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Green Room - Week 5 - Day 9

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***

I was thinking about this last night, how I hadn't really talked about something online yet. Which is weird, since with me, I pretty much talk about everything sooner or later. :)

Cynthia decided to try going vegetarian a couple months ago for environmental and ethical reasons. I wasn't going to do it, but especially on the weeks where it's just the two of us, making two meals really isn't practical and on thinking about it, we really weren't eating that much meat to begin with. (Note: at the start there was occasionally seafood, so it wasn't "vegetarian", but that seems to have been phased out)

I made some exceptions - when I was in Texas I had meat, some at a well known and respected BBQ place and on my birthday I had some bacon from the breakfast buffet. The bacon really wasn't worth it. The sausage from the BBQ place? It was OK. The brisket? Yeah, I would have personally slaughtered that cow. :D

After my birthday though, I went back to eating vegetarian. Again, with exceptions. Like there was an extra bacon doughnut that Celena didn't eat, so I did so it didn't go to waste. That was delicious. But for the most part, I just didn't even really think about missing it.

While at FEST, there were a *lot* of not just vegetarian, but vegan options. With the food vendors, it actually would have been more work to get the meat options! (there were restaurants around, and a hot dog cart, but I'm just saying there were a lot of vegan options, which is a complete cultural flip from the "norm"). So most of the FEST we actually ate vegan. The only exception being a couple slices of cheese pizza! (which again, even a couple months ago I would never have considered that being an option. It was pepperoni or death. :D)

After FEST though, on the way back - I had been dreaming about going to Bojangles. I've always loved stopping there. That was my treat to myself. It was my "special exception". I ordered the chicken. I ate the chicken. I started regretting the choice almost as soon as I started eating. Cynthia was fine with it. But she told me later she could see it on my face. It was delicious. But I didn't feel like it was "worth it" anymore.

My first "real" girlfriend was vegetarian. Pretty sure she's vegan now. I also had a girlfriend post-divorce/pre-Cynthia who was a vegan. (who really didn't eat very healthy, just vegan. There weren't a lot of good vegan options at the time where we were. Or maybe she just didn't like them.) I've had other opportunities and exposure. But it just never seemed to be something that I was at all interested in... now I am. I wonder what they would think if they heard I was more or less a vegetarian now. I imagine anyone who has known me for any length of time would probably laugh pretty hard!

It does make me concerned that one day Cynthia will be interested in jumping off a cliff. Because I could be in trouble. :D

There's a wedding coming up next year in New Orleans. I plan on making that my "meat exception" - it's going to be my first time there and there are way too many things that I want to try "at the source" that have meat in them. I'll play it by ear, and hopefully any choices I make will end up being "worth it" at the end of the experience.

Not sure there is any point in me mentioning any of this, other than it's a law that if you start being a vegetarian/vegan you have to talk about it endlessly. :D

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
morning_stand
Nov. 7th, 2019 03:12 pm (UTC)
I'm such a picky eater that if I were vegetarian or vegan I'd probably only eat fruit and maybe carrots once in a while. I want to like vegetables but I just can't, lol
clauderainsrm
Nov. 8th, 2019 12:20 am (UTC)
I was poster child of picking eaters. (my ex-mother-in-law used to make a mac and cheese when I came over because I wouldn't really eat much of any of the "weird" stuff like ate) . I got better. :)


What is it about vegetables in general that you don't like?
morning_stand
Nov. 8th, 2019 12:52 am (UTC)
I think it's mostly a texture thing. I like some raw veggies, like carrots, for instance, but I can hardly eat them cooked.
rayaso
Nov. 7th, 2019 03:26 pm (UTC)
Back when you were young, your parents probably asked you, "if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?" Well, now we know the answer -- at least as far as Cynthia is concerned. But it's the right answer. Not so much when friends are involved. They go off on their own.
clauderainsrm
Nov. 7th, 2019 09:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you for assuming that I had friends, and that my parents talked to me. ;)
tonithegreat
Nov. 8th, 2019 01:53 am (UTC)
This question makes me think of all the dumb stuff my friends and I used to jump off of- mostly into deep parts of the river- and makes me very glad that my children do not have the same unfettered access to boats that I once enjoyed.
dadi
Nov. 7th, 2019 04:43 pm (UTC)
I have been exclusively vegetarian from 1992 to 2005. Then I got diagnosed with celiac disease and life got just a lot more difficult, in particular when traveling. So now I make exceptions when I simply can't eat anything else on the menu somewhere. And sometimes, when my husband cooks his Romanian specialties :) But for the rest, there really are so many options now, one does really not miss meat most of the time.
clauderainsrm
Nov. 8th, 2019 12:21 am (UTC)
It wasn't until we stopped eating meat that I really realized how little meat we were actually already eating. :D
xo_kizzy_xo
Nov. 7th, 2019 05:16 pm (UTC)
I don't like enough veggies to contemplate going vegetarian. I respect those who are vegan and perhaps on an ethical level I'd be one too if I were faced IRL with meatpacking plants and feedlots. What stops me is the whole protein issue. I don't like beans, can't have soy because of No Thyroid, don't like enough veggies, so...???

