November 12, 2013
I've been a vegetarian for something like 12 years. It started because I wasn't all that interested in meat. It evolved into a moral concern combined with a deep mistrust of a monstrous industry.
I should also explain that while I see many shades of gray in the real world (as one has to), I tend to view my own habits and traits in black or white. I either do something or I don't. I realize this might not be fair to myself or an accurate way to view ones own behavior. But, hey, I am who I am.
So on Sunday night I surprised myself. I ate meat. I was cooking steak for my carnivore son and it smelled incredibly good. Cutting it into pieces for Owen, I snuck a bite. It was yummy but was also seasoned with a healthy dash of personal failure. A couple hours later after being asked to cook more steak to put in Owens lunch I did it again.
I'm not sure how to classify this indiscretion. A change of life? A misstep? Again I have to be binary about it. It can't just be in transition. I can't just take time to makeup my mind. I have to be something.
Am I gong out to buy a steak tonight? Probably not. Am I resigned to a meatless life? I have no idea. Maybe I'll take some time and see how I feel. Though that's totally unlike. Me.
Posted by Chris at November 12, 2013 7:24 AM
I agree with you and cooked meatless for the better part of 3 years. But steak sure is good!
I'd say don't beat yourself up about it. But then again, I understand the dilemma of that now being how you work - ie the black/white. But yeah, steak is a big reason why I could never be vegetarian for long.
I gave up being a vegetarian for a variety of reasons, and I have to admit I feel guilty about eating meat from time to time. Of course, I still eat plenty of vegetables too, and plenty of meals without meat in them.
But I'm not an all or nothing personality :)
Black or white, everyone lives moment to moment. You weren't vegetarian in those moments where you ate meat. Are you now? You get to choose. Whatever your choice, it's right for the moment. If you want to keep being vegetarian, go forward with that intent. You'll learn if it's who you are now. Then be it. You can't fail at being who you are. Just my $0.02.
I was a vegetarian for a long time. I worried about not getting all the needed nutrition my body needed and I worked hard to make sure I had all my bases covered. One night I was at a friend's for dinner and they had made roast chicken. I craved that roast chicken so much that I could not follow or pay attention to the conversation. I figured this meant my body needed some, and I couldn't ignore such a strong urge. I had a piece.
It just so happened that I had been developing warts on my hands. I didn't know why, but just assumed it was a part of life. Several days after eating the chicken, the warts were gone.
I think your body knows better than your intellect what you need to sustain yourself.
My issue with everything one consumes in the United States is that it has a 90% chance of being part of an industry. I strive to eat local and organic as much as possible, and have been buying meat directly from farmers in bulk.
I have been supporting the paleo/primal/crossfit craze because it creates a broader market for local, organic, non-industrialized food in hopes that we can possible modify the model... at least enough to make eating with thought more mainstream.
Maybe this is a lesson in bringing grayness into your life instead of being black or white. I like the saying "The older I get, the less I know for sure."
My sister was a vegetarian for eight years and then one day, decided to try chicken again because she makes it for her boyfriend. She has slowly integrated that back into her diet. Also, her doctor told her it was good for her fibromyalgia issues. But she totally felt the same way at first; she was shocked that she even ate it!
Maybe, your body was just craving it? Like when you didn't drink beer for years?
MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Just kidding. Was veg for 20 years before pregnancy and breastfeeding and milk/soy allergies came and chicken snuck back into my diet. I'm 90/10 now. Welcome the to not quite veg not quite not veg club. Michael Pollan says it best: "Eat food, not so much, mostly plants."
I read something today that struck a chord in my black and white self's brain: "It's Thursday, quit believing you're who you used to be." Change happens. So does change back.
I find this fascinating.
Not really that you ate meat. I mean - most American people do. Whatever. Cooking steak smells good.
Just that you view yourself as black or white. I view myself as grey on most issues. I realize that, to someone who is black and white, us grey people can seem very wishy-washy. But really, I believe I just live my life with a ton of grace. I accept grace into my life, I dish out grace to others, and I grant myself grace when needed.
I work out. Except when I don't. I see myself as a democrat. Except when I don't. I'm a follower of Christ. Except when I'm running off into the desert with my inheritance. I'm a non-drinker, except when I have a couple. I don't cuss, except when I do. The black and white just doesn't make sense to me.
I'm just me. And I live my life. And I try to be loving and to be kind. But sometimes, I'm not.
It's all grey.