OK, that makes very little sense. But if you’re like me (and why wouldn’t you be?), you have decided that you should have maybe a little less MEAT in your diet. So this post is about Meat, and consuming meat, more or less. Preferably less.
Maybe you just want to feel healthier. Maybe you are concerned about consuming all the additives, pesticides, fertilizer byproducts and other poisons found commonly in meat products. Maybe you saw Earthlings or otherwise have been alerted to the reality of meat production and, shall we say, want to make a small difference yourself. Or perhaps you just might feel happier by not chomping from the top of the food chain every meal you have.
So some logical questions arise. Can you not eat meat and still be healthy, getting all the nutrients you need? (Yes.) Would you be ostracized and considered weird for declining meat? (No.) Is there anything wrong with not eating meat? (No!) How do I go about eating less meat? (Read on.)
But first, a little more about me. (You’re so welcome!) Shortly after high school, I experimented with going vegetarian. At the time, it was a matter of principle and conscientious thought. I had decided that I wasn’t comfortable killing the animals myself, and therefore it wasn’t right to just turn my back and allow others to do the deed for me, then enjoy the hamburger (or whatever) as if I wasn’t responsible. So I took a stand, and made it a point to avoid meat products.
Since I scrupulously avoided all meat byproducts too, I guess I was a Vegan. I didn’t even wear leather shoes or belts. After a year or so of this, I just sort of gave it up. You have to be pretty vigilant, always on guard for the meat stuff. Heck, marshmallows are even off the list, since they contain gelatin, which comes from… well, you get the idea.
After that year, I once again became a carnivore. Omnivore, even. Only in the last year or two has the whole meat thing re-entered my radar. Not for any one particular reason; I do enjoy being a bit more conscious about my food choices. I feel healthier. It costs less. And I don’t mind not blindly supporting the mass farming of animals, while reducing my personal eco-footprint.
Today I’m generally avoiding meat in my diet, and occasionally I do enjoy a steak or burger-based meal. I really like free-range chicken, and love fish. So now I am a Flexitarian. Or Opportunitarian. I certainly am not preachy about it (OK, aside from this long post), and you should do whatever you want to. But IF you’ve read this far, you might be interested in some of these helpful links:
For learning the how-tos, vegetarian “starter kits” are probably helpful. Here are a handfull:
- http://www.freevegkit.com/ http://vegforlife.org/howto.htm
For more information about the benefits of veganism, John Robbins’ books Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution are terrific to start with.