Besides I love a good steak, LOL.
me_sonrei
Nov. 7th, 2019 07:42 pm (UTC)
The no-soy conundrum does make it more difficult, but there are plenty of proteins that aren't soy-based. :) See: http://www.eatingwell.com/article/289961/top-vegetarian-protein-sources/

Not sharing that link as a, "you should go vegetarian!", for the record (I'm not vegetarian or vegan, I just limit how much meat I eat in a week), but more to let other people reading this and identifying with it know that protein sources for vegetarian/vegan diets are less complicated than you might imagine. :)
xo_kizzy_xo
Nov. 7th, 2019 08:31 pm (UTC)
Interesting! I can't check the link on my phone but I will when I get to my laptop ☺️
clauderainsrm
Nov. 8th, 2019 12:22 am (UTC)
I've actually never been into steak, at all. Which might just be that I've never had a truly great one.
adoptedwriter
Nov. 7th, 2019 05:45 pm (UTC)
I eat super low meat. Not gonna compromise on my Thanksgiving Turkey dinner tho. I get red meat 1 or 2 times a yr. I like cheese and seafood too much. Lol. I have no problem eating meatless but my mom thinks that’s weird. (Like what hippies do)! 😂
spydielives
Nov. 7th, 2019 06:05 pm (UTC)
I tried being a vegetarian for something like 15 years. I (and my whole family) did pretty well. My big vices were lobster (occasional trips to Maine) and spicy chicken wings with blue cheese. At first, the wings were a very special occasion thing, but as the years went on, I started making allowances for them more and more. Slippery-slope, I tell ya!

I cannot consider myself a vegetarian now, but I do eat far less meat than the average American (and not just because I eat less generally). I certainly respect the choice, whatever the reasons it is made. I do try to eat more ethically though, like free-range sourced and/or humanely slaughtered (kosher) meats.
bleodswean
Nov. 7th, 2019 06:34 pm (UTC)
I applaud anyone's attempt to be more conscious and mindful of how they nourish their bodies! So, *claps* In America today, it's not "easy" but it certainly isn't insanely difficult to eat with intent. Much easier now than twenty years ago. Farmers Markets and Victory Gardens and Small Growers along with co-ops and natural food stores are plentiful in most areas! Humanely raised and harvested animal products are pricier but worthwhile. Protein is the tricky part and takes some effort.

I do think it can be discussed endlessly but that isn't a BAD thing!
clauderainsrm
Nov. 8th, 2019 12:16 am (UTC)
Yeah. This is far too new (only a few months) so it's really too early to say I'm anything. But I'm trying to eat with more intention. I think that's a good way of putting it.
me_sonrei
Nov. 7th, 2019 07:49 pm (UTC)
I'm pleasantly surprised to see how much easier it's become to be vegetarian/vegan over the last few years! Friends of mine used to have a difficult time; now just about everywhere you go has an option that's not a black bean burger or "nachos, hold the cheese". It's nice!
serpentpixie
Nov. 7th, 2019 07:55 pm (UTC)
I was a vegetarian for 5 years - not for ethical reasons (my ethics are that I buy local and free range because meat farmers deserve to earn a living too...).
One day in 2007 I woke up and didn't want to eat meat.
Time passed. I did not miss meat.
One day in 2012 I woke up and fancied a steak.
I ate that steak and it was damn good.
halfshellvenus
Nov. 7th, 2019 09:47 pm (UTC)
I respect vegetarianism as a choice, and I sure understand the ethical reasons for embracing it.

But I need more protein than most people (or my perpetual hunger becomes even worse), and I just haven't found that vegetarian options satisfy that combination very well. Especially if you're also trying to keep the calories down.

Our daughter has thought about it since she was younger, but since she dislikes so many foods in general and a lot of fruits and vegetables in particular, I hope she never does it. She's already mainly a starchivore as it is. :O
bleodswean
Nov. 7th, 2019 10:13 pm (UTC)
Can you tolerate milk, K? Ovo lacto vegetarians get a good amount of animal protein without having to do a lot of math. Also fish?

