Today is my first day as a vegetarian.
The sound you heard is the people who know me falling off their chairs because they all know me as a fan of all things meaty. In truth, I consider myself not so much a carnivore as a committed omnivore. There is little I won’t eat, especially if it used to be part of a beast (pretty much any part). There are only five things I won’t eat, and I’ll actually eat most of them.
For the record, I will be a vegetarian for the month of January. I am skipping all meat and seafood. Eggs and dairy are okay. I’ll have more on this as the journey unfolds.
The first question everyone asks is, “why??!??!?,” with varying numbers of question marks and exclamation points.
A couple of months ago, I was in a presentations practice class and a co-worker named Marcus presented the case for vegetarianism. I like Marcus. He’s smart and personable, and he’d been a good sport a few minutes earlier, when I did a practice talk on how to properly prepare a turkey. He gave a good talk with cogent arguments, well supported by facts and sensible arguments. I’d heard the arguments before — health, how we feel, impact on the world, economics, how we treat our fellow animals.
At the end, he said something I hadn’t heard before. “I’m not asking you to suddenly become a vegetarian,” he said. “I’m suggesting you try it for 30 days and see.”
That caught my attention. It’s an intriguing idea. I pride myself on adventurous eating and other than tagging along with Anthony Bourdain, what could be more adventurous than completely upending my dietary habits?
So, about a month ago, I resolved to celebrate the new year by putting my meaty appetites on pause and seeing what happens. The most important step was telling my friends, because making a commitment public is the best way to stay on track.
I’ll blog about the experience, right here on the FeedMe channel. I’m expecting some aspects will be difficult. I’ll be tempted to cheat. In fact, right now, the remains of turkey dinner — and I love cold turkey — are in the refrigerator, calling my name. I had to freeze some leftover chicken soup and sausage. And I forgot, I was going to share my Mo’s Bacon Bar with friends last night. Too late now.
I hope you’ll follow along. I expect to challenge some assumptions and attitudes; surely some of mine, maybe some of yours.