Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Thoughts on Vegetarianism or: Rejoining the Omnivores

Howdy all.

Some time ago, I became a bit obsessed with the idea of meal planning and food prep once I move in with Ephraim.  I have been a vegetarian for nearly ten years, and Ephraim is a happy omnivore.  I began thinking a lot more about meals that we could make that would satisfy us both, as our eating habits stood.

More than this, though, it brought to the surface a bigger issue I had been toying with but didn't feel ready to commit to: getting back on an omnivore diet.

Now, any of you who are, or have been, vegetarians, know that there are many reasons why may choose to make such a drastic change to their diet.  For me, it's always been health motivated.  Hell, I always said that if I started eating meat again, I was going straight to a KFC for some fried chicken.  

So why, if eating meat was never an ethical issue for me, did I find the idea of eating it again to be so difficult to... (forgive me..) digest?

I think it really all came down to two things I fixated on.
1) why was I making the change, and was it for the "right" reasons?
2) what were other people going to think?

Now, I admit readily that worrying about what other people think about what I eat is ridiculous, and it frankly annoys me that I even considered it, let alone worried (and worry) about it as much as I do.  But the fact is, people fucking love to bother vegetarians about why they eat how they eat, and even if that person may not project any thoughts of being morally superior for their eating habits (bullshit, really), it seems like people do so love to see the mighty fall.  
On a more personal note to this point, it took about 2 years for my mother to quit offering me meat at dinner, and about 4 years to accept (at least aloud) that I wasn't about to start eating meat again.  

Frankly, I don't want one of the biggest decisions in my health to be chalked up to a phase, especially by her.  Whether she admits it or not.  At this point, my vegetarian diet (which I might add is as of yet unbroken, this is not past tense reflection) has lasted longer than many marriages.   Shit, at this point I've lapped Britney and K Fed like 3.5 times.  

But I digress.

Cutting meat out of my diet was always a health based decision.  And, indeed, adding it back in looks like a health based decision as well. 

I've always been a fan of simple cooking, and frankly, I am getting tired of vegetarian options being loaded with crap I don't want.  If I can substitute a soy/wheat protein/godknowswhat lump for chicken, I'd feel better about it.  I'm needing more protein in my diet these days, and this road I'm on just isn't going to get me there (or is sure isn't going to be any fun).

It funny, I mean if cutting meat out was never an ethical question, you'd think it would be an easy decision to add it back in.  But after 10 years, these choices we make become a big part of you.  It becomes harder and harder to walk away from something, even if you know it isn't really working anymore. 

If we are what we eat, is changing our diet truly fundamentally changing ourselves?



  1. As an ex-veggie I can totally understand where you are coming from. I found it quite difficult after I stopped because all the people who were judgemental about my vegetarianism originally were equally judgemental about the fact I had "given up on what I believed it". Urgh. I would advise just not thinking about what anyone else is going to think, what you eat is your own business, and maybe your doctor if you want to involve them.

    I totally get where you are coming from with vegetarianism becoming part of you too. I think it is a reaction to all the naysayers, you have to develop a thick veggie skin to deal with it. Defending your choices kind of becomes second nature so it quickly becomes part of you.

    If you do want to switch back I would suggest doing it slowly, don't just jump right in to a whole roast chicken or you won't feel good. Find something you really, really want to eat and just go for it. For me it was a bacon sandwich on a Sunday morning (yeah, I still remember).

    Whatever choice you make, just make sure you are doing it for you. Good luck xoxo

  2. I have been a veggie for nearly 10 years and just recently started to eat fish again. My husband has some health problems which has meant a radical change in our diet and we have stopped eating wheat, all processed foods and sugar. So without having some trusty Quorn to fall back on as a meat substitute (although I have had my concerns about this processed "food" for a while) I decided to bring some fish back into my diet. I did have some ethical dilemmas though so I only buy wild caught, sustainable fish and so far it has been okay. I don't think I could ever go back to eating meat but I can totally understand why some of us veggies switch back as a well balanced veggie diet is hard. Good luck! xx

  3. I was a vegetarian for 5 years in my early 20s but wasn't really that healthy about it and started craving meat. The next 5 years I ate meat here and there, but man do people love to give there opinion. Everyone loved to gloat about me eating meat again as if they won a competition. The thing was, I was really picky about the meat I would eat too, which made it complicated to explain to someone when I wasn't in the mood for it. THEN I became veg again and have been now for 5 years (seems to be the cycle for me, haha) and everyone loved to give me crap for that. So, my point here is that you have to try your hardest to not listen to people and do what you're feeling. Heck, maybe you'll want to eat meat for awhile and go back, or maybe not. My husband eats meat but we are totally veg in the house and he's cool with that. It's funny how many people seem to think he's deprived at home ;) Sorry for rambling and good luck!

  4. Ugh- *their* opinion. Should've edited!

  5. interesting to hear what Lisa said above as well. my hubs and I are meat eaters (i mean, i should say omnivores but honestly when we're super stressed there's not much on the veggie side) but also are very picky about what meat we get, always getting hormone free, and opting for ethical options, free range, etc. i tried the vegetarian diet for a couple months and didn't feel well on it, but felt a million times better after giving up gluten so that has stuck. I guess I can relate w/ the gluten part, people are still always offering me it or my brother will say things like "oh, why are you eating french fries then? those aren't good for you." and i also have heard so many vegetarian friends of mine scoff at other friends for being "mostly vegetarian" when I figure it's great of them and in whatever way is best for people to be conscious about their eating and eat what makes them feel good is great. we've been really happy for my dad lately just that he's cooking more instead of eating so much pre-made frozen dinner type stuff. but anyway, i am just kind of rambling, but i enjoyed your openness here Erin and hope you'll find the way to eat that works best for you.
    Cuddly Cacti
    Mitla Moda

  6. Wow. I am really impressed about your openness here. That must be really hard to have to deal with everyone giving THEIR opinions about YOUR lifestyle. That said, if you made the choice for health reasons and are feeling a lack of protein (or anything) you need to do what you feel is best for your health and lifestyle.


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