I have finally made the decision to become vegetarian. I have been flirting around with the idea for several years, since my teens, but I have always thought that becoming vegetarian would be something that would make my life more difficult, that it would be complicated. I have gone through phases of not eating certain things, red meat being a major one, but I have always ended up back in the realm of the carnivore.
But lately, I have been feeling gross about eating meat. The past couple of years I have felt extremely guilty about wasting any morsel of meat – I’ve actually probably eaten more meat than ever for guilt of wasting the flesh of the animal that died to be my dinner. I’ve also found that eating meat has become just something I do, not because I particularly enjoy it, but because it was easy. More and more I am wondering why it is that humans should have such absolute use of animals to the extent of torturing and killing them for our food. I am also increasingly concerned about the environment, and a vegetarian diet is much more eco-friendly than one that contains meat.
Not long ago, I began looking into what becoming vegetarian would cost me in terms of time and energy. Just as I was thinking about this, I discovered that Mike, one of my regular visiters here is vegetarian. I asked him about it, and he gave me a couple of web resources to check out. Then I looked up onto my tallest bookshelf and remembered a book I bought almost 10 years ago called, aptly, “Becoming Vegetarian.” I took the time to read through it, and as it happens, there is no reason why being vegetarian should take up any more of my time or energy – and it might even give me more of both! So, I thought about it, and I decided that I would try it out. I began by going to the store and buying some wonderful fresh produce, some tofu, nuts, lentils, rice, beans, peas, fruit, berries, and lots of other great items like vegetable stock, almond butter, and prepared hummus. I decided that I don’t have an ethical problem with eating animal products at this time, so long as the animals are raised on free range farms, so I will continue to eat eggs and some milk products, although this will take a bit of effort to find milk products that are not typical dairy cow products. Those poor cows that never see the light of day!
I have been enjoying cooking vegetarian meals the past few days, and I am very happy with my decision. The one thing that I am concerned about is sushi! I do enjoy sushi every once in a while, and I also like cooking with salmon. I know that some vegetarians do incorporate fish into their diets… but I’m not sure the justification for that from an ethical perspective. Does anyone else know more? I wouldn’t consider someone who ate fish five nights a week a vegetarian! – but what about once in a while? Can a vegetarian cheat a little bit here and there? Like at Christmas? I may not be able to resist a couple slices of turkey at Christmas dinner! How do vegetarians manage with traditional holiday meals?
Anyway, the more I discover about vegetarianism, the more I will post about it. I will likely also post some recipes that I find along the way. Wish me luck!