To eat or not to eat, that is the question!”
I was brought up on a meat and potato diet. Every meal would have some form of meat, beef or chicken mostly.
When my wife and I got married, my first job was as a butcher.
I was bringing home so much meat at the time….steaks, pork chops, sausages, hamburger, you name it.
I’d actually run home from work with a backpack full of meat (only to discover 2 hernias and a badly damaged discs in my back months later)
Still we were living the life, off on our own for the first time, BBQ’s, fondues and bacon for breakfast.
The heavy feeling we were having might have been from the extra pounds we were putting on from this new found freedom or it also could have been from the fat saturating our veins from the massive amounts of meat we were ingesting.
It didn’t take long for this honeymoon phase to end before we started looking into eating a more balanced vegetarian style diet.
So we decided to give up meat but we were kind of like alcoholics falling off the wagon every 2 weeks or so.
We went back and forth many times, even going vegan for 6 months.
Eventually, after a “Live” lobster episode that I won’t go into, vegetarianism stuck for my wife. Her decision to go vegetarian was based on animal rights and the environment. She’s been vegetarian for 25+ years now.
Whenever I was “on”, it was for health reasons, not so much the animal rights issue I confess.
With my wife now a committed vegetarian and the cook in our family, I couldn’t help notice that my meals lacked a certain ingredient.
But that was fair enough, I understood and didn’t expect a vegetarian to cook meat. I’d get my fix at restaurants and burger joints anyways.
During this time I noticed the meals my wife was preparing were getting better and better, she was becoming an awesome chef. I wasn’t missing meat at the dinner table at all.
I’d try yet again to be vegetarian…
The main struggle for me was when we went out, at times we had to revert to fast food and there was nothing out there that catered to our exclusive group.
Sure, you could get a salad or bagel, but the choices were very limited. Not like they are today.
I wavered but tried my best to eat clean.
We then got news about a good friend of ours, who loved his meat, having stage 4 colon cancer. He was in his early 50’s when he died.
I started watching many documentaries about meat vs vegetarian diets. I also watched some about factory farming.
According to the United Nations, the number of industrial livestock sent to slaughter each year is equivalent to eight times the human population on planet Earth. At no other time in history have so many animals died or suffered so much throughout their lives.
This issue really stuck with me, it seemed that Factory farming is the main cause of animal suffering and abuse. It hit a chord with me, I didn’t like what I saw.
It didn’t seem to matter to me when I was younger, but my mindset was changing as I got older. I believe I was seeing the world through a new, more mature, set of eyes.
We joined several animal charities and tried to practice what we preached, my wife certainly did.
I think I can say that I’m on a good path now, it’s not a perfect path. But it is a path that I perceive to be the right direction for my footprint on this earth.
I haven’t eaten red meat or pork for years now. Chicken used to be a favorite of mine until I saw what was happening in the factory farms, so I don’t eat chicken either.
I do eat eggs, but what we do now is drive to a place called “Bearbrook Farm“ and pick up our eggs there. All the animals are local and roam free.
I also stopped drinking milk and now drink Almond milk. I cut cream out of my coffee as well.
I’m trying to source where I can get cheese from a non factory farm establishment.
Finally, I do confess I eat fish and seafood. Maybe I’ll give it up one day, I don’t know. Right now I feel like I’m taking baby steps.
I’m what you call a Pescatarian or as my wife calls me “ A Pestcatarian”.
By that definition, a pescatarian is someone who chooses to eat a vegetarian diet, but who also eats fish and other seafood. It’s a largely plant-based diet of whole grains, nuts, legumes, produce and healthy fats, with seafood playing a key role as a main protein source. Many pescatarians also eat dairy and eggs.
I feel better physically and emotionally, I know it’s not perfect but I’m trying to do what is karmically correct.
What to “eat or not to eat” is an individual decision each person has to make for themselves.
I’m certainly not a “red meat” snob thumbing my nose at every person with a burger in their hand.
But I do feel a little investigation on where our food comes from and which corporations are pulling the strings could go a long way in making sensible decisions.