Back to meat, again.

 I have been very torn with my meat relationship for most of my adult life. Before January, I was a vegetarian (well, I ate fish every so often, so I guess that made me a pescetarian.) But this past New Years Eve, I made it back to the dark side. We had a party, there was meat, and the permeant smell sent me aflutter. I couldn't resist it. I dove head first into a bowl a rotisserie chicken and there was no looking back. The next day, I felt guilty. Like really guilty. I thought "how could I be so aware of our food system and still have the desire to eat meat?"

A few years back, I read two books that sparked a bulb to be a conscious eater; Michael Pollans "The Omnivores Dilemma" and "Skinny Bitch," which is mostly a book about our corrupt food system and how it affects our diets. But then over time, approximately four years, I was observing the growing culture of Artisan butchers and its cool factor, and the exotiscm surrounding it. Living in New York City, specifically Williamsburg, so many people love the idea of throwback careers (like said butchers or craft beer brewers, even chocolate makers) and creating an edgy spin on it.

I consider myself somewhat of a foodie, and felt left out when I could not delve into a conversation about prime meats and their best seasonings. I had ideas! But in a sense, it was against my dietary religion to share them. With my knowledge, wasn't I suppose to educate people about the flaws of eating meat? I was torn and salivating at the same time...

But then, on New Years Eve, I could not take it anymore. The wild beast within shoved people aside with the sight of meat propelling me forward. When I took the first bite, I sighed. "Man, this is good," I thought. There was no turning back.

However, I'm happy to report that over time I've come to terms with my introduction back to the world of meat. And I sort of love it. So much so that I made sliders for an Oscar party on Sunday and enjoyed every minute of smashing the ground meat together into perfect tiny patties, mixed in with bits of cremini mushroom and seasoned with an abundance of salts. That said, moving forward, I still plan to remain a conscious eater and will try to follow a diet of some traceability, which basically means knowing where you're sourcing your food from.

Now the only question is: what's for lunch?

How about you guys? Any vegetarian/meat struggles? Are you a big meat eater or would you never ever touch it?


Ana Degenaar :

This is such an amazing post. I was also a vegetarian and stopped before I got pregnant with Emma because I knew I wanted to be as healthy as I could before finally getting preggers - and my doctor had already mentioned that not eating meat is as harmful to the body as eating too much of it.

I see that, specially in the blogging world a lot of vegans have posted about having to go back to eating meat because of lack of nutrients in their systems. I still eat more veggies than meat but I feel like a have a healthier relationship with food now.

My reasons for not eating meat where not religious so I guess that made it easy... I cannot imagine how somebody feels when they are doing it for deeper, more meaningful reasons.

Welcome to the dark side!

Sandy Caribou :

After studying environmental studies my Freshman and Sophomore years in college, I struggled with they way in which I consumed my food. I stopped eating meat, and steered clear of tuna and shrimp (biomagnification and mercury).

But then I found myself missing things, as you described. Missing certain foods, experiences, etc. because of a self-imposed diet based upon your ethical beliefs. I think that being a conscious eater in search of a happy medium is best, because lord knows that plenty of the vegetarians I eat aren't eating locally, and on top of that aren't eating healthy. I'm trying my best to eat fresh and local, as well as support businesses that operate in such a manner, and in the end I feel better for it. I know that not everyone has access to the same resources based on location and finances, but if we have the ability to exercise the right decisions, then we should!

I feel like I just wrote a mini-manifesto, but you inspired me! Kudos!


Karina Cifuentes :

Ana, my thoughts exactly! I think as long as you eat in moderation, you're good to go. I'm happy to be back on the dark side. :)

And Sandy: thanks for such an educational comment! Biomagnification. Eek! I think, above all else, it pays to be a conscious eater, no matter if you're a veggie or meat eater. And definitely a plus to help supprto local businesses!

Filip Demuinck :

This meat looks really nice. Super, please give it to me.


Melissa Blake :

I always say I should give up meat, but I just can't make myself do it. I feel like it's one of those habits that would be so hard to change, you know?

Karina Cifuentes :

Melissa, it's definitely challenging in the beginning. But over time, it just becomes second nature. UNTIL you get the urge again! That's the hard part.

{The Design Daredevil} Jessie D. Miller :

Girl I love me some meat. You should be proud you even lasted as long being veggie as you did!

Eliza Jane :

I was a very strict vegetarian for 10 years. I started eating meat 7 years ago, but only because I got very sick and HAD to (nothing to do with being a vegetarian, as I keep reminding my sister). Now I only eat ocean wise seafood and organic/free range meats.

Karina Cifuentes :

Eliza, I'm sorry you had to eat meat against your will! But it makes great sense to continue the consciousness and only eat wise seafood and organic meats.

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