We eat a lot of farm-fresh eggs and locally sourced goat milk products such as milk, yogurt and cheese.

And if you are leaning toward ethical treatment, there are many grass-fed, humanely slaughtered cattle ranches in the area. A quarter side would get you a year's worth of good beef.

My one caveat is I say beware of any product labeled "milk" that doesn't have mammary glands. LOL.

Edited at 2019-11-07 10:15 pm (UTC)
halfshellvenus
Nov. 8th, 2019 01:19 am (UTC)
Yes-- I eat a lot of Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. But it still doesn't have quite the lasting power of meat protein. Eggs also help.

Given the California drought and the incredible amounts of water it takes to grow almonds--and then even more to create fake 'milk' from them-- I am very much not a fan of almond milk. Soy milk? *shudder* I tried soy formula when our son was a baby, because he got easily constipated, but I found I couldn't stand the smell of it!
me_sonrei
Nov. 8th, 2019 12:01 am (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean! I do a couple of meatless nights a week with my boyfriend (who was vegetarian for a long time until he decided that it was probably more ethical to eat locally-sourced foods...he cares a lot more about cooking than I do), but I don't think I could do it full-time without ending up eating a lot more calories :(
halfshellvenus
Nov. 8th, 2019 01:21 am (UTC)
Yes!

Though less is also good, and less red meat when you can. But I know that for some people, it works very well.

On the flip side, our kids were in elementary girl with several girls who decided early on that they wanted to be vegetarian, and they were all... midgetory. They didn't like enough _other_ food to eat healthily, and they stunted their growth. :(
md_meezer
Nov. 7th, 2019 10:47 pm (UTC)
ok if you insist .... after work, I went to petco to purchase kitten food for my little stinky foster kittens that are eating us out of house and home then stopped by Guinness brewery barrel house for beyond beef wrap and a flight. it was yummy!



ashgaelsonaria
Nov. 8th, 2019 01:03 am (UTC)
I occasionally eat meat free but being soy intolerant it's not an option and there is a lot more to the industry then just food.
It is more complicated than presented.
Ruminants like cattle and goats do not need to eat anything that humans can.
All the wast from crops can be feed to them and they will do well.
Then we have pigs.
They share a large genetic similarity to humans. Enough so that pig skin is often used to treat people with extensive Burns, heart valves used for replacement come from pig hearts and those who can't afford humalin get insulin from pigs.
Pigs are omnivorous prediters that will kill and eat a human if they have the numbers and opportunity so it is dangerous to let them go free range and you can't completely fill demand with ones raised in a pen.
It is a complicated issue.
pixiebelle
Nov. 8th, 2019 04:49 am (UTC)
I’m just now seeing this post, but I had no idea. I’m mostly vegetarian now, and I’ve been vegan - and would like to be more plant-based for health reasons, as well as the ethical/environmental ones. It’s amazing how much vegetarian and vegan foods you can eat without even realizing you’re doing it. That helps a lot. Accidental veggie/vegan foods are the bomb.

I talk about Bojangles a lot, because I loved it when I lived in SC. But I know what you mean about something not being worth it. I’ve done the same.

When I move to France, I’ll be more strictly vegetarian since my boyfriend is. It’s just easier.
pixiebelle
Nov. 8th, 2019 04:52 am (UTC)
Oh and I’ve honestly never liked most meat, even as a kid - seafood is surprisingly the hardest, followed by burgers and things like chicken wings. But I rarely ate those things before anyway.
hwango
Nov. 8th, 2019 09:42 am (UTC)
This reminds me of episode 1 of The Good Place, in which it is revealed that your every action on Earth earned or lost you Afterlife points that were used to determine your fate after you died, and "Ate vegan" got you +394.77 points, but "Never discussed veganism unprompted" got you +9822.60 points. = )
furzicle
Nov. 11th, 2019 12:59 am (UTC)
As a person dealing with Type II diabetes, I need to minimize my carbohydrate consumption. Thus, eating a meal made up of beans and rice, which is a perfectly adequate supply of vegetable protein, is pretty much pure carbs, and thus a no-go. Therefore, I eat a lot of protein and vegetables. On the other hand, I'm satisfied with about four bites of meat. We eat eggs for breakfast nearly every day. Things I don't eat: pancakes, french toast, pasta, cold cereal. I say I'm budgeting my carbs for...

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