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?