Thursday, July 18, 2013

Why I Started Eating Meat Again

I could just not get the hang of eating box, really.
Ahhhhhh fuck, I'm sorry. Believe me guys, I tried with all my might NOT to use that terrible joke, but it was just too easy. I'll try my best to avoid any more sexual innuendo in this post.

This topic is pretty far off from my usual blog post. But I've been promising a friend I'd write about it for a while, so here it is.

I was some variation of vegetarian or vegan for close to eight years. About three or four years back I made the decision to start eating meat again. Since then I've had a lot of people ask me about why I made that choice, and how I feel about it now.  It wasn't an easy decision and I didn't make it on a whim. There's a bunch of reasons that going back to carnivorous ways was the right decison then, and continues to feel right to me now.  I'm not trying to start a debate here. The way we eat is a deeply personal matter, and I totally support anyone who chooses to be vegetarian or vegan. I think it's great when anyone takes the time to really think about what they're putting into their body. This is just why that particular way of eating didn't turn out to be right for me. Some of my reasons might make me sound like a bad person-which I probably am, but at least I'm being honest about it. I'll break it down in a list and explain as I go.

1. I started craving meat- This is what started it. I was getting these crazy cravings-like I wanted salt and fat. I remember eating tomato sandwiches just loaded with salt and margarine thinking that would satisfy me. But nah. After a while I figured it out: After 8 years of not even eating fish, my body was telling me that it wanted meat. At this point I still wanted to resist, but the idea of going back to eating meat was starting to grow in my mind.

2. I started to question why I became vegetarian in the first place- I was 17 when I went vegetarian. At that time I was going to a lot of punk shows where there were often PETA booths set up with really cool looking people working at them and promoting the vegetarian way. I was also dating a guy who was vegetarian. Admitting to yourself that maybe you made a big life choice based on other people's influence is hard. At the time I honestly felt like that was the choice I wanted to make because I cared about animals. But would I have made that same choice if I wasn't surrounded by other people who were cutting meat from their diets? I wasn't so sure.

3. I called bullshit on myself, ethically- When I was vegetarian, I had a real sense that I was doing something "good". I wasn't supporting a cruel industry, right? But I still shopped at the big name grocery stores where most people buy their meat. I still ate in restaurants that served meat. And honestly, upon realizing this I wasn't willing to go out of my way to try and find more animal friendly places to get my food. I started to see that even though I felt like I was taking a stand agains the meat industry, I continued to support it indirectly.

4. I realized I was half-assing it anyway-This is sort of like #3.  I hung out with some people who were hardcore vegans. They were so awesome and true in their efforts to avoid any kind of product that involved animals in any way. You know, like their cleaning products were all certified vegan. I just didn't care that much. And if I didn't care that much, how much did I really care at all? I didn't know.

5. I stopped identifying with the veg community-


One of the most fun things about being vegetarian is the community-like any subculture, there's a corner of the internet for vegans too! And I was really into it. I had tons of veg cookbooks (my best chocolate chip cookies are still made using the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance), subscribed to Veg News magazine, and when I traveled I went to veg restaurants that I'd heard about through message boards. But as my dedication to fitness grew, I felt myself being less and less interested in all that. It seemed like veganism was all about who could make the best vegan junk food-the best vegan mac and cheese or vegan cupcakes. I just wasn't into that stuff, and it took a lot of enjoyment out of the community element of being vegetarian.

6. I realized I wasn't healthy- A lot of people think that vegetarians are inherently healthier eaters than carnivores. I don't think that's true at all. You know all that fake meat stuff that vegetarians eat? Most of it is artificial crap, made with chemicals and pure wheat gluten, which is a nightmare for your body to digest. Again, around the same time I started eating meat I was getting really serious about fitness. I'd been working out for years and now I wanted to adopt a clean eating habit. You can totally do that as a vegetarian-there's a whole Vegetarian Clean Eating cook book. But then you have to get most of your protein from nuts and beans and that just really wasn't for me. And I know there's lots of vegan athletes out there who prove differently, but for me this was the right choice. My weight used to flucuate 5-10 pounds. Since I started eating meat it has balanced out and I find it a lot easier to not gain weight. I feel like I just never figured out how to have a balanced diet as a vegetarian.

7. I wanted to be able to eat a meal that my Grandma cooked- This definitely wasn't a deciding factor, more of a nice side effect to breaking veg. I never felt like my family judged me for my decision. But it's really nice to sit down at a family meal and eat food cooked by the people I love and not have to question or turn down any of it.
And on that note, this entry is getting sentimental as fuck, so I need to wrap it up.

The point is, I really thought about whether or not I should eat meat. I weighed the pros and cons and came to the conclusion that the carnivore life was the way for me. I very strongly feel that I made the right choice. Yes, I am fully aware of the horrible cruelties that occur in the meat industry and sometimes it does make me sad. And I'm sure that there lots of vegans who would read this and think I am horrible for being so aware and not doing anything-or even worse, that I'm actively participating in murdering animals. I don't really have an argument against that. It's probably a really selfish thing that comes down to the fact that I care more about my own satisfaction more than I care about the quality of life of all those animals. That's shitty to admit, but there it is. I could probably go on and on about this topic, but I think that's a pretty good summary of where I'm at on the issue right now.

Man, I'm sorry to end on a bummer note like that. Hey, I know what will cheer us up:
Mmmm, look at all those sausages

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