I never thought I’d rethink my meat-eating. I really didn’t. But I am and it started with my sister-in-law saying she has started following a vegan diet when we met at my in-laws a few weeks ago. My mother in law and her husband are vegetarians and have been for a few years. So it was already mainly a meat free diet being served (although my mother in law had kindly cooked us some chicken tikka masala, I must mention)
Back to the vegan thing. So my sister-in-law was instantly attacked with loads of stereotypical jokes from us 3 meat eaters, when explaining the reasons for her new eating habits. As I’m throwing out these jokes on a regular interval, however, I realise it must be something that happen to vegans/vegetarians all the time – being made fun of, questioned and asked to justify their position and any seemingly inconsistencies in their argument. Why is that? I don’t constantly have to explain why I eat meat.
Anyway, I had a revelation should I say about my own reasoning and justifications when it comes to eating meat,very surprisingly actually. I haven’t considered challenging myself on this point before because I’ve been convinced meat serves an important purpose for us. And as you’ve noticed here on the blog I’ve had a keen interest in high protein diets, which is can be perceived as a contradiction to a no-animal diet. There are some convincing arguments for a high protein diet being the way forward, but having read up a bit more I’ve come across arguments equally convincing saying the opposite. Arguments covering several aspects of life (health, environment, treatment of animals, weight) not just maintaining a certain weight. As we say in Sweden; “Man är inte sämre än att man kan ändra sig” (“I’m not worse than I can change my mind”)
The more I’ve thought about it I’ve realised that my justifications for eating meat is kind of poor and doesn’t really cover the kind of meat I tend to eat – cheap, mass-produced and also processed meat. The means to get it cheap and easily accessible to me, is worrying both from a moral and health perspective. Hence the reasoning; “I don’t think it’s wrong or bad for my health to eat grass feed beef from a local butcher, but because it’s not available to me price or location wise – it’s equal to substitute it with cheap store-bought meat.”
It’s not that someone else has challenged me on it (although my sister-in-law shared some blog & books after I showed an interest), but the seed was sown at some point and it has now lead me to this conclusion: I can’t really defend eating meat the way I do. If I’m going to continue I will have to accept the fact that I can’t defend it and have no good excuse and hats off for those who don’t. I haven’t made a definite decision where this revelation should take me, so maybe it’s a bit premature blogging about it. It is a very personal thing and my choices has to be right for me and I don’t have to stick to anyone else’s rules.
Some who read this will probably feel like I’ve done a one-eighty. And I have, as regards to the meat, I suppose. But all the other stuff is basically the same.
Jon just sighs; “Gosh, you always have to think of ways to make your diet more complicated.”
Either way, exploring new recipes and rethinking old ones is always fun, so I’ve decided to set myself a challenge – a vegan diet challenge. I have already started and I’m on day 6 of 30. I say vegan but actually it only partly describes the changes I’m making. And also, important to point out now; I’m only talking about a vegan diet at this point. So that no vegan lifestyle activist get offended and call me a fake. I’m not looking for a title to live up to in any way. Any change is a good change.
I did not realise (silly me) the environmental aspect of eating meat, not fully anyway. I read yesterday that you can do more for the environment by cutting out meat one day a week, than eating local produce seven days a week. So any change is really a good change and I’m doing something.
Besides eating a vegan based diet I’m also continue to cut out gluten, sugar, starchy and processed food and opt for organic produce as much as possible. It’s about making healthy choices.
After the 30 days I will evaluate and see how I want to move forward. Here’s some stuff I’ve eaten this week: