Lots of people have been evolving on various things in the last year. In fact, it seems to have become a fashion. In the US, President Obama ‘evolved’ over gay marriage. In Australia, Tony Abbott evolved over paid parental leave. I’m starting to feel myself evolving over, of all things, being (or not being) a vegetarian. I used to think of vegetarians as being a bunch of nuisances who made life difficult for everyone else when it came to choosing restaurants.
In the last year, I have felt myself change. In part, it was reading about the way animals react in slaughterhouses. Pigs, in particular, I’m told, seem to know they are going to be killed and react, screaming in a way that sounds very human. I’ve also seen some “hidden camera” footage of life inside turkey farms and chicken batteries. In one case turkeys had apparent skin diseases, and farm hands were kicking them like footballs. In another video, chickens appeared to be eating their own dead … what should I call them…siblings? And In Australia we had a big controversy over footage of how Australian animals were slaughtered in Indonesian abattoirs.
Some US states, including North Carolina, have tried to outlaw animal activists getting such hidden tapes.
So I’ve been cutting back on my meat consumption. I haven’t bought bacon for a few months now. I’ve bought free range eggs. The night I write this, I’m going to a Japanese restaurant with some friends. I guess I’ll have a vegetable tempura. One of my main obstacles to going vegetarian has been that the dishes I’ve tried to cook without meat have tasted rather bland. Let’s face it: most vegetables don’t have that much flavor. So I’ve started experimenting with more spices.
I’m still tossing up if I can justify eating chicken meat that was free range before it was killed. I don’t know much about how chickens are killed and how quick or otherwise the process is. I can visualize giving up beef . I may end up as one of those people who eat dairy products and eggs, but not meat. (I just learned that this is called ovo-lacto-vegetarianism.)
So, has anyone who is reading this tried to go to a vegetarian diet? Why did you try it? Did you find it restrictive and boring? Could you stick to it? I’d love to hear.