Official Announcement

I know, I know… the next post was supposed to be the exciting and deviant conclusion of ‘Beastly’, but I’ve gotta squeeze this in.

I have made the official decision to try vegetarianism. The date I’m setting for the switch is August 2, 2010.

There are two reasons that I’ve chosen that date:

  1. We have a number of visits and events happening during the month of July, and it will be pretty tough to focus on new recipes and eating differently within large groups.
  2. August 2 is the birthday of both my mother and my mother-in-law. I’m trying vegetarianism for both of them. For my mother because she taught me to eat healthfully, and I know she will support me in my latest experiment. For my mother-in-law because this is the first birthday following her death. She was very serious about making diet changes for better health.

I once said that I could never be a vegetarian. I absolutely love meat, and it’s a really easy way to make a filling meal.

But my issue is not with meat itself. It’s with the industry we’ve built around meat. The methods we use to produce, harvest, distribute, and consume meat are harmful to animals, the environment, and our bodies.

People who scoff at vegetarianism like to talk about how humans have eaten meat for thousands of years, and how we are supposed to kill animals for their meat because we are superior. I’m not going to get into an argument about whether or not humans are animals themselves, or if a higher power intended for us to dominate the other species. But I will say that however our system of controlling animals began, the way we obtain and eat their meat today is largely unnatural/unintended:

  • We produce and eat much more meat than we need.
  • The animals raised for their meat are often living on top of each other, and injected with hormones and who-knows-what else.
  • Transporting livestock over long distances requires a great deal of polluting fuel.
  • A lot of the meat products out there are further reduced in quality through heavy processing.
  • We don’t counter our meat intake (or general fat intake) with appropriate physical activity.

Our meat is not the meat of 1,000 years ago, and we are not the people of 1,000 years ago. Therefore, our mindsets must change to reflect these changes.

I’ve thought about hunting, and local/organic/free range options. But truthfully, those alternatives are not as convenient as they’d have to be for me to consistently observe them. Plus, I’m still trying to figure out my personal philosophy on eating animals. But this post is not about that.

If I eat with you in real life, don’t worry. I won’t force you to eat like me, or prepare weird veggie dishes. I’m more than happy to share my opinions with you, but I don’t want to force them on you in practice. And I plan to continue eating eggs, and perhaps seafood.

So now it’s out there.

On a completely separate note… This afternoon I saw a documentary about the anti-homosexual legislation in Uganda. No matter what you believe about the morality and science of homosexuality, the targeting, and sometimes killing, of these people because of who they love is simply wrong.  Check out Vanguard’s coverage of the situation on Current TV  and scroll down to the ‘Missionaries of Hate’ video thumbnail


Filed under Current Events, New Story

8 Responses to Official Announcement

  1. I thought about doing this once upon a time, but frankly, I’m too much a meatatarian.

    So, instead, I’ve gone with “ethical meat-eating,” as ethical as I can make it. I buy from local butchers and farmers, places that have healthy animals that are treated well. I also try to make sure we don’t eat meat every night — a couple-few veggie dishes in the middle of the week are good, and keep the meat-eating down.

    — c.

    • Katherine Reilly Mitchell

      I once said I’d NEVER be a vegetarian. I freakin’ love meat so damn much. But I want to try this.

      In the meantime, I have been trying to obtain our meat ethically: farmers’ market, my friend’s dad’s farm, etc… Since the hubby will remain meat-eating, I want what he eats to be responsible.

      Thanks Chuck!

  2. My response is way too long for a comment, so I hit it as a mini-bit over at my blog today. Short version: good luck, and I dig your reasons for doing this!

  3. I once attended an (American) Thanksgiving dinner hosted by vegans, the sister of one of my roommates. I fully expected that I’d be eating soy and tofu dishes — and I do get that some of them can be quite tasty, but they don’t sit right on my tongue. Surprisingly, when the four of us meat-eaters arrived, they’d cooked up a small turkey and meat-laden gravy, just for the four of us.

    You seem to be aspiring to the same idea, of acknowledging that there are meat-lovers and respecting their choice, even if you aren’t one of them, and if you can hold onto that, you’re golden. I’m one of the scoffers about some of the reasons behind vegetarianism (especially “you can taste the fear in the meat”), but yours seem pretty well laid out.

    Good luck, and I hope it’s everything you hope it will be.

    • Katherine Reilly Mitchell

      Thanks Maggie! I do hope to be like your roommate’s sister in that I recognize and accommodate for the meat eaters that come to my house:)

      I have to say, that turkey you mentioned does sound good right about now. I do have a whole (free range organic) chicken in the fridge…

  4. Seth

    Well, I must tell you, I decided to check out your blog (from your email sig line) and saw this announcement. A bold move this is. My wife went veggie back in January, and I decided to support her in that. It’s hard at times, and I still haven’t given up Thai drunken noodles occasionally, but I’m trying to do it for some of the same reasons you outline. I’m less than happy with industrialized animal production for ethical as well as personal health reasons.

    I was going to switch to local farm raised meats, but then thought: How much meat would I eat if I had to kill, clean, and prepare it all myself? Answer: None.

    We grow most of our own veggies all summer with our garden, and we’ve learned to be creative with black beans, rice, quinoa, and we’re not dropping eggs or dairy (local grass-fed of course).

    Our three children are now vegetarian by their choice, which, of course, got lots of people freaking out on us about making sure our children get enough protein. God knows they’ll end up a normal size if they don’t eat 200 grams of protein per day (they might even be little without the bovine growth factors). So, we started counting grams in our recipes per serving, and the kids are all still WAY over the RDA.

    Don’t be afraid. I love meat too (still), but you can learn to love not-meat too.

    • Katherine Reilly Mitchell

      Hey Seth! Thanks for checking out the blog, and for sharing your family’s process. I can’t remember exactly how old your kids are, but I know they’re young, and it’s pretty cool that they have chosen to be vegetarians on their own.

      Regarding what you said about how much meat you’d eat if you had to obtain it yourself (like, from the wild)… For a while now, I’ve had this desire to hunt and/or butcher my own chickens. Not that I have any desire to kill an animal. I actually hate the thought of it. But there’s a part of me that feels that if I’m willing to eat meat, I should be able to do the ‘dirty work’, because *someone* has to. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I feel like I owe the animal the respect of taking it’s life before I eat it.

      I’m looking forward to swapping stories and recipes at the office!:)

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