Tuesday, July 26, 2011

why I'm not a vegetarian

If you've been reading for a while, you'll know that I used to regularly cook meat. Beef, chicken, pork, turkey-- if it was an animal I'd cook it and eat it. Favorites included beef and bean chili, turkey burgers, and pork tenderloin tacos. I even announced that hamburgers were my favorite food. In the past year or so, however, I've gradually stopped cooking meat.

When we moved to Asheville, I stopped buying so much meat at the grocery store to save on money. While we'd been having meat 3 or 4 times a week, I dropped it down to once or twice. The more I cooked without meat, the better I felt. Our grocery bill was shrinking, