May 20, 2010

the conflict continues: why i'm still a vegetarian

A few months ago, I gave a few of you the impression that I was rethinking my vegetarian ways.

I've moved on now from doing the "vegetarian thing" to calling myself a vegetarian. And being proud of it.

Admittedly, I have slipped up a couple of times; tried a bite of famous tuna salad here, accidentally taken a bite of baked potato with a bacon crumble there; but for all intents and purposes, I have been a vegetarian for a solid seven months.

Over the course of the last year (since ditching processed foods and eating mostly organics), the headaches I used to get frequently have completely dissipated. Overall, I feel better. Aside from the physical bonuses, though, there are the parts of vegetarianism that simply make me feel like a better person. No longer are my own habits directly causing animal pain or suffering. My food choices are healthy for my own body as well as the world around me: I am not directly contributing to environmental destruction due to factory farming.

I don't say any of this with an air of self-righteousness or a feeling that I'm "holier-than-thou;" instead, I say it to reaffirm all the reasons I've made this decision and continue to live this lifestyle. Because really, the only person I need to justify any of this to is myself.

A couple of months ago, I had every intention of going back to eating meat, or at least eating fish. But for now, I am sticking with this vegetarian thing. I'm going to give it a good year until I revisit the question. (Granted, I may take fish oil pills in the meantime to get more Omega 3 fatty acids, but... that's a step I feel that I can justify for the health of my brain.)

Not to mention, I just picked up a prereleased copy of "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals" (Herzog). Ten pages in and I'm feeling pretty confident about my meatless lifestyle.


Lindsey said...

I think we have talked since this post, but I have to give my two cents (and I know you aren't judging us meat eaters) :)

I definitely agree that removing processed foods from our diet gets rid of headaches, sluggishness and gives us more energy and strength. We have also tried to work process foods out of our diet and see a significant change.

I do not, however, feel sorry for the cows or chickens :) Kyle and I usually try to buy meat from a local meat market. Luckily, Oklahoma offers plenty of meat from local farmers and ranchers. The book you are eating is interesting- a friend of mine was talking about her mission trip to Thailand and explaining that dog (yes, our poor pets) is a delicacy over there and it is rude if you do not eat it when it is served. I see this as a direct reflection of the food that is primarily available to that particular country. The same can be seen around the world. The US is (or was) mostly grazing land, therefore, cows, chickens, pig, buffalo, etc. is our primary source of protein.

Now, if we were to discuss [over-]consumption, that would be an entirely different and lengthy post...

Lindsey said...

I meant to add 'congrats' on doing this for 7 months. It is definitely difficult to do and is a great reflection of self-determination and paying attention to your body. The same goes with training for running the half marathon- no easy achievement!