Well, at the beginning of the year, I decided to, at least temporarily, cut the cord (or maybe the better word is bridle? leash?) on digesting animals. If you've known me at all, you aren't really all that surprised... I stopped eating cows back in 1999 (France, mad cow... totally makes sense) and last year stopped with the chickens, then had difficulty swallowing turkey.
It's not that I have some sort of moral objection to eating anything with a face, or that had parents. As you all know, I'm not above eating my share of creatures. However, I do have a number of objections about how animals are raised, what they are fed/force-fed, what they are injected with, and how animal meat is processed. I find the whole mass-market, high-production, dangerous-quality meat industry disgusting and unacceptable. Raising animals in cramped, packed, inhumane conditions that require them to be given antibiotics to ward off disease bred from such environments, then force-feeding them stuff that they aren't naturally meant to consume and injecting them with growth hormones for the purposes of bulking them up is unconscionable. The meat packing industry is so frought with under-regulation and "self-regulation," with an emphasis on profit and not product, that under-skilled and under-paid laborers work in sub-standard factory conditions that spread disease and cross-contamination.
We're biologically programmed to be able to consume meat. (Check out your teeth. Those sharp ones at the front? Yep, those allow for meat eating.) But is this what was intended? I suspect not.
So, as a bit of an experiment, I'm ditching meat for at least 6 months. From there, we'll see. The only exception would be wild-caught fish.
And, so far at least (one month and a skintch in), I don't miss it. I've had fish once, and that was fine, but I don't find myself needing that either.
What I'm learning, is that that vegetarianism requires a little more thought about food, unless you want to eat just total garbage out of a mac-and-cheese box, which I don't. I'm learning that I like mushrooms, and that I can cook lentils. I get the protein I need, and enough fiber. I have to be careful not to overdo it on cheese (a perpetual weakness, lactose intolerance or no) but as long as I don't purchase a lot, well, I can't eat it.
So, there's that...
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