My daughter Allie became a vegetarian about 5 months ago. She's stuck to it. I'm proud of her convictions. Since then, I've tried to be careful, tried to eat organic meat from animals that lived a happy life. But I'm come to realize that's a difficult thing to do. First of all, it's expensive and I truthfully can't afford to buy all my meat products at Good Foods or the Farmer's Market. Not without a big financial sacrifice. Secondly, it's difficult to eat 'carefully' in restaurants. Most don't use 'organic' meat and my guess is it comes from stockyards and chicken farms and other unfriendly places. Thirdly, it's just too much to think about: Where'd the meat in this burger come from? Is this Kroger chicken REALLY free range? Should I indulge in a Christmas ham knowing the pig didn't live a quiet life on Old MacDonald's farm?
So it hit me. Right there in Central Library. Give up meat. Beginning July 1, give it a try. Commit to 6 months of vegetarianism. Be an encouragement to Allie. See what it's like. I didn't put a lot of thought into it. I just made the decision, on the spot to do it. July 1 thru December 31.
So far, it's going well. I haven't missed meat. I know I'll miss the occasional barbecue meal. I really like pulled pork and brisket with barbecue sauce. I'll miss shredded beef burritos. I'll have to learn to modify chicken pot pie this winter. But, I really think it's for the best that I do this. Allie is excited to have me on board. My son Jamie actually said he's considering "meatless Mondays" and possibly giving up meat for Lent next year. We've checked out lots of vegetarian magazines and cook books from the library. It's a new adventure for us.