In my first post on this blog I talked about my new venture into a diet with less meat and cheese. I grew up in an area where consumption of animal products was very high. I myself used to eat meat and cheese every day. That changed recently when I decided to alter my diet a bit in response to the cruelty that is used in factory farms. I’m not sure exactly how I want to alter it yet, but right now I’m embarking on a semi-vegan diet. I am working to dramatically decrease my meat and dairy intake, but still eat a little bit, hence the ‘vegan-ish’ and ‘semi-vegan’ labels. I haven’t decided whether I want to go full vegan or vegetarian, or something different. For now, I’ve been focusing on cutting out red meat and some dairy as a first step. But today I wanted to talk about the red meat part of it.
I never used to think that I could eliminate beef and pork from my diet, but not long ago, I had the privilege of seeing what sort of progress I’ve made so far. Recently after a particularly long night at work I stopped at a Taco Bell. It was the only place open within a several mile radius, and I didn’t want to go out of my way given how tired I was and the fact that I had a long drive home. Most of Taco Bell’s offerings contain meat; well, maybe it’s more accurate to say that they are based around meat. Since I’m not completely meat free I decided that I’d allow myself some this time. Strangely, I had a craving for beef. This is pretty rare lately; what I mean by this is that since deciding to change what I eat, I haven’t had an especially big craving for red meat like beef and pork. I figured it was probably my body craving protein, so I bought a beef burrito.
After unwrapping my purchase, I hesitated to put it into my mouth. I thought about the horror that the cow my meat came from must have experienced before being slaughtered to feed me. But, I thought, I had spent my hard earned cash on it, so I’d better eat it. Here’s the funny thing: I hated it. The ground beef tasted AWFUL! I even had difficulty finishing it. But instead of sadness, this brought me joy! I always used to love ground beef, and had never hated it-until now. Had I gotten to the point where I was ready to give up some meat? Could I say that I actually disliked it? If so, this would be a big step!
I tested my theory a couple of weeks later when I picked up a sample of a burger at the grocery store I work at. I used to love hamburgers, too, but this time, just like with the burrito, I couldn’t eat it. The taste was so terrible I couldn’t stand it and threw what was left out. My stomach even churned a tad in protest. (sorry to include that disgusting detail; hope it wasn’t too gross.) I figured that perhaps I’d been right, I was ready to give up some meat. Granted it’s not all meat, but it’s a step forward.
So I can now proudly say that I have totally given up ground beef! I haven’t had it since the instances I described, and don’t want it anymore. The only burgers I eat now are veggie burgers! I’m doing pretty well on other types of red meat, too but still eat it (red meat) from time to time. But I’m confident that I can eventually take the step of giving up ALL red meat completely. Now I realize that giving up meat, something I used to think impossible is completely doable- one step at a time.
Photo: Free Images/Kaliyoda