip. I just bought The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone for added hootspa to keep up with the veggie way of being. Bombard me with tons of info. Bring. It.

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  4. I'm just catching up on all your posts I haven't read yet, and couldn't help but commenting on this one. A decade and I'm still going strong! I don't feel becoming a vegetarian was a choice for myself as much as something I was born with. I'm glad I was referenced (sort of) in one of your posts. I hope it's going well. The animals you've saved thank you for it!

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