Friday, February 17, 2012

To Be or Not To Be...

I was asked yesterday if I was a vegetarian and I really wanted to answer yes.  Yes I am.  But I am not.  What I am is a person who has drastically reduced the quantity of meat that I consume.  But I am left questioning why I wanted to answer yes to that question.  
Over the past two years my life has completely evolved in terms of my food choices.  Rather than rewrite what I have written about here before, to sum it up, reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and watching Food Inc. changed my life.  I can no longer look at meat the same way.  Unless it is farm raised, grass fed (which is very hard to find and even harder to afford) I don’t want any part of it.  I refuse out of solidarity with the animals who live their lives in pathetic conditions, unhealthy and unhappy.  Why would I want to contribute to the propagation of this inhumane industry?  Why would I want to eat meat from a sick animal?  Why would I want to raise my own inflammation levels through the digestion of this meat?  Bottom line is that I just don’t.  
I don’t miss eating meat.  If I am out with friends or as a family, I will choose a home-made veggie burger over a cheeseburger any day.  In fact, I discovered that the veggie burger at Five Guys (not a burger, but veggies and cheese on a roll) is very good!  I am on a quest to find the best veggie burger.  So far my vote goes to a small vegetarian restaurant in New Milford.

I am able to get my protein elsewhere.  I regularly eat eggs and beans.  My favorite breakfast is two eggs and refried pinto beans with salsa.  My favorite lunch is Sami’s bakery’s millet lavash bread used as a tortilla with black beans, muenster cheese, spinach and corn layered in between.  I still have my green smoothies as often as possible - with my goal being every day.  I have learned how to make a great veggie burger with both lentil and chickpea.  I drink my coffee with more milk.  When I make a meal with meat for the girls, I choose antibiotic free/hormone free meat always.  For me,  I load up on more veggies sprayed with Bragg’s Amino Acids and my favorite jasmine rice.  It requires a bit more thought but I enjoy finding and cooking new recipes.


Maybe I am ready to answer that question with a yes.  Maybe I can give it a live meat free for as long as it works for me.

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