Sunday, June 9, 2013

Return to being meat-free?

(I am going to ask for comments at the end, so please be prepared to write something)

Yesterday was a very lazy Saturday, so lazy that I never got out of my pajamas or even put in my contacts.  Z was feeling blah, so it was an excuse to stay in, catch up on reading, work on some crafty fun, and watch some movies.

We watched the 80s classic, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, which Z got a real kick out of.  She loved the clothes and the hair.  And I will admit I loved it as much as I did when I saw it in the cinema in 1985, Z saw it as an old-fashioned version of the series Shake it Up!  After the fun 80s nostalgia, I decided to watch something a bit more "educational", and put on the documentary Vegucated, which promotes a vegan lifestyle.

Vegucated is like many other documentaries I have seen before on the benefits of being meat-free and the atrocious treatment of animals.  I assume it is kind of preaching to the choir, because die hard meat and potato eaters will probably not be swayed. I love it, but I am sure there are many who would not consider to watch it as they are flipping through Netflix.

I was a vegetarian for almost 5 years after I had my daughter, though I did eat fish once in a while, so technically, I guess you can say I was a pescatarian.  After I was diagnosed with celiac, I gradually started eating bits of meat here and there.  It started because I would be at parties and BBQs, and there was very little to eat unless I brought my own food, so I ate a bratwurst here, some smoked turkey there.  From then on out, I probably eat meat about once every two weeks.  So compared to people who can't fathom a meatless meal, it is still relatively little, but I am still eating it.  Z likes meat and sees it as a treat, so about once a month I will make pork carnitas, meatballs, tacos or chili.

I try to stay on the periphery of the grocery store, and try to limit the buying of processed food items.  When Z asks for a snack, I give her fresh cut fruit, or yogurt.  Though, she won't refuse cheddar bunnies (who would?)  I try to visit farmers markets as much as I can, and I buy my meat at Whole Foods, which makes me feel like I am getting "happy" meat, but really, how "happy" and humane is it?

In the documentary Vegucated, what stuck with me most was a a scene where someone called an organic meat company asking how the animals were treated, how the cows were castrated, what happened to animals who were sick, how they killed animals...and guess what??  It wasn't much different that conventional methods!!  Animals are not given painkillers, they are killed with metal rods through their brain, baby boy chicks are killed alive, because they are not needed, chickens beaks are burned down, and I could go on and on...but you get the point.

Many of us have seen something like this before, and we know in our subconscious what really happens, but we try and push it out of our minds, because hey...we like bacon, we like pot roast, we like our Thanksgiving turkey.  And I do too!  I am not trying to pretend I don't.

So, how do we know if a small, organic farm is actually small enough that they treat the animals humanely?

I don't think I could be completely vegan, I do love yogurt and eggs, and while I know these animals are also included in the group above, I am just not sure it is realistic for me to think I could cut out all animal-based foods.  But, I have cut out meat before, so I know I could do it.

I know if I could go completely gluten-free there is really no other eating habit I could not accomplish.  In the past couple of months, I have cut out many of the processed foods I was still holding onto. I have cut out pasta, bread, crackers, chips (of course I may have an occasional chip at a party), cut down on tofu to once a week, even rice, which I love!  I always say I could live on rice and cheese, risotto is my favorite all time food, but I have stayed away from rice since March. And just a side note..cutting out these foods, finally allowed me to shed some pounds! Whoo hoo!

I am still baking...but I am giving it away, and not eating it.  I realized, I just love the act of baking.  And I am holding onto our traditional of Sunday pancakes.

But the focus of this post is meat, and how I really want to cut it out.  I don't think I would have a problem with it if I know it is form a humane, local farm, but I don't want to eat it otherwise.  I feel I am already very conscious about the food I buy (I try not to buy conventional veggies from outside the US), but I am going to be even more so (and buy more organic veggies/fruit that are from Georgia and the Southeast).

Please don't think I wrote this post to be preachy, it is just really a stream of consciousness about my own thoughts about meat and cheese.  I feel I have lots of research I need to do, before I know what really is "happy" meat, and does it even exist outside of me hunting and killing it myself?

I am very curious to know the thoughts of others?  How do you feel about meat?  What is most important to you regarding what you eat?  Please post your honest comments.  Thanks!!


  1. One of my all time fav 80s movies!! I watched it again not to long ago.

    I eat meat. I have considered going veg, but there are too many foods my stomach has issues with, so I have to eat what I can. I do prefer to buy local, so I know exactly where it is coming from and would love to get the hubby on board with that.


  2. I have been vegetarian for about a year, (Vegucated pushed me over the edge!) and eating healthier overall has unveiled some hidden gluten issues that I think I've been ignoring. I've definitely found it frustrating going out with friends while being veg and GF, some places the GF menu is literally only steak or chicken. Before I treated gluten as something I could cheat with occasionally, I'm quickly realizing that won't work for me anymore. Now I'm treating them both as a health and moral choice, as opposed to feeling more deprived and sorry for myself. I haven't been able to cut out all processed GF foods, but I'm working on it. I look at my kitchen like a challenge now, a challenge to get my meat and gluten eating friends and family to enjoy my food too! Very glad I found this blog!

  3. Interesting to see someone else who was put off after watched Vegucated! Do you think you will eat meat if you know it is from a local pasture-raised farm?