Sunday, April 8

No meat

I gave up eating meat for Lent. For the most part, I succeeded in this, accidentally eating a slice of pizza with Canadian bacon because it was covered by cheese once and picking up a seafood wrap without thinking another time. Now it's Easter. I've already had lamb and am anticipating lasagna later today. What about it all then? What did it mean to give up meat? Could I live this way?

To begin, I have no compunction against killing animals. I've heard that there are some highly liberal colleges which have the freshman class communally raise a pig or something over the year and then kill it for a barbeque at the end of the year. Wouldn't bother me. I've gone hunting, though I never shot anything myself, and seen plenty of animals die. As long as it were killed quickly and with minimum pain, I would have no problem with it. Rather than ethical, my concern with vegetarianism is economic. The world population rises exponentially, and somehow everyone has to be fed. With respect to that, the amount of energy put into raising animals for their flesh cannot be defended. Personally, I believe that within my lifetime, barring a population stagnation or a drop, we will all become vegetarians for this very reason.

One question I was asked several times over the 40 days was if it were hard. I guess the implicit assumption there was that I missed the taste. Really, that wasn't such a big deal. Since I began cooking my own food at college, my meat intake in general has drastically gone down. Meat's expensive and a pain to store with my limited refrigerator space. I immediately have to do something with it, so it wasn't such a great change in the first place. The only times it became really difficult were when I was at a restaurant, there were maybe two or three vegetarian options and everything else looked so bleeding tasty. Good thing then I don't go out to eat very often.

On a related note, I could never go vegan. I could live as a vegetarian, but I like my eggs and cheese too much. Besides, when you need to take pills for vital nutrients, you've gone over the edge.

No comments: