Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If I didn’t like meat so much, I’d be a vegetarian.

The bloody, gory facts that surround the meat on my plate really do disturb me. The more I learn about the species-centric focus animal-for-food raising, the more I wish I could turn off my “meat tooth.” These unfortunate animals, born to be killed and eaten, are forced to live with no consideration to the quality of their short lives. Nutritionally, I am aware of the high-fat, high cholesterol and growth-hormone laden nature of meat. Yet even with all this evidence stacked against meat, I find I can’t turn away from it.

You see, it tastes too good. The barbecued ribs, the juicy steaks, the chewy pork chops, the thick hamburgers, the freshly-roasted turkeys with dressing, no amount of tofu can replace these. I know, because I tried.

A few years ago I had a horrible dream, too horrific to recount the details. Suffice to say it had something to do with ravenous cannibals and the tender flesh of my then-first grade daughter. My mind, in its mysterious and disturbing ways, portrayed the act of butchering in such detail that I can still picture it. Appalling. I took this as a sign, a big reminder of “do unto others” and other moral lessons. It was time for me to stop eating meat. For six weeks I just said “no” to meat. Morally, I knew I would benefit. Picking through the greens on my plate, I could hardly wait to reap the health benefits too.

Vegetarianism equated hungry and grumpy for me. Traveling as often I do, I discovered that the vegetables I ordered in unfamiliar restaurants generally were treated to the same preservatives and chemicals as the meat I had refused in part because of chemicals and preservatives. My choices for lunch and dinner were basically salad, starch, salad, frozen vegetables, starch, or salad. Salad that arrived in various shades of brown and grey did little to satisfy. Without the distraction of a little grilled chicken on top of the romaine or some crumbled bacon on the spinach, my taste buds drifted off, never signaling to my stomach or my brain that food had arrived.

I have compromised my moral standing for my gastronomic preferences, a fact that doesn’t make me proud. But at least I’m not hungry anymore.


LJ said...

Having just seen The Lion King, I know that it's OK to kill and eat herd animals. Apparently, they don't even mind that much. I think it has something to do with the circle of life. As long as you are returned to nature when you die everything is cool. So don't get cryogenically preserved, and enjoy your veal stuffed lambchops. I know I will.

Judabear said...

Enjoy I will. And don't overcook my steaks please. I like them to still be mooing.