Saturday, April 27, 2013

My chaotic journey with Vegetarianism.

As I child I was always interested in being a Vegetarian. The idea of eating living animals was just appalling to me. I loved animals. I was always rescuing them. Possums, rabbits, baby birds pushed out of their nest, injured birds, and so on. I lived out in the country and enjoyed laying on haystacks as the cows below me ate from them. I couldn't understand how some animals were chosen to be pets and some were chosen to be food.

Trying to become a vegetarian was no easy feat as a child. My mother being a single mother wasn't against it, but her philosophy was I eat what the family eats or I buy it and make it myself. As a young child of course this wasn't possible. By the time I was an adult and had a son of my own. I had adapted. I wasn't a vegetarian however I did limit the intake of certain foods such as pork; that was the first meat to go followed by beef. I started cutting out GMOs, nitrates, preservatives,  food coloring, and most anything else that was "all natural" or "organic". We started eating more fish and doing "vegetarian Friday" to help cut back on our meat intake. This was going well and steady and I had planned on slowly weeding out the meat in our diet. 

Then I met my now husband, an absolute chicken lover. He would come over for dinner on my "vegetarian" nights and pout about there being no chicken. He would complain that he wasn't "full" or he didn't feel like he had eaten a meal. 
Slowly Vegetarian nights went back to Vegetarian Friday and then faded into the background as a distant memory. Then it got worse, he hated fish, so my salmon and river trout faded into obscurity and we began eating only Tilapia. Then slowly fish too faded into "Fish Friday" and on into the background of distant memory. Beef slowly reentered into our house, as did more pre-made meals. The nitrates were back, much to my dismay. Finally I made my now husband sit down and watch Food Inc. with me. It helped, kind of. I was able to bring back more vegetarian meals. 
Becoming a vegetarian was by no means as easy as I thought it would be even as an adult. Sure I had all the control over what was bought now, but still being raised with eating meat it just didn't really seem such a big deal if I ate chicken here or there, or stopped in at the local drive-thru for that hamburger. It's all to easy now days to make excuses to not become one. Who wants to eat salad every day? Not to many restaurants in my area offer Vegan choices, what am I suppose to do when I'm away from home?

Well it's not so hard. Now days a lot of restaurants do offer Vegan options, just maybe not the local Drive-Thru. Now days there are lots of resources out there for people wishing to live a more economical and moral life style. 

TOP 3 Reasons why I am going Vegetarian:

  1. Saving the Planet: Regardless of if you believe in Global Warming consider this: "A human population expected to grow by 3 billion, a shift in developing countries to eating more meat, and global consumption on track to double in 40 years point to the mother of all food crises down the road. How much food we grow is not just limited by the amount of available land but meat-eaters need far more space than vegetarians. A Bangladeshi family living off rice, beans, vegetables and fruit may live on an acre of land or less, while the average American, who consumes around 270 pounds of meat a year, needs 20 times that." also we must consider "Farming, which uses 70% of water available to humans, is already in direct competition for water with cities. But as demand for meat increases, so there will be less available for both crops and drinking. Rich but water-stressed countries such as Saudi Arabia, Libya, the Gulf states and South Africa say it makes sense to grow food in poorer countries to conserve their water resources, and are now buying or leasing millions of hectares of Ethiopia and elsewhere to provide their food. Every cow fattened in Gambella state in southern Ethiopia and exported to Abu Dhabi or Britain is taking the pressure off water supplies back home but increasing it elsewhere."
  2. World Hunger: "60% of the world's usable farmland is being stripped and destroyed by live stock. An acre of prime land can produce 40,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 pounds of carrots, 50,000 pounds of tomatoes; but only 250 pounds of beef. It takes 23 gallons of water to produce a pound of lettuce, 33 gallons for carrots, 4 gallons for apples. To produce of pound of Chicken it takes 815 gallons, for pork 1,630 gallons, and for a pound beef 2,500 gallons."
  3.  Disease: "According to Dr. Frank Hu, co-author of a new Harvard study on the topic, what is new “is the magnitude of risk associated with very moderate red meat consumption.” Predictably, the magnitude is greater. And the magnitude for processed meat is even greater than that.
    The Harvard study concluded that one serving of red meat a day increases the risk of early death by 13 percent. The same single daily serving of processed meat (like bacon or hot dog) increases that risk by 20 percent. And “one serving” means that little deck-of-cards sized lump that doesn’t satisfy anyone over the age of 10."

I can not tell you the reason why my husband came to me the other day and proclaimed that he wanted to be vegetarian. I can tell you I have been giddy and thrilled ever since he said it.  I'm making up menus and researching recipes.  Plus breaking out my old recipes and cook books that have long since been collecting dust in these recent years.

For more information about Vegetarianism and reasons why or why not to become one, please feel free to visit the links below.

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