I was 35,000 feet above the solid earth on the sky road to London, September 2010. This was the time and place where I decided to become a vegetarian. My kitchen was thousands of miles away, across an ocean and continent. Decisions come to us in different ways: gradually, with a thunderbolt of energy, or after much serious consideration. Choosing to be a vegetarian came to me quietly, without fanfare. I needed a change. In the 21st century, vegetarian is an accepted normality, rather than a novelty. My family and friends challenged my thinking even though they fully supported my decision. Some of them were already vegetarians. I particularly enjoyed Sarah’s (my sister) response.”
“Health consciousness … environmental sensitivity … humane responsiveness…There are a lot of reasons why people choose to be vegetarian or vegan … I’m not so sure, however, that life/eating style changes of this nature to any of the above noted reasons is the only valid response that one can make. Unlike my sister, I’m a “meat-eater” and a proud one at that. While I am not suggesting that Rebecca doesn’t have a excellent reason for making the food choices that she has, I am an advocate for balance … a balance that includes protein choices found in beef, pork, poultry and fish (as well as other exotic sources … I *love* moose meat!). However … perhaps Rebecca can persuade me to her thinking? Or can I convert her back to the mainstream? Shall we see?”
Fast forward 2 years…I’m not quite a vegetarian…but I am not quite mainstream. I call it flexibility… with emphasis on vegetarian.
Mark Bittman in his cookbook, The Food Matters Cook Book, calls this flexibility “sane eating.”
“You can structure the day strictly to eat “vegan before six,” as I do: Avoid all animal and processed foods (except for maybe some milk on your cereal or sugar in your coffee) until dinnertime; then eat whatever you’d like. Or you might substantially reduce the amount of meat, fish, poultry, and dairy you eat at every meal – down to an ounce or two per sitting.” (page 8, The Food Matters Cookbook)
I think a lot of people are becoming more vegetarian in their eating patterns. It’s good for the environment and it’s good for humanity. Have I convinced you, Sarah?
A Vegetarian’s Perspective