Yeah, feel free to click on the link and listen to 1/3 of moe.’s 40+ minute monster instrumental ode to MEAT as you read my M post. (Their guitarist was a vegan for many years at the point when they recorded this song, btw.)
This is a born-again meat-eater’s story. Or a recovering vegetarian’s story. Not advocating one way or the other, and I hope to offend no one!
I meandered down the path to vegetarianism in my early 20s. It wasn’t a stretch – I had grown up in a Kosher household (no pork products) and it was a fairly health-conscious household to boot. My parents were reading labels, avoiding BHT and eating tofu way before it was fashionable to do so.
I moved to New York City at age 23, and it was the perfect storm of a) living alone and cooking for myself for the first time b) not really knowing how to cook meat and c) NYC – a bazillion restaurants featuring every cuisine you could dream up. I slowly ate less and less meat, until I wasn’t eating it at all. And that was OK – I hadn’t been enjoying the feeling of über-fullness after ingesting red meat anyway. I knew it was a healthier way to go.
(Oh, here is part 2 of 3 – if you are hungry for more)
So vegetarianism began as a social thing – I was young and busy and wasn’t going to mess around cooking elaborate meat dishes for myself. No, grab a bean burrito and head out the door to party! Then it evolved into a health thing. And as I began reading more about it, it came full circle as I became aware of the environmental and ethical implications. I found my nutrition niche, I guess you could say, a few years into it: I became a lacto-ovo pescatarian. Meaning I would eat milk, eggs and fish – but nothing else with a face or parents.
My husband – omnivore – is an amazing cook. He probably cooks vegetarian food better than I do – but he also enjoys a big ol’ steak on the grill, so at times, we are often running a restaurant here in our house: 3 different menus between him, myself and our daughter. We rarely eat packaged or processed foods, but we all have our hang-ups, allergies, and things we will and will not touch.
On our 10th anniversary, we went back to the Inn where we were married, and the chefs there wanted to create a menu for us. I knew whatever they made would be amazing, so I told them I wouldn’t be opposed to eating items with meat stock in them.
It was there that I was introduced to applewood-smoked bacon. Or as I like to call it, my gateway meat. After 16 years of “no thanks, I don’t eat meat”, I was ravenous for…bacon. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat a mainly plant-based diet, but I realized I had been missing certain flavors that just cannot be recreated by meat-substitutes. I am still trying to be responsible and sensible about it – grass-fed and organic when possible, still in moderation.
How about you? Have you fallen off any wagons? Here’s just a little more MEAT (part 3 of 3)