On becoming a vegetarian. Again.

I thought for today’s post it would be interesting to take a look at what I was doing 10 years ago. It seems crazy that I can do this on my blog. It is more than 10 years old at this point!

10 years ago I was contemplating becoming vegetarian. Again. Crazy, because here I am, exactly 10 y ears later, contemplating the same thing. I have been having Buddhist guilt (I don’t think there really is such a thing but there kind of is, if you know what I mean) about eating meat. I know that it is probably wrong for me to eat meat but I struggled with it because for a long time I really, truly didn’t think it was wrong. I think that for this to stick it needs to feel like the right thing to do in my heart, not just my head. And in my heart I didn’t think it was wrong.

However, I have had a change of heart in the past few months. The big turnaround was a few weekends ago when we first visited some cows on a free-range beef farm, and then the next day when we went to the fair. I forced myself at the fair to wander through the farm animal sections to see if it would have an affect on my feeling about eating meat.

It did. When we got to the area where there were pigs we were greeted, first, with this sign.

IMG_6439
Meet your meat

I have to say that I was not offended by the sign but it really made me think! It made me think about whether I really want to meet and make friends with my food. Or do I want to just go to the store and buy nicely packaged products and pretend that this wasn’t a living being at one time. As I thought more about it, I realized that it is wrong for me to do that, to buy the packages and go about my business pretending that this creature died for my nutritional benefit – and probably suffered greatly at the hand of a factory farm! The next question for me becomes, “if it is wrong to buy packaged meat at the store, am I willing to kill my own food?” The answer to that question, for me, is no. I couldn’t do it. I don’t do death very well as it is, I know myself. I know I wouldn’t be able to kill my food. I know people who do it and I have the greatest respect for them.

So here I am, a vegetarian again. With a new-found resolve. I have been vegetarian for all of 3 weeks now. Give or take a dinner or two.

 

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8 thoughts on “On becoming a vegetarian. Again.

  1. When I was a boy, probably about 10, my mom had me watch a documentary on PBS with her about how we get our meat. She told me that it’s important to be in touch with that, because creatures have to die so that we can have hamburgers and pork chops. So I watched scenes from the slaughterhouse and asked in horror why we just didn’t eat other things. Her answer has always stuck with me. She said that we are fortunate to have those choices, it says we live in a prosperous society — but there were times in America when we hunted and even raised food animals because without them we wouldn’t have enough.

    I’m against patently inhumane treatment of food animals. But I accept that we have them. And given the weird food sensitivities I’ve developed in middle age, if it weren’t for beef, pork, and chicken, I couldn’t get enough nutrition.

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    1. I agree with your mom – I think this is why I will never be in the “militant vegetarian” camp. Humans were made to be Omnivores. I just can’t buy into the idea that eating meat is wrong. But I definitely think it’s important to know where it came from.

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  2. I read this originally a few days ago when you posted and it has played on my mind a bit.

    On Sunday evening we had a lot of friends around and a couple of us cooked. Not eating meat has become so habitual for me that at this stage it does not even occur to me to try and change dinner plans or my “menu” to accommodate others. By coincidence all the people there except one were vegetarians. Me and him had a long conversation about meat. He is a big fan of chicken and I told him that if he is eating meat he needs to branch out. I told him of my time raising chickens and sheep and having a hand in their slaughter. I was asked by many of the horrified vegetarians in the room if this is why i no longer eat meat. I have raised, killed cooked and eaten animals that have lived on my property. I knew they “had a good life” before I ate them and it had little to do with my lifestyle change. I just wanted to stop eating meat.
    I feel better for it physically and mentally but I truly believe that if people are going to eat meat that they should fully understand where it comes from and be happy with the conditions that their choice brings to the world.
    In Ireland we see cow, sheep, deer and chickens running wild in the field – these same animals end up on the stove. When it occurred to me that I don’t see pigs in fields or woods I stopped eating pork – that was the first to go.
    I’m not militant about this stuff but get a bit tiered of answering questions about where do i get my protein 😀

    sorry for the rant !

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    1. You are welcome to rant on my blog any time!! 😀

      Yeah, It’s weird, I feel like I should have this blanket sadness for the animals that have died to be food but I just can’t be. I feel like that is the reason I am supposed to be a vegetarian but it really isn’t, I honestly don’t care if people eat meat and I don’t think it is wrong, For me, the “wrong” is the way meat is presented to us in the supermarket, and in the way the animals are treated in factory farms – like they are just a commodity and not a living creature. It kind of took awhile for me to get to that place, but that is where I’m at with it. My friend raises ducks for food and I have to kind of chuckle when people are horrified when she talks about slaughtering them for the freezer. What do they think happened to that chicken breast that they ate for dinner last night that they bought at the store all nicely packaged?!?

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