Friday, July 30, 2010

Eat Your Veggies!

Last week, on July 22, I watched Food, Inc. ( for the second time. If you haven't seen this movie yet, I highly recommend that you do. It explains our current food system in a detailed way that is both engaging and easy to understand. And if you don't think that is relevant or important for you, then I am curious to know how you are able to live without food.

After watching this movie again, I decided that I wasn't doing enough to fulfill my desire to boycott factory farms. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I aim to eat meat a couple of times a week at the most. On reason I do this is because of the many studies that highlight the benefits of a mainly vegetarian diet

Another reason is because of the ever-increasing usage of chemicals in mainstream meat products and the strain on the environment that copious amounts of animal waste creates. However, despite these good-intentioned reasons, I regularly find myself compromising and eating meat more often than I want to. There are several reasons for this: laziness, attempts to make things more convenient for others when I eat with them, leftovers from my roommates, etc.

So, I've decided that in order to take this commitment more seriously, it would be a good idea for me to take it to the next level for a bit. From July 23 to Aug 23, I will be eating vegetarian (with the exception of sustainable seafood every once in awhile). No chicken, no beef, no pork, no wild meat, etc, etc.

I've never actually been completely vegetarian for a length of time. I've been mostly vegetarian and partly vegetarian and not even close to vegetarian. I feel I should round out my experience. However, I fully expect that by the end of this month, I will be ready and happy to return to eating sustainable meat on occasion.

I have no moral qualms about eating meat. It's part of the natural cycle of life, or the food chain, if you prefer. (At the same time, I have no qualms at all about those who eat vegetarian. In fact, I'm very thankful that some people abstain from meat completely since others consume it so excessively.) I also believe that animals provide many benefits on farms, such as fertilizing the soil, managing natural grasses and cultivating and tilling the soil with their hooves.

Anyway, it is now July 30—my 8th day of my vegetarian journey. And, although I imagined that it would be an easy transition from doing something most of the time to doing something all of the time, that is not necessarily the case. I haven't had vivid dreams of sultry summer barbeques or anything, but I have been craving meat...not because I'm not getting enough protein, but simply because my mind is rebelling against the restriction that I can't have meat (for now).

I've been craving things I don't even really eat—salisbury steak, baked ham, anything meaty. But these cravings last a few minutes at most and then they dissipate. I fully expect that I'll last until Aug 23 and then after that, I hope I'll be able to eat meat more sparingly and with more determination to boycott factory farms.

Throughout this journey, I will have the support of some great vegetarian recipes. These are the type of recipes that meat lovers will devour without even missing the meat.

I'll be posting one of those (Baked Falafels) in the coming week. Have a good weekend and remember to eat your veggies!

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