When having dinner with someone new for the first time, I’m often asked:
So how long have you been a vegetarian?
A: 16 years.
Where do you get your protein from?
A: From plants, seeds, nuts, grains, yogurt and protein shakes..mmmkay?
A: I was never a fan of meat for reasons I was unable to articulate as a child but ate it anyway because my parents made me feel like I had to. Then when I was eleven a conversation with a Hindu girl changed my life. Vegetarianism was apart of her religion – her belief system. I’m not Hindu but abstaining from meat is what I resonate with similar to a religion. From that day forward red meat was off the table. A few months later chicken was nixed after finding a tendon in my chicken nugget. That Thanksgiving I gave up turkey after spotting a vein. I’m a vegetarian because I cannot get passed eating a dead animal. I don’t consider it edible and I do not condone factory farming.
Do you or will you cook it?
It makes me uncomfortable to see or handle meat – both raw and cooked. I’ve prepared my boyfriend chicken twice on special occasions but it made me uneasy and put me in a bad mood (childishly stated, admittedly). I am extremely conflicted on what meat and how much I will be willing to feed my future family one day. Despite family demands, if my stomach and heart have a very difficult time cooking meat – whatdoyoudo?
I have the “origin of vegetarianism” conversation often and pleasant, inquisitive conversation almost always follows. The one disturbing reaction came from a holistic chiropractor during a Nutrition Response Testing session last fall. He told me I would live 5 – 15 years less than people who ate meat and tried to sell me a supplement made from a cow’s thyroid to help with fatigue (Read: Meat pills!). To each their own, doc. I expected a little more open-mindedness from a “holistic” chiropractor who practiced Nutrition Response Testing.
Moving forward, I support Meatless Mondays and when prompted, I do and will encourage anyone who has the means to stop supporting / stop buying meat from factory farms and kindly let them know that “organic’ or “humanely raised” meat is a better option. For those who aren’t clear on the practices of Factory Farming:
Factory farms dominate U.S. food production, employing abusive practices that maximize agribusiness profits at the expense of the environment, our communities, animal welfare, and even our health.
Far from the idyllic, spacious pastures that are shown in advertisements for meat, milk, and eggs, factory farms typically consist of large numbers of animals being raised in extreme confinement. Animals on factory farms are regarded as commodities to be exploited for profit. They undergo painful mutilations and are bred to grow unnaturally fast and large for the purpose of maximizing meat, egg, and milk production for the food industry. Their bodies cannot support this growth, which results in debilitating and painful conditions and deformities.
The factory farming industry puts incredible strain on our natural resources. The extreme amount of waste created by raising so many animals in one place pollutes our land, air, and water. Residents of rural communities surrounding factory farms report high incidents of illness, and their property values are often lowered by their proximity to industrial farms. To counteract the health challenges presented by overcrowded, stressful, unsanitary living conditions, antibiotics are used extensively on factory farms, which can create drug-resistant bacteria and put human health at risk. SOURCE
Tonight’s Dinner In Honor of Meatless Monday:
Organic Spicy Cucumber Soup
Did you celebrate?!