If you’ve been watching the news, I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the gross admission Burger Kings in France made after traces of horse DNA were found in meat across Europe. Um. What?! How does that happen? What I’m most bothered about at this point is the fact that experts are stressing that there are “no health risks associated with the consumption of horse meat”. I don’t give a flying stink if there are no health risks associated with eating horse meat. That is not what everyone is freaked out about, and I don’t appreciate the experts trying to deflect attention from the real issue. But this horse meat debacle has certainly raised some questions for me in my own life.
I am a pescatarian, and I’ve been one for about 5 or 6 years. I lean more toward the vegetarian side of things because fish is just so…fishy. And it looks like a fish. Which is beginning to freak me out too. And I don’t ever see myself going back to chicken, beef, or pork. I don’t judge other folks for eating it, but beef especially gives me the willies and the way it’s prepared just seems brutal. My first job out of graduate school, I witnessed firsthand kitchen staff breaking down a cow. Like it looked alive. Except it wasn’t. And that’s how this all sort of started.
So here’s my question as I start to get more and more freaked out by the concept of eating animal flesh. Do I take the leap and go vegan? What are the pros/cons of going vegan? What do vegans eat?
Cons. The first thing people seem to be concerned about when you tell them you’re veg is protein + nutrients. As in, “that’s not natural, how do you get enough protein/nutrients?” And that could be a valid concern, if you don’t know how to feed yourself. It’s very tempting, the first month of any new veg diet to default to eating chips and salsa and french fries with an occasional salad with balsamic. But that won’t work for me. If I’m hungry, I’m hangry, and I’m not prepared for the undergraduate belly I had to make a return. Sorry belly. We had some good times, but you made bikini shopping hell. I’m all about the balance now. I suppose the key is making a better plan so I actually have choices other than fries to eat. Also, my parents might roll their eyes at me when I go home on breaks. But they kind of started doing that when I sprouted locs at the end of high school.
Pros. It’s friggin tasty! I started going on dates with my Whole Foods girlfriend, Tessa to this place in Raleigh called the Remedy Diner? And I’ll be darned it that stuff doesn’t taste better than meaty options. When done right, veg options are tasty. Also, it forces you to plan meals a little better. And provided you’re eating a balanced meal, it’s super healthy and plant-based. Now there are a ton of animal welfare, compassion, and eco-footprint reasons that are beyond obvious, right, so I don’t want to list them here. One, because they’re obvious, and two, because that’s the point at which people feel like you’re lecturing them. Again, I’m not lecturing, you carry on, I’m just trying to make a decision for me, not for you. So chill.
So there’s a myriad of things to consider if I’m going to do this. This is certainly not a decision I’m going to be making tomorrow, because I’m focused on the marathon right now, but it’s definitely something that’s in mind, and as I consider making this change, I will be a little more conscious of what I’m eating, and what I can swap out to make my transition a little easier. Put your compelling arguments either way in the comments, and provided they’re not idiotic (kidding!) I will definitely log that away for consideration.