Vegan-ish?: Not Eating Meat, Except When You Do
Over the last 43 years, I've been a vegan, a vegetarian, and a meat-eater. Now I think of myself as vegan-ish. Because of how animals are treated in factory farms, the connection between meat-eating, climate change and poverty, and for health reasons, I want to eat a more plant-based diet.
I say I'm vegan-ish because I often fall short of my aspirations. Sometimes I get really hungry, and the only thing that will fill me up is an egg, or cheese. And then there is my monthly PMS pepperoni pizza craving, which cannot be ignored.
I'm also a social gal, and I don't like asking my host to make something special for me, plus, because I had a childhood full of food allergies and restrictions, I hate bringing my own food.
Finally, I like to try new food, in particular, food that is the specialty of a restaurant, region, or culture. For example, when we went to Spain last fall, I ate more meat and cheese than I've probably eaten in my life.
And then, I'll read a book, or see a movie that reminds me of why I need to try harder not to eat animal products. Last week, when I went to see Samsara, I was deeply disturbed by a scene from a poultry farm. The Atlantic describes it in its article, The Stories Behind the 5 Most Difficult-to-Film Scenes in Samsara: "At the Mariesminde Poultry Farm in Denmark, we watch a bizarre vehicle sucking up live chickens with a vacuuming snout; seconds later we watch an automated kill line slitting poultry throats."
I don't want to support that kind of treatment of animals.
And yet, I stumble.
So, I continue on my vegan-ish journey. I use the VegCookbook Club community to keep me VegCooking on a regular basis, and I struggle between doing what I know is right for the planet, and my cravings, culinary curiosities, and social niceness.
I share this story because I'm wondering if any of you have had a similar experience. I would also love to hear why you eat, or don't eat meat, and other animal projects.
I've been holding onto this post for three days because I'm afraid to out myself as an imperfect VegEater. I know that talking about eating, or not eating meat can be a hot button issue for people but I would love to hear about your struggles too.
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