Sunday, March 21, 2010


Over the course of the last year or so I have gradually become more and more inclined toward a vegetarian diet. Aside from a few cravings for steak during my first pregnancy eight years ago (!) I have never been a huge fan of meat. Not to say I have not liked what I’ve had, but I can easily picture living without it.
There is so much evidence in current research that suggests that meat is not at all good for the environment and a fair amount that claims it is not even good for our health. To be fair, the claims do not suggest that one has to be an all-out vegan to be saving the environment or living a healthy lifestyle (I think the two should always go hand in hand), but we should be aware of where the meat we do eat is coming from and how it was processed/treated. Locally raised, free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, grass fed is the best option to satisfy both environmentalists and health nerds like myself. I know I can find this at my local health foods store or the local green market. But I am too scared to look at the price tag. And yet if I consider how infrequently we do consume meat in our house maybe it would not be so bad to try using those as our source.
I personally have pretty much cut red meat out of my own diet. The kids still have beef hot dogs now and then and there are those infrequent social occasions where I feel that I have to eat the meat or risk offending the cook (thank you, Lutheran church for developing that strong sense of guilt in me). I have to say though, on several of those occasions I have felt pretty icky the next day. Not morally or anything silly like that, just icky in the tummy since I am not used to it anymore. I have not bought any beef other than hot dogs for the kids (nitrate free uncured hot dogs mind you) for over a year I’d say.
If you are tut-tutting about the iron, I can hear you from here. Actually ,my iron has been fine. I have donated blood several times this year. The two times I was turned away for low iron, it was well within the range of normal, just not as high as they want it for donation. There are plenty of sources of iron other than red meat (insert the rolling of the eyes I have to do for my Mom).
We have been eating a fair amount of chicken and fish. I try to find the free-range hormone-free chicken. And I keep forgetting which fish is better to buy (I need to get an ipod with that app - or just print the list to keep in my purse). I think it is the wild fish since they feed farmed fish the same corn feed they feed chickens and cattle. The kids love fish.
So I need to do some research in the different types of vegetarianism, like is there a name for vegetarians who eat mostly birds and fish but will under certain levels of pressure cave and eat the four legged animals? Should I make an announcement to all that I am no longer into eating four legged creatures? It always seems like it is too late when I sit down and the pork is there in front of me. Or do I just stick with not making a commitment just in case I can’t resist the smell of corned beef next year and risk being called a hypocrite?

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