Thursday, January 19, 2012

Are we addicted to meat?

Lately I've been reading a lot about eating a vegetarian diet.  There are so many sources out there that discuss the negative environmental impacts that come from the meat industry, as well as all the health implications.  There's also the whole disconnect between animals being raised and slaughtered in conditions no one wants to think about when they go into the grocery store and pick out their nice little packaged portion.


So I've been ordering vegetarian lately, a veggie saute at the Chinese place, a vegetarian burrito at Chipotle.  And then last night I was at a dinner for a professional society, in a really nice ballroom of a hotel.  When I'd attended similar events in the past, they always asked what your dinner preference was usually giving you three choices, a beef dish, some kind of chicken, and a vegetarian option.  I was thinking about choosing the veggie option, depending on if it sounded good.  But they didn't ask at this dinner, apparently they just assumed everyone was going to be ok with their only choice, a big plate of beef.

Once the beef was in front of me I couldn't turn it down, but one of the guys at our table doesn't eat red meat.  Well I guess they didn't consider this because it took them 20 minutes to produce a vegetarian option which was penne with a generic red sauce.  It looked pathetic on his plate and seemed like a complete afterthought since it took so long to come out.  Didn't anyone realize that some people don't eat red meat?  That some people don't eat meat at all?  I've always read about how it can be challenging to eat out as a vegetarian, but I had never really witnessed it like this.

Now, I'm not sure if I'll ever eat 100% vegetarian, I'm still trying to sort through all of the information.  But whenever I mention anything about a vegetarian diet, more often than not, I get very passionate opposition!  Never eat meat again?!  NO!  It's the end of the world, it tastes so amazing!  I definitely like the taste of meat, don't get me wrong, but if not eating it has such a huge positive impact on the world, helpless animals, and my health, then isn't that worth something?

Are people addicted to meat?  Sometime I feel like I might be, hello bacon!  We hear about the negatives, but would rather not believe them because why, the taste is that good?  Beef, it's what's for dinner.  Are we brainwashed by advertising?  Would we rather live in blissful ignorance, and then die of cancer?  People don't like change, but it doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing.  Every little bit helps and maybe it's time to shake things up a bit.  I'm not saying everyone should go vegetarian tomorrow, but I think people should at least educate themselves and know where their food comes from before it arrives at the grocery store.

Do you know where your food comes from?


  1. Amber,

    This was a beautifully crafted post. Aside from the topic, I feel as if you're really hitting your stride with writing and I'm so proud (again, hehe). You're able to both orchestrate your opinion gracefully and provide the facts for all to see. Great job!



    1. you need two signatures ^^ in case you didn't know....

    2. Aw thanks love!!!


      <3 <3 <3,


  2. Before I was a vegetarian for a little while I did not like onions, peppers, eggplant or mushrooms. When I was forced to eat them with limited menu choices at restaurants I found out they are awesome and sometimes opt for the veggie option out now. It's usually better than all the greasy meats. love, gwen

  3. I have been a vegetarian for a year and a half now. I made the change at first because I developed an aversion to meat. Then I started learning more about the ethical, environmental, and health benefits that come with a vegetarian diet and I was even more convinced it was for me. I tried it for 30 days and I felt so good after that then I knew I couldn't go back. I felt cleaner, lighter, and just better overall.

    It has definitely been challenging at times and as someone who trains for marathons I need to watch my calories and protein to make sure I'm getting enough to fuel my training. But I like the challenge of trying to cook new and interesting vegetarian meals so eating at home is never an issue. Even my husband has grown to love it and only eats meat when we go out, and sometimes he orders vegetarian like me (although he would never call himself a vegetarian). The problems come when I try to eat out or go to someone's house and don't want to be rude or come off as judgmental towards people who eat meat. I believe that everyone has a right to eat whatever they choose, whether it's meat or not! I don't judge others for their choices. It's been a learning experience for me but I've figured out how to make the best of any situation that I'm in and find something to eat. Fortunately there are more and more veggie friendly restaurants opening, and restaurants are adding more veggie meals to their menus. I think it will only continue to improve from here!

  4. Such a good view point! Luckily I, like the guy at your professional dinner, don't like red meat. If I eat it at all, it has to be extra well done. Luckily I don't eat a lot of meat, basically because of a cost and time factor. Not buying it reduces my grocery bill and it takes time to defrost & cook. Usually I'm getting home late and want something quick, so I throw whatever veggies I have in my wok.
    Working in marketing/advertising, I can say that we are in fact brainwashed. Each company wants you to think their product is the best, so you'll buy it. Thus their commercials/ads needs to be convincing enough to sway your opinion. It really does make sense.
    Great post A!

  5. We went to the South Florida Fair last night and stopped by the Moo-ternity tent. A new experience. Mama cows ready to pop walking around, and (although we walked in thinking, 'what are the chances we'll actually see a calf being born right this moment?') a cow moo-ing and sitting down with a couple workers (who seemed to know what they were doing) standing by her, rocking her back and forth (I imagine/hope this felt good). Within minutes, they had a rope tied around the baby's legs (apparently they come out legs first, who knew?) and about 6 people were yanking it out. Within a few more minutes, mama was up, licking her baby clean and the baby's eyes were open. It was beautiful and yet, sort of disturbing, with 100+ people standing around, and me wondering how calves are born in nature (certainly not with 6 people pulling them out with a rope) and whether the mama would prefer it this way or that way- probably the latter?). Add to it that some of the spectators were just coming from (or heading to) the countless food stands, many of which sold beef and pork products (we went from the Mooternity tent to a very entertaining- but also slightly sad?- pig race). A disappointing account of American life from where I stand, and that's not even mentioning the deep-fried everything that they sell for way too much money. I'm still sorting through my thoughts on the night and won't judge the friends I was with for what they ate. I'm just glad I had dinner beforehand and will certainly rethink my next red-meat meal. Sorry for the details, your timing was just impeccable here and hit the nail on the head for me.

    1. That's so crazy that you got to witness that. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I just stumbled upon this post and found it thoughtful. Personally I eat meat and have no intention of removing it from my diet. However, I am concerned about the environmental impact of factory farms. I am lucky enough to live near a farmer's market where I have started buying turkey, chicken and duck directly from the nearby farms where they were raised. If your concerns are largely environmental, consider switching to locally raised meat. The result is generally that you consume less anyway, since it is a bit more expensive but also higher quality.

    1. You're definitely right. Locally raised meat is better for the environment and our bodies! Good thoughts and thanks for the comment :)


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