|I’m cheating by putting up a picture of my perfect Daisy MeiMei.|
Just to get all your guesses out of the way, I’m not pregnant nor getting divorced nor moving back to the UK (nor anywhere else for that matter). THE DOGS ARE BOTH FINE. I’m not changing jobs and I haven’t gotten published. What I am about to tell you is a big deal, and the fact that I’m doing it via The Lettuce should indicate my level of cowardice at the thought of disappointing some of my good friends, but I suppose it is what it is.
I am no longer pescetarian (eating no meat save fish). I have reintroduced meat into my diet for several reasons, and I wanted to share those as well as what has happened since this change occurred. Part of the reason I haven’t said much about this has been I was not sure that it could be done…but I seem none the worse for wear, so I thought that it was time to come clean. I was never what I refer to as an ethical vegetarian/pescetarian. What I mean by that is that I did not stop eating all meat save fish because of my beliefs about animal rights. While I do believe that there are huge changes needed in the humane way animals are treated, that did not make the decision for me and did not keep me on this path for almost three years.
I stopped eating meat save fish in June of 2011 because it made me feel bad when I ate it. That is the long and short of it. I had been telling myself in posts such as this one that I was not going to eat meat anymore out of some reverence for nature…and I think that was partially true, but something else was going on. I talked to a friend of mine, Joanne, who had been vegetarian in the past but had gone back to eating meat. I asked her why she made that decision and she said it was very simple: “My body wanted meat.”
My body made a similar decision about two months ago, so I started upping the amount of meat substitutes that I ate in an attempt to ward off that feeling. After all, this was the right thing I was doing, wasn’t it? The noble and earth conscious thing? Maybe. But that didn’t help how I felt. I tried to expand my horizons as far as vegetarian cooking went. I added more fish to our diet. But still it was there, the feeling that something wasn’t right.
A month ago I made a decision after talking about it with Hubs that I would try eating meat and see what happened. If it made me sick at worst or left me no better off than I was at best, we would investigate what else could be going on with me. So I tried it…and nothing happened…nothing bad anyway. Unlike “real” vegetarians which I think now I will never be, if I’m honest, I had been consuming muscle protein the whole time because I continued to eat fish. So my body had no trouble with the meat I tried.
Now what am I? What label do I apply to myself and my diet? The real truth is that I am me, no more, no less. There are groups…clubs almost, that you belong to when you’re trying to live a more vegetarian life. I never fit in any of them. Maybe if I had been more sensible about how I ate 20 years ago when I tried this the first time I might still be eating a meat free diet. But maybe not. Maybe I’m learning that I am selfish, and what I like to eat and what seems to make me feel the best is my primary concern…instead of the state of the world and animals and farming and all that. I don’t feel like a bad person for making my choice…but one has to wonder why I haven’t said much about it up until now if there is nothing to feel guilty about in my decision.
I believe that the reason for my silence has been simple: I have some very good friends that have been very helpful to me as I navigated my own pescetarian path, and one of my greatest character flaws is that worry far too much about disappointing others while dishing out almost pathological neglect on myself. I don’t want them to be disappointed in me when they read this…though I’m sure they know me well enough to have been just waiting for this day to come. I will never be a “real” vegetarian. But I’m doing what I feel is best for me, and that’s all I can do.