It’s March 6, 2011. Day 06 without meat. I am not calling myself a vegetarian, yet. I don’t really think it’s fair to call myself a vegetarian when 7 short days ago I was eating whatever I wanted to, but I’m trying it out. My short-term goal is the month of March. After that, I’m hoping to make it to the end of July. If I can get through BBQ season – I can get through anything!
On February 28th, I made the decision to be a vegetarian. I made the decision to stop eating meat. It was something I’ve wanted to do since I was little but the time has never been right. I finally thought what’s stopping me? Was it my love of a good meat-and-potatoes meal? Was it the fact that a $4 pack of lean ground beef made a quick Hamburger Helper meal? What was stopping me now, now that I was on my own and making my own meals? Nothing, that’s what.
So I did a little research. I hauled out some Nursing books and looked into the vitamins and minerals that I might miss out on, and the foods that could naturally replace them. I read about common deficiencies that affect vegans and vegetarians and then I starting thinking about what I wanted to cut out. I thought about the animals. No more cows. No more pigs (Think of E.B. White’s Wilbur!). No turkeys or chickens. No moose. No more of that fake over processed bits of animal that make up deli meats, pepperoni, ground beef, HOT DOGS! No meat. I did decide to continue drinking milk, eating milk products and eggs, in an interest of maintaining a healthy diet, and my sanity. I guess this makes me a lacto-ovo-vegetarian.
So in the past six days, I have already met challenge against and temptation from my new diet. Kevin said it was a stupid idea and he didn’t support it at all. My mother pretty much agreed. When I invited my Dad over earlier he said, “If I bring a chicken burger, will you eat it?”. (I said no, but it was hard.) I can already tell that this whole vegetarian thing isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Also, I work in a grocery store. Today I rang in 8 barbeque chickens from the deli and 1 raw one from the meat department. The raw one just grossed me out (which is normal) but those other 8 just smelled delicious. Cluck cluck, poor chickens.
There is a light at the end of this tunnel of transition, however. Kev and I made spaghetti a couple days ago. Usually this would consist of Ragu and ground beef over pasta. When I asked Kevin how we should split up the sauce so that I would have enough and he would still have lots to mix with the beef he was frying. He said “If you weren’t a freak we could just use one pot!”. After a look that could cut rock, he came up with a solution and we moved on. We finished preparing supper, ate, chatted, and were about to clean up the mess. He put some leftover pasta together with the meat sauce for him to eat the next day, but before mixing them he said, “Do you want some of these noodles before I put meat on them?”. Finally! That made my night! He put my leftovers and his leftovers away without argument or comment.
I might be able to do this, after all.
I still have a long way to go. Luckily I have my best friend Sash (a vegetarian for 4 years!) who is rooting me on and I’m helping her too, to learn about the nutritional and health aspects. She helps me navigate the labels and tells me about food options I might not think of. Each vegetarian saves more than 100 animals in 1 year!
Please don’t take this blog the wrong way. I’m not trying to convince you that it’s right. I’m not telling you to stop eating meat or trying to convince you that eating it is wrong. I’m just sharing my experience so far. I don’t know if this will last another day, another week, or forever. But I will share it with you, either way.