When I woke on October 21, 2008 I didn't know how significant that day would be. You see, that was the day I would choose not eat meat until who knows when. It certainly started out normal enough. I attended a seminar which hit on things we can do to make ourselves healthier. I had gone to lunch at Einstein Bagels and had a Ceaser salad. And somewhere during my time outside I declared to myself and only to myself, that I thought it would be a good idea if I would stop eating meat. Since I didn't know how to be a proper vegetarian I could make up my own rules. I decided I wouldn't eat anything with a face but since I love cheese, coffee with cream, lattes and other dairy products I would include those which eliminated me from the vegan club. I decided to add eggs too just because from time to I eat something eggy (although they aren't my favorite). I didn't have any strong convictions as to why I wasn't eating meat but mostly it came down to I wanted to see if I could be that disciplined, health was a factor with my family history, and I just didn't want to eat an animal, plain and simple. Truly, it was about me and not any great philosophical or environmental reason. It was an adventure.
Although I didn't make a long term commitment I am pleased with my resolve. I think it has helped me keep the consumption of food in a healthier place in my priorities. It has also made me more observant and aware of the issues surrounding the meat industry in America and I am convinced that we need to be doing things differently. Drew, the self aware 12 year old that he is, has proclaimed that he is a carnivore. As his mom I decided that it would be okay afterall I made the decision for me and deliberately chose not to make it for the entire family. But as the mom I did sign up to be the responsible decision maker in regards to the health of my children. I am quite sure I have not done a steller job through the years. I certainly won't be receiving the "mom of the year pin in the area of nutrition" at the next awards ceramony. Who knew all those high fructose corn syrupy snacks were bad. They were yummy and convenient. Drew was also a lot more selective (aka picky) and so I was definately more lax than I was with Allison.
After reading the article entitled Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food - TIME Magazine, I have determined from this day forward, to be more selective on what meat I buy for the carnivore for which I am responsible. Gone are the days when I would buy the cheap hamburger because it is cheap. Now I want to know what is in it and from where it comes. I know this won't be easy; I am not always the most consistant either; and I will be the first to admit that I am cheap. But living in this big ole metroplex, there are plenty of opportunities to shop in stores that offer a cleaner alternative, and I think it will be worth it. I started with the eggs. I bought the dozen in a carton declaring that the chickens were hormone free and had the opportunity to run around rather than sit in a cage. One small step I know but it had to start somewhere.
As far as my future eating habits I just have to shrug my shoulders. I have to tell you I do love a summer cherry tomato, those delightful Persian cucumbers, oh yes and my mouth can start watering for a perfectly cooked eggplant, and I get all excited with the variety at the farmers market. Stuff I have never seen before. But before I forget, I'll grab my sticky note and head to the store. I have got to get my most recent favorites: cauliflower dipped in Mediteranian Hummus, a couple slices of Dubliner cheese and that wine that I can never remember the name of but I know just where to find it.