Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pesky Lactating Vegetarian

I have considered giving up meat for years now. This has been much more of a journey than a spur of the moment decision.

Like many vegetarians, I wanted to give up meat for both ethical and health reasons. As it turns out the health reasons finally pushed me over the edge but the ethical reasons have bothered me for the last twenty years. I have always felt uneasy that animals are dying on my behalf but quite honestly it was "too difficult" to give it up for that reason alone. It is not that I don't love animals enough because I really do. It is just exceptionally difficult to suddenly change my way of eating overnight especially when all of your friends and family eat the same way.

I began my quest for all things natural because of my horrific birth experience. It started out as a passion for natural childbirth and morphed into natural fertility, pregnancy, birth, and parenting. I came across so much research as to the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle that it has come to the forefront of my consciousness.

That still wasn't enough to sell me however. In November I moved deeper into the midwest, which I affectionately refer to as the land of hamburgers and ice cream. It is utterly insane how middle America eats as a group, and as horrified as I was (and still am) by a typical American diet, I found the trap of convenience and instant gratification very easy to fall into.

So shortly after I moved here I was aware that I would look like a hippo in six months if I stayed lazy so I decided the first place to start was to give up animal flesh. As you can see in my list there are many more changes that I have made already and I am going to make in the future but meat is a natural choice because I care about animals anyway and I have been going in that direction for the last decade.

I have been a meat "avoider" for a long time. Despite the fact that I love eating out and I have always loved a good meat dish (Ruths Chris steak house.....yum) I still tried to choose fish 50% of the time or so.

I still eat fish, eggs, and dairy. I am just very pleased to say that I no mammals are going to die on my behalf. I am so proud to be able to tell my daughter that when she learns that people kill animals to eat since she absolutely adores animals. I believe all children are vegetarians naturally and I think most kids love animals so she will not be a hard sell when she learns we eat differently than most people.

I am going to have a hard time giving up fish someday but my goal is to be raw/vegan which means no animal products at all. The hardest part will be eating out. "Can I have a plate full of burger toppings please?" As of right now I can still eat out between fish, dairy, and eggs but it is still surprisingly difficult to find more than one selection at any given restaurant.

My next post or two will be about how the experience has worked for me so far. In the meantime, peace.


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