So I decided to try again something that I tried when I was younger and less prepared. One summer when I was working at Camp, I decided to become a vegetarian. I don’t know why I did it, but if I look back on other things I did at the same time I would guess it was because it would help me lose weight. It was an experiment at best, that left me eating loads and loads of salad greens and McDonald’s french fries (on Friday nights, when we’d go into town from camp after the kids left). The end of that experiment was an unplanned trip to the infirmary at Camp after I nearly fainted from a combination of poor nutrition and living in the Georgia heat with no A/C.
Since that failed attempt I’ve looked with envy at those able to live a vegetarian lifestyle. I don’t believe that I will ever make it to a purely vegetarian lifestyle and I am pretty sure that I am not meant to be vegan. However, I do know that when I don’t eat meat I feel better, physically. So what pushed me over the edge this time?
For awhile, I have been fighting the feeling that there was something not right in the way that the animals that I’ve been consuming for most of my life are raised, treated, and processed into the food on my table. Something not right in my opinion, mind you. I would never EVER try to make someone else believe the way I do. If eating meat is okay with you, then that’s great, I’m happy for you. It just isn’t okay for me anymore.
To throw a slightly hypocritical spanner in the works, I’m not planning to give up fish at this point. I know that there are loads of awful things that happen to fish, and that’s why I’m admitting it is hypocritical…I can’t quite bring myself to give up sushi. I know there are veg options in sushi but I’ve only just discovered the heaven that is yellowtail tuna. Mercy.
Anyway, back to the hypothetical straw and camel: I’ve had the misfortune of riding behind some chicken trucks in my life, and every time it almost reduces me to tears. I saw an awful segment on the local news the other night where a farmer was talking about how you could buy a whole cow from him, you and your buddies, and they’d process the cow…as they were standing in the field with said cows milling around behind them! “You’ll get good steaks and two sets of ribs…” It was horrifying to me. But the last straw was the wild turkey and babies that walked across the back yard up here on Allen Mountain the other day. I watched Mama Turkey checking the bushes before she let her babies follow her into the brush. The argument that turkeys (or chickens or cows) are dumb and that’s why it’s okay to eat them doesn’t matter to me. It’s a non-argument. Why do we eat some animals and not others? It was then and there that I decided I had to make a change.
I don’t and won’t begrudge my dog or my cat eating meat. Dogs can’t live as vegetarians without a lot of extra work and care. Cats are carnivores. The way I’m looking at this is that my opposition to eating meat is because I have such a strong reverence for nature. I hope that everyone can support me in this decision, and that this time I can make some healthy choices as far as my food goes.