miscellany

Matt found me sobbing this morning in the kitchen while listening to this.  I swear, I am this close to becoming a vegetarian.  Matt and I have talked about it.  Being the bleeding hearts that we are, it’s pretty much a wonder that we’re not militant members of PETA.  It’s just that, I like meat.  I remember considering becoming a vegetarian when we lived in LA (b/c, after all, everyone was doing it), but I couldn’t give up my In-N-Out Burgers.  But who, in their right mind, would ever give up meat for that taste of heaven.  They serve the best hamburgers and french fries on the planet.  I remember one time practically falling all over an unsuspecting Kansan wearing an In-N-Out Burger t-shirt.  I thought that we’d be instant friends when I ran up to him gesticulating wildly about his shirt.  He just thought I was…weird.  Apparently not all In-N-Out fans are as friendly as I am. 
But I digress.  I really do have a hard time eating meat.  I just have to close my eyes, hold my breath, open my mouth, and pretend that this meat I’m savoring is not, well, meat.  From an animal.  That had a face and feelings.  That was killed.  Truthfully, I eat the venison from my grandpa with not nearly the guilt I feel when I eat other animals that have been pumped with hormones and antibiotics and then tortured to death.  I know that the deer I eat have roamed free, eaten pure foods, and died a quick death.  I still can’t think of their limpid, beautiful brown eyes when I eat my venison burgers, but I can eat them. 
I’m really struggling with this.  My friend Megan has become a vegetarian, and we talked about it a lot when she was in town from Chicago a few weeks ago.  And my friend Rachel has a roommate who is Hindu, so she’s obviously eating a lot of vegetarian food (and she’s a fabulous vegetarian cook anyway…actually, she’s just a plain fabulous cook).  She butchered a hog this weekend, but I’m assuming it was hormone-, antibiotic-, and cruelty-free.
So maybe I should just eat meat that’s hormone-, antibiotic-, and cruelty-free.
I just don’t know.  It’s hard.  I’m not ready to make any permanent decisions yet.  I have been feeding us a vegetarian meal every week, so I guess that’s a start.
Anyone have any thoughts?

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This morning, as Matt held me and told me he loved me while I was crying in our kitchen, I was reminded of why I love him.  He gets stuff like that.  And even if he didn’t, even if I were standing in the kitchen crying for absolutely no reason at all, he would have held me and told me he loved me just the same.  Yesterday when I was working out, the song “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol played on my iPod, and it just made my heart swell with love for him.  I remembered the afternoon he asked me to watch the video with him.  We sat there in the office and watched it, and I remember my heart being full of the beauty of the song, the beauty of the video, and love for him.  Of course, I totally ruined the moment by telling him that the guy should really be singing, “If I just lie here” rather than “lay here,” but then, I do stuff like that all the time. 

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Not to ruin that sentimental moment, but your Monday morning needs to read this Christian Sex Toy article.  I was looking for the meat recall article, and I stumbled upon this.  You can listen to the segment here.

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And coming soon on my blog….

My venture into a group aerobics class and my pilgrimage into the dark bowels of Lent. 
(Those two are completely unrelated, btw.) 

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13 responses to this post.

  1. Jill, I love the way you write – and your soft heart. A funny thing you reminded me of was a scene in “The Year of the Dog” (movie with Molly Shannon whose character becomes vegan). When her sister-in-law hears she’s becoming vegan because she doesn’t want to be part of cruelty to animals, she says in a passive-aggressive way, “Oh didn’t you know? You can buy free-range, organic meat now.” That movie’s kind of slow-moving, but it has some funny parts that you might enjoy, especially in light of your interest in this.

    Reply

  2. We try to eat meatless once a week as well. I can’t truly say we have vegetarian tendencies, just trying to eat less meat more veggies, beans, etc. I’ve been investigating free-range, hormone-free, locally raised ( and on and on) meat and veggies. It is just sooo expensive. I’m just not sure how much of a commitment I want to make to that. I mean doubling our grocery bill? Do I really want to do that? I’ve been considering joining a CSA, too.
    My SIL was invited to one of those Christian sex parties, she didn’t go . . .

    Reply

  3. Posted by karmenl on February 18, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I have been fascinated with a ‘no meat’ lifestyle for a while. One of the girls who has been coming to Wheatland is vegetarian. I visited with her about it a little. She told me that becoming a vegetarian is more than just giving up meat or taking it out of your diet. She acted like it was a real change in the way you eat and of course what you eat. It sounded like a bit of an overhaul. Attractive sounding and overwhelming all at the same time.

    Reply

  4. Posted by frenchgirl on February 18, 2008 at 11:51 am

    did you read sweet / salty on becoming a vegetarian? it’s interesting.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Todd on February 18, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Anne and I eat vegetarian several times a week. We have a couple of really great vegan cookbooks you could probably borrow if you want.

    Reply

  6. Posted by teason on February 18, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    kelly said it. it’s more expensive to buy local, free-range… for the sole benefit of cutting cost we have given up humane treatment of this food source. we have also distanced ourselves from the responsibility (i believe) that goes along with the benefits of eating meat. an animal dies. its spirit is given up. i believe it’s ok–in fact, it is to be enjoyed–but it is (or should be) a sobering experience, too. industry has allowed us to become pure consumers of meat without having to go through the heaviness of what’s involved in getting the meat to the table.
    and this is why i enjoy hunting. i’m able to participate directly in my place in the food chain. i must come to grips with the fact that something sacred dies, at my hands, for me to be able to enjoy its meat as food. i suppose, in some weird way, that the sadness i feel at the loss of an animal’s life allows me to appreciate more fully, the meat in my dinner.
    getting back to this whole beef scandal thing in the news–it is yet another reminder that the world we live in is pretty messed up.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Todd on February 18, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    So this is probably a good forum to champion this new milk Anne and I have been buying. It is Iwig Dairy milk and is sold in the two Super-Dillons’ in Wichita. It comes in glass half gallon bottles and is from hormone free dairy cattle. You buy the first bottle for around $4, but after that you can turn in your bottle for a $2.75 credit toward your next bottle. Anne loves the milk, she says it tastes better than others. I don’t know…I’m restricted to Soy. Damn allergies!

    Reply

  8. Posted by Todd on February 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Don’t mean to dominate the posting…sorry. I have always wanted to find others around where I live to participate in a community garden of some kind. We haven’t had the opportunity yet, but I would see this as an opportunity to save $, and use the savings to buy more free range products. It’s a thought.

    Reply

  9. I’m glad to be married to a girl that is woman enough and feminist enough that she has done the same for me…held me and told me she loved me while I sobbed in her arms.

    I’m glad i’m in a relationship that doesn’t see emotion as a weakness, but a strength of character that propells us to being good people.

    Reply

  10. Wow. Thank you, everyone, for your comments! I started to respond to each one individually, but my comment started to sound a bit like I was accepting some award (“thank you, Jenny, for the compliment and the movie suggestion.” “and thank you, Todd, for the cookbook offer and the tidbit about the milk.” etc. etc.) I do want to say, though, that while I totally agree that buying organic, pesticide-, hormone-, cruelty- and antibiotic-free groceries is more expensive, if we keep buying crap, I have to also ask…at what cost? There’s the cost to our health, the cost to our environment, the cost to our conscience, the cost to our charge to be good stewards of the earth (which includes its 4-legged inhabitants as well as the green stuff that God created without, I’m pretty sure, the use of poisonous pesticides).

    For example, I eat an apple about every day for lunch. Healthy, right? Well, apples are one of the most pesticide-laden fruits. Soon after I eat this apple, I nurse Jack. What am I passing on to him? It’s kind of scary, really. Right now I can’t afford to buy all organic, pesticide-, hormone-, cruelty- and antibiotic-free groceries either, but as soon as I can, I will. For now, I try little by little to stick at least something in my grocery cart each week that hopefully won’t kill us or our environment. And until that day in the distance, when I’m living in my “green” house, sitting outside in my eco-friendly chair, wearing nothing but sweatshop-free clothes, sipping my free-trade coffee, and watching my chickens peck about happily in my cageless yard, I will plod along doing what I can.

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  11. Bless you, dear friend. I too am _this close_ to becoming a vegetarian. We had cruelty-free, home-butchered pork ribs for supper tonight (Radhika fasts on Mondays), but I think I could do without them. I love your point about caring for the earth, including its 4-legged inhabitants. Though I haven’t been an animal lover from birth and wouldn’t say I am now, I’m coming around.
    It’s hard not to get overwhelmed by this stuff. Let’s just keep encouraging each other to do what’s right as much as we can.

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  12. Plodding is good. It’s not easy to have this awareness tapping you on the shoulder incessantly, especially when you like meat. I did – habitually, sometimes at every meal – and after four months of vegetarianism, I haven’t missed it once. Point being, it may surprise you, and be easier than you think.

    Check out the podcast at http://www.compassionatecooks.com. It’s a fantastic source of ideas, learning, inspiration, encouragement… it’s my gospel. You can sign up for it and download previous episodes through iTunes.

    Good luck – oh, and one more resource is the book ‘Becoming Vegetarian’ – I can’t get the link for you because Evan is glued to Ivor the Engine in another open browser window and if I switch to Amazon he’ll freak out. 🙂 It’s fantastic (the book, not the freaking-out).

    Reply

  13. Posted by chill24 on February 22, 2008 at 9:44 am

    such a great post. i do believe in the “circle of life” (yeah, i’m singing it too). just as the native americans (and so many others) relied on the land and animals for their very survival i feel we’re still meant to use and care for God’s creation. hunting and eating animals from the range seems safer and more in line with what we were originally supposed to do.
    there are places where you can get beef and pork that’s “naturally raised” although it’s more expensive.
    my parent’s live on my great-uncle’s ranch. as a child i loved going out and feeding the cattle hay and “cake” in the winter. in the summertime they just roamed the miles of hills and ate all day. i was horrified when i found out they sold these very same cows to be eaten – gross!
    the ranch is now non-practicing as a selling forum for cattle but my parents still have their own cows butchered in town. i avoid looking at the cattle now for fear i may eat someone i know. 🙂

    Reply

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