Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vegetables are awesomespice

I'm afraid I've been thinking. Probably too much, which is dangerous. We all know this thanks to Gaston.

I've been thinking about a lot of controversial things.

Like being "green." Or, as I like to say, "a responsible human being." I think I have an anxiety disorder, because no matter what I'm doing, I can't stop thinking about all the harm I'm doing to the earth. I took a long shower this morning and I forgot to unplug my phone charger. Yesterday I ate a steak, and although I know that the beef came from a reputable source and so the cow was not subject to pain and suffering during its life, was ethically killed, and was not shipped over hundreds of miles to reach my table, I could not shake the awful feeling I had that I was eating an animal. I was eating flesh!
I have really started to cut back on meat because it really is better for the environment (and for your health.) I really like being vegetarian, but I sometimes do eat meat, for a few reasons.

1) I need some protein sometimes. I'm not a picky eater and I have few allergies, so I usually don't have a problem getting enough protein through other means. But sometimes it's just not happening any other way.

2) If I eat meat, though, it's going to be good meat. Not a marbled meat (which one should never eat. I love hot dogs, but they're just so bad for you...) I'll eat meat if I know it was raised and harvested responsibly and locally, and if it's lean and unprocessed.

3)I don't want to offend people. Someday, meat won't be such a big deal to people, but for now, if I go to some social event and I don't eat meat, the host often will be offended. Would they get offended if I didn't like vegetables? Probably not as much, but whatever. Eating is a social thing, so sometimes I'm just polite and have some meat so everyone feels comfortable.

I've found that people get strangely defensive when I try to explain that I don't eat meat. Then they criticize me if I do eat a little meat once I've said that I'm a vegetarian. This is my usual response to those people.

  • First, I never said YOU had to abstain from meat, I just said I wasn't. You don't have to justify why you eat it to me. I know.
  • Second, it's not a diet. I'm not eating to loose weight or gain weight. I'm eating to be healthy and conscious of those in the world around me. (Later I'm going to rant about dieting.)
  • Third, my arguments for vegetarianism are not any less valid if I do eat some meat. I may not be absolute, but at least I'm trying.

Vegetarianism is not a religion. I'm LDS, and we are advised in the word of wisdom to eat "very little meat." I feel that I am being more obedient to that now that I've changed my eating habits.

And you guys, there are so many awesome fruits and veggies. If you're a picky eater, I just don't know what to tell you. There is so much good stuff out there, meat is only one part of the food pyramid. Even if you still want to eat meat, try making it a more balanced part of your diet. Try being a vegetarian just one day out of the week to help reduce your carbon footprint.

Try some peas, carrots, jicama, strawberries, peaches, asparagus, broccoli, corn, potatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, apples, spinach, tomatoes, avocados, blueberries, grapes, oranges, pears... the list goes on and on. I rarely feel like I'm missing out on anything.

Sorry if this post seemed long and preachy. I feel that this is important, and it is something that troubles me often. I have a lot of other issues with food, but I'll save those for later. Thanks for reading my crazy mind...



Laura Anne said...

Meg, THANK YOU for your awesome post. I tried to be vegan...just for a week because my cousin HAS to eat that way and I wanted to try it to see what it was like. The first time I refused something (a cookie I think?) the person offering got kind of miffed about it and asked why I wouldn't eat it. When I told her what I was doing, she went on a HUGE rant about how it was bad for me and even went so far as to say that it was against the word of wisdom. She wouldn't leave it alone. I found it irritating. My cousin has had similar experiences to yours with people not being open minded about different ways of eating. Isn't it so interesting that we can't be tolerant about something as simple as the food someone chooses to eat or not eat? I think it is important to eat the way that is healthiest for you as an individual. I think that education also plays a role in tolerance and acceptance of different eating habits. Watching documentaries like Food Inc. have really opened up my eyes to what is going on in our society...and how consumerism is changing in a big way. Anyway, thanks for the post. loved it. :)

Alex said...

Meg, that was legit. I think our society mindlessly eats meat and doesn't think of the consequences. I think I'm going to take a leaf out of your book and eat less meat now.