Point > < Counterpoint — vegetarianism

Vegetarian? Vegan? Or good old-fashioned carnivore? People who eschew meat for health and ethical reasons are in the minority, but their numbers are growing among the young and old alike.

Vegetarian? Vegan? Or good old-fashioned carnivore? People who eschew meat for health and ethical reasons are in the minority, but their numbers are growing among the young and old alike.

My point-counterpoint posts feature Grandma’s opinions vs. mine — written with her words recounted as accurately as I can remember them.

point
My granddaughter tells me I should stop eating Spam and potted meat. Well that’s just ridiculous. I’ve eaten meat for 88 years, and I’m still here! So how can meat not be good for you?

I grew up on a farm, and I learned how to wring a chicken’s neck when I was 12 years old! On Sundays there was nothing better than Mom’s fried chicken and potatoes with gravy. We worked hard from sunrise to sunset — you can’t survive on tree bark. Animals on the farm were raised to be food, period.

Every Thanksgiving Mandy and her family eat some cockamamie thing called a tofurkey. Heh heh they probably make it with leftover glue from the horse factory. She tells me this soy business is good for you — well the only people I ever heard of eating it were Chinamen. I’ll stick with my American turkey, thank you very much.

counterpoint
My adventures in vegetarian cooking began long before I actually took the plunge myself. Just a few days after her seventh birthday, Chloe’s New Year’s resolution was to stop eating meat. I said I would too, but I only lasted a few days. Ten years later, she’s devoutly vegetarian down to scouring labels for gelatin. At first I was afraid it would stunt her growth, but she’s as tall as her sisters and it hasn’t stopped her from running track or cross country. To say I’m impressed with her willpower is an understatement.

I’ve been a pescatarian myself for four years now, but I’m seriously considering becoming a vegan. I already pay more for free range eggs and organic milk at home, but I know I’m not getting those when I eat out. And just because something is organic doesn’t mean the cows are treated any better. I’d say my original decision not to eat meat was probably 80 percent ethical, 20 percent health oriented.

Veganism — if I can commit to it — is definitely more of a health-related choice. Just today I read on Ofcoursevegan high blood sugar levels are linked to dementia. I’ve never seen a fat vegan, which leads me to believe becoming one might be my best bet for avoiding a multitude of health problems. I’ve written before about my fear of memory loss and how to avoid it. Now’s the time to put my money where my mouth is.

It’s not the fear of giving up foods I love that’s stopped me from taking this step yet — it’s part sheer laziness, part fear of becoming the self-righteous person so-and-so who lords their politically correct choices over everyone else. The teetotaler who makes snide remarks about everyone who’s drinking … the ex-smoker who can’t walk through the ostracized smokers clustered outside without dramatically waving away smoke from their face and fake coughing … I hate those people, and I don’t want to be that guy. Giving up everything but fish meat-wise was probably a good trial run for testing my tolerance. I’ve done OK so far, and although I’m convinced every hamburger that touches their lips is inextricably tied to crashing ecosystems, intolerable cruelty and self poisoning, I think I can keep those opinions to myself.

I’m more worried about the laziness. If I’m faced with the task of shopping for ingredients I’m not likely to find at my local store, purchasing new gadgets to cook those ingredients and hunting down more than three or four new recipes, I may just eat cereal for dinner. Until I win the lottery and can afford a personal chef to prepare my delicious vegan dinners, I’m going to stock up on almond milk. Just in case.

This blog was prompted by the WordPress weekly writing challenge.

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5 thoughts on “Point > < Counterpoint — vegetarianism

  1. Everything in moderation, I’ve enjoyed completely vegan meals but wouldn’t completely give up meat. I could be a pescatarian for long stretches without any problem. I’d still have to get a beef fix every once and a while…

  2. Being diabetic I eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. But, I must admit I love beef, enjoy pork, chicken and turkey. Not fond of fish. A couple days without meat of some kind and I get a craving for something. Nothing better than a hamburger, dripping those wonderful juices, the bun slathered with mayo and piled high with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and dill pickle. Wow. Guess that will be my dinner tonight!

  3. Pingback: Expression and the Art of Letting Go | The Seeker's Dungeon

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