Wednesday, January 6, 2010
My lovely wife asked me to write a guest post over here at TheStyleMD, specifically asking me to talk a little bit about my transition away from eating meat. Melissa went veggie last Winter. After observing the wifey go without meat for a number of months, I came to two main conclusions, which follow.
#1: I don’t like what’s in most meat.
During the spring months when I was still eating meat but she was not, we began learning a lot about the health benefits of abstaining from meat. We listened to a few books on tape (the titles I can’t recall) and watched Super Size Me. Furthermore, Melissa passed along tid-bits of information as she ran into it on the interwebs.
Side note: While I have a chance, I want to throw in a plug for the movie Food Inc. I had already stopped eating meat by the time the movie hit theaters…but nonetheless it’s an excellent film that everyone should see.
In learning about factory farming, I was most concerned with the various additives, preservatives, and medications that could be present in meat. For example, I’m an engineer by day, so my analytic side freaked out when I learned that ground beef could have meat from dozens, or hundreds, or even thousands of cows. Contemplating the exponential number of “bad” things that one could be exposed to in just one hamburger was a big deal for me.
#2: I don’t NEED to eat meat.
We were trying a number of meat substitutes. Many of which were sub-par, but quite a few which were quite good. In once instance involving a particular brand of soy-based hot dog, I liked the “fake” version WAY better. You can eat a couple of these particular hot dogs without getting that bloated “ugh, I just ate two hotdogs” feeling. You could call this my “AH-HA” moment.
I didn’t need to eat meat to be happy. In fact, NOT eating meat PHYSICALLY made me feel better, and thus made me happier.
Finally, I had watched Melissa go veggie for months. It looked really easy, and the diet seemed so much healthier. The fact of the matter was, when we ate at home, we were eating a vegetarian diet (after all, we weren’t about to make two dinners – a veggie one for her, and a meaty one for me). Neither of us missed eating meat.
So in early summer 2009 I became a pescatarian: a big scary word a vegetarian who also eats fish. I couldn’t give up sushi; sorry fishies! Since then I really haven’t missed meat. Every time I think I miss it, I watch someone eating it and get grossed out.
To everyone who eats meat: Learn about what you eat. I won’t ever try to push my views or my lifestyle on anyone else, but I HIGHLY recommend that everyone learn about what they are eating, where it comes from, and what is in it. You owe yourself that at the very least!
To anyone considering going veggie: I recommend you just give it a try. If it isn’t for you, you can go back to meat. No one will hold it against you. :)
Posted by Melissa Dion at 6:53 PM