We have several friends who are vegetarian. Having always silently contemplated whether they were truly sane to have given up meat, we never really thought we’d en up going vego on our own. It’s such an extreme decision. Here’s what happened to put us on that course.
First, we lived in China for a few years. In China, land is scarce (because there are so many people and China has less arable land than the US) so space for growing livestock is limited. Meat is thus used to flavor and add texture to staples and vegetables. It’s not really a main course kind of thing. Once we got back to the USA we were overwhelmed with meat. Every meal centers around it! Steaks, ribs, pork chops, crab legs, meatloaf—every entrée on every menu was a meat dish with a few vegetable support dishes tossed in more for color than consumption. Naturally, we put on weight and felt a bit sickly from all the damn food when we got back to the States.
Suddenly ballooning up is scary. Add to that a general sickly feeling and lethargy and you have the perfect storm of motivation to change something. My lovely aunt in North Carolina is a vegetarian and I recalled that she had read Skinny Bitch before deciding to go vego. Likewise our friends in Eugene, OR (the home of the original hippie) are veg-heads after having consumed the same literature. I downloaded a copy on my Kindle (I’m so chic) and started reading.
I knew slaughterhouses were gross. My grandpa worked in a hotdog plant and swore off hotdogs as a result. But what shocked me was the odd sexual stuff people in the slaughterhouses to do animals. I love animals, and wouldn’t ever want to hurt one personally, let alone contribute to anything as perverse as the processes used to stun, kill, and dismember the meat used in our food. But aside from the cruelty, the animals are so stuffed with steroids and antibiotics and medicines that the meat isn’t really safe to eat anymore. The healthiest thing to be, I think, would be a meat-eater who hunts natural game and otherwise eats garden supply.
So, after reading the book out loud to Mike on our month-long road trip we decided to give the Skinny Bitch diet a try. It’s not just vegetarian, it’s vegan (no animal products like cheese, milk or eggs, butter, etc) and no chemicals (alcohol, high-fructose corn syrup, sugars, etc). The diet is nearly impossible while on the road, we learned, but once stationary it’s much easier to be healthy, organic and meat-free.
We filmed our progress (and failures) along the way. We’ll load the videos soon!