Sunday, November 18, 2012

Being "Vegetarian"

My friend Jos and I were talking last Friday. We were going over the menu for an event we're having in February. It became more of a debate as time went on.

I had mapped out the menu thusly:

Cold Brunch Items: Muffins, croissants (even though I don't like them), yogurt, granola, pastries, fruit salad...

Jos said she wanted bacon, potatoes, and eggs. Meat and starches which I argued was neither healthy nor included vegetarian items. She said we could incorporate croissants and fruit salad. Apparently she likes croissants. We were worried about giving people enough to eat and being mindful of other people's diets.

Lunch: Sandwich items because that's all lunch is... and maybe a salad.

Jos agreed because that's all there is for lunch apparently.

Dinner: A Caesar salad, chicken (because it's the cheapest "meat" to have), green beans + mashed potatoes, and one desert.

Jos wanted to throw in more meat options. She also wondered if the vegetarians would have enough to eat. I told her that's the problem with being vegetarian -all meals are focused around meat. Then she kind of disagreed and said we could always add salmon to make it more vegetarian friendly. I was confused and laughed saying, "Fish still counts as a meat Jos." Then she said not really. And I said, "The reason I know fish counts as a non-vegetarian protein is because Paul McCartney said he was fishing and saw that the fish he had on the line was fighting and struggling for its life and that's when he realized animals value living and don't want to die and that's the day he decided to become a vegetarian."

Jos said, "Ok then," in a very sarcastic let's-move-on tone. She said vegetarians could figure out their own thing. I was kind of like, "Hey..." because I sort of included myself in that category. Then Jos said, "Well you eat meat don't you?" And I said I was an aspiring vegetarian who struggled to not eat meat and was currently on a diet that only allowed for meat 3 days out of the week.

She said, "Well then you're not a real vegetarian. It's either all or nothing." I said it was more like trying to stop smoking. You have to wean yourself off the habit and it was a lot more challenging than it looked. Jos just kind of rolled her eyes at me and said, "I could never give up meat..."

It made me wonder, despite my ideals with regard to humane  animal treatment and eating healthy why has it been so hard to commit fully? I keep getting frustrated with myself for drinking chocolate shakes and giving into cravings I know are bad for me. It's hard enough walking away from cookies during the holiday season -let alone meat altogether. But my aunt does it well. She has food allergies though and can't have gluten and a bunch of other stuff.

I suck at follow through. I know I need to do better on a lot of physical levels -like exercising for example. But I don't. It's just hard getting in the habit. It's not that I can't -I just give in to my greater desire to be lazy and give in.  

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