This job entails a lot of eating out. Lunches with co-workers. Dinners and receptions with contemporaries from my university and from other academic institutions. I try to be cool about this whole thing. I slyly check out whether there is meat in each dish. I don't take it on faith that if I'm having Mexican food there won't be any lard in the beans or chicken stock in the rice, I ask quietly so as not to make a fuss. I pretty much try not to draw attention to the fact that I'm pushing the food around on my plate in order to make it look like I'm eating the chicken salad that was just set in front of me. Wouldn't want to send it back. That might just piss off the catering company. Yeah, I am a freak.
Invariably someone will ask me why I became a vegetarian. This is an easy one. I like the easy questions. Just ask any of the hundreds of teachers I've had over the years. I became a vegetarian for health reasons.
About 15 years ago I had read an article that said that some women who have sever migraines do not process meat protein correctly. At that time I was suffering from no less than 1 migraine per week. You read that right; "1 per week" and those lasted for three days. I figured that if I could cut this number in half I'd be a very very happy woman.
I decided to give up meat of all kinds for 3 months as a trial. In that 3 month period I only had 2 migraines. I then decided that 3 months wasn't a long enough trial. So, I added another 3 months. Lo and behold I didn't have any migraines. I'm now down to 1 migraine or less per year.
Over the years I would occasionally have some fish but all in all I shunned meat. Now, I don't even eat fish, I do eat eggs and I also eat/drink dairy products (I'd go soy for all this but damn have you tasted that stuff?). I've actually become pretty militant about the whole thing lately, no leather shoes, belts or purses. Try finding a decent pair of pumps made of man-made materials and then who's to say that material isn't an oil product. It all becomes pretty confusing.
The first question that anyone asks me after they find out I'm a vegetarian is, "how do you get your protein?" I don't mind when friends or even strangers ask me because I figure it is an opportunity to tell them how easy it is to get protein in your diet without meat but when doctors ask me I get a bit pissed. Do your homework guys. I've even had doctors demand that I have blood tests to confirm that I'm getting enough protein and iron. I pass their tests with flying color every single time.
I'll answer this question for you because you are my friends. I get most of my protein from beans and tofu and all those meatless products.
I don't expect that everyone will want to go totally meatless. JR and the Boy haven't. I do have to say that they only eat meat a couple of times a week (unless they sneak it while I'm not around) and I have stopped cooking it for them. I understand that others really like meat and don't want to give it up. That is why I've been encouraging the Meatless Monday thing for quite awhile now.
Turns out that not only is giving up meat at least one day a week good for you but it is good for the environment. Want more information about all this go to Meatless Mondays
One of the reasons that I like the whole Meatless Monday deal is because it does not demand that one give up meat everyday. It does not bully or try to guilt one into giving up meat. It asks that each person give it up for one day. One day is doable for most people.
There are other groups out there that bully or use guilt to get people to stop eating meat (you know who I'm talking about). I can't really get behind that kind of thing. Everyone needs to come to this in their own way.
Well, there is my soap box for today.
PS. Meatless Monday people I hope you don't mind that I totally stole your logo.