Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Bacon, the ultimate expression of meat, challenged only by a thick, juicy steak, and beaten by said steak wrapped in the aforementioned bacon. <sigh> You probably started reading this blog because you, like me, love nothing more than a side of bacon with your breakfast or a myriad of other foods wrapped in bacon. I for one can’t think of any food that is not better when it is wrapped in bacon. Alas, this is a blog about vegetarianism and my goal of converting into one of those annoying people who spare no instance in letting you know that they are a vegetarian.
What is holding me back? Bacon, for one, but also 47 years of eating meat and loving every bite is another. (except liver...Why would anyone voluntarily eat liver unless you are eating it fresh from an animal you have hunted down and killed for food and you want to honor the gods by eating its liver, warm, and still flowing with blood…I just grossed myself out.) I’d say the biggest factor that is delaying my foray into vegetarianism and one that I suspect holds most people back is the cost and the perceived complexity. I say perceived because every vegetarian I have spoken to say it isn’t hard once you get used to it, and they aren’t talking about missing meat, but about learning to prepare vegetarian dishes and making sure all of your nutritional needs are accounted for.
Why would anyone voluntarily eat liver unless you are eating it fresh from an animal you have hunted down and killed for food and you want to honor the gods by eating its liver, warm, and still flowing with blood…I just grossed myself out.
Many of my meat eating friends scoff at the idea of becoming a vegetarian and see no good reason to bother. They’ve made it this far in life as a meat eater, why change now? Well, according to WebMd, a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, lower overall cancer rates and overall lower risk of chronic disease. Those are quite a few good reasons if you ask me. Of course, this is predicated on eating a healthy vegetarian diet, because French Fries, Doritos, candy and a host of other unhealthy foods are all vegetarian!
Another good reason, according to countinganimals.com, is that every vegetarian saves an average of 25 animals a year by reducing the demand for meat. Granted, the majority of these animals are chickens and chickens are mean and nasty animals, so that might not be a great motivator, but pigs are kind of cute and they are smarter than your dog, so focus on them. Overall, the US is responsible for the tasty deaths of over 7 billion animals a year and vegetarians, which are less than 2% of the population, save over 150 million animals a year, which is a hell of a lot of animals. Add to the fact that factory farming contributes to land pollution and climate change, there are a plethora or reasons to consider this lifestyle change.
My last reason for wanting to change is because one of my daughters, since she was old enough to eat solid food, has never liked to eat meat. Even before she knew that chicken came from an animal that is called, uh, chicken (she is blonde), she would always skip the meat on her plate. The only meat she will eat regularly are chicken nuggets from McDonalds, and we all know that isn’t really chicken but some hybrid creature from the depths of hell that Ronald McDonald raises en masse to capture and devour our souls. My daughter has been talking with a very helpful neighbor who is coaching her, and by extension, me, about how to become a vegetarian (she is actually vegan, but that is a bridge too far…first I have to give up bacon, now cheese? Hell no!) My daughter's biggest obstacle is that, in total, she eats about three things: French fries, hellspawn chicken nuggets, and yogurt. For someone with a very sensitive palate, becoming a vegetarian where vegetables are the main course is a daunting task, but she is trying.
The lesson I have learned from this foray into vegetarianism is that persistence, dedication, a love for animals and our planet and a non-judgmental friend who can guide you are all necessary to tackle this challenge. My health as I age is becoming more important and leaving a healthy planet for my kids is even more so. So with my daughter’s hand in mine and a floret of broccoli in the other, I will charge ahead and meet this challenge head on. Bacon, I’m sorry, but I’m breaking up with you. Don’t look at me like that, all sizzlely and crispy and savory; you had your chance!
P.S. Hey bacon…call me!
Check out the links below for more information on becoming a vegetarian: