Big news, guys. Chris and I have been meat free for an entire year now.
Is this our marriage license, or meat-free license? Who knows. Who cares.
Meat for us = cows, pigs, lambs, (all mammals.) We still occasionally eat chicken and a lot of fish. I’ve eaten more fish in 2017 than I have in my entire life. And before I dig any deeper into this post let me slap my disclaimer on this by saying, I am not writing this to tell you to stop eating meat. You do you, we’ll do us.
In the past year I’ve learned that writing/talking about our new diet is a lot trickier than I would have ever imagined. For starters, we only touch on it when need be. Like today for example when I’m lacking a post idea.
If we’re out to dinner with friends and sharing plates, which is something we do quite often in Chicago, we try to just casually slip in something that is meat-free without making a big to-do about it.
We just choose not to eat a few specific animals, it’s really not that big of a deal.
And yet as we’ve learned, some people choose to make it that big of a deal. And then it gets annoying AF.
I don’t get it, why are you doing this?
You’re really never going to eat meat ever again?
What about the food chain?
Just take a bite, we won’t tell.
Oh, you’re one of those people?
You really think two people changing their diet will make a difference?
Let me guess, you watched a documentary right?
The list could go on and on about things we’ve heard in the past year, those are just a few that come to mind right away. I know that most people aren’t trying to be rude when they say this stuff, some are just curious. But some are just downright judgmental. And then I’m reminded of myself in the past, and feel bad for shitty things I’ve probably said to people who had diets that didn’t fit “my standard of living.”
So let’s jump in. Why are we doing this? For Chris, it’s because of the environment. I won’t get into his side of things much more than that because I can’t speak for him. But if you’re curious, simply google, “environmental impacts of eating one hamburger.” There’s a lot there that may surprise you. Or don’t google it, I don’t really care. As with anything, the info is there if you wan’t to read it.
For me, it’s because I started to feel like a hypocrite regarding my advocacy for animals. FOR ME. I’m not saying you can’t love animals and still eat meat- I did it for 29 years and I know how much I loved animals. And bacon. Man, I loved bacon. But one day I met the sweetest little pig at the park and that was a game changer for me. I started reading about how pigs are treated, how they’re slaughtered, and how their intelligence is higher than dogs. And I knew I was done.
In the past year, Chris and I had one moment of weakness right before the Fourth of July.
“Should we just take a break this weekend? Just eat a hamburger? Or a hot dog?”
We wondered aloud on the drive to Nebraska. From day one we’ve always said this is just a day-by-day diet. If we ever felt the need to break, we could. We would. But less than an hour later a semi truck full of teeny tiny pink posed piglets pulled up beside us on the interstate. I watched as their tiny faces struggled to poke through the holes of the semi and all that I could imagine was a truck full of puppies. And I burst into tears on the spot.
I get sad just thinking about that moment. I’m aware there is such a thing as “good farming,” where animals are treated okay. But having grown up in Nebraska, I saw a lot of the commercialized farming. I frequently saw semis driving down the road, packed full of animals lying in their own feces.
And there goes the heavy sigh I often do when writing a post I know may rub people the wrong way. So again, as always, I’m writing about my own experience here. I’m sure several of you disagree, you may look at a truck transporting animals to be slaughtered in a different view, probably not nearly as emotional as I do, and so to each their own.
As for the “food chain argument,” ughhhh, this is where it’s hard for me to keep my judgment at bay because for me this isn’t an argument at all. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
But now I’ve rambled on long enough about this for a Monday. In conclusion, I honestly never thought we’d last this long. But now that we have, I can’t imagine going back. I don’t miss or crave meat. Well, except for sausage pizza. I do miss that.
We both feel healthier, but nothing too crazy. It should be noted we still eat a lot of pizza, nachos, and fried stuff, so we’re by no means the world’s healthiest couple.
So yes, we still eat/do a lot of things we probably shouldn’t. I’d like to stop eating chicken and turkey eventually, but it’s taking me awhile to get there. But for now, cutting out mammals had made us both feel better mentally and physically, so for us that means it’s a win.
In the end, you gotta do what works best for you.
Unless this involves swimming with dolphins. WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL DOING THIS.
* I end every animal post with this thought because I’m very judgy about this “activity.”*
Bye! Happy Monday!