In reviewing my journey in blogging last year I realized that without too much thought I accomplished something I mentioned in one of my first posts: in October I stopped eating meat.
This has been much less of a challenge than I thought it would be. I haven’t missed meat at all; in fact, I’m enjoying food a whole lot more. I’ve discovered some great bean and tofu based recipes and I’m feeding the whole family on these. My husband will occasionally cook himself some chicken or beef and we make an effort to give this to Liam as well (though we’re finding he spits it out every time, stuffing his face with veggies and beans and cheese). I still eat fish, and over the holidays I did eat some meat that was prepared by my hosts. This was due in part because I wasn’t quite prepared to tell them I was a vegetarian. And this was because, well quite honestly, I don’t consider myself a vegetarian. It’s semantics I’m sure, but I don’t see my choice to not eat meat as a category I now fall under. I’m afraid the label will define me in a way that I don’t feel defined. My choice is not to never eat meat again, it’s to minimize meat eating (which most of the time will mean that I don’t eat meat). I want to feel that if at some point I’m presented with a steak it wouldn’t be a huge deal if I decided to eat it (“omg, when is the last time you had meat? so are you not a vegetarian anymore?”) It feels like a private choice, not something I want to broadcast or be judged by. Eating meat is just something I don’t want to do anymore.
One side effect that I hadn’t given any thought is that I’m still losing weight, way past the baby weight and now pre-pregnancy pants are loose on me. I feel great, good energy and rosy cheeks. Mostly however, there’s a real sense of balance, of feeling like I’m living my convictions, eating with empathy and thoughtfulness. It’s not for everyone (some of my dearest friends tell me they feel faint if they don’t have a little meat every day, and I totally get it) but for me, just for me, I don’t think meat will ever be a part of my diet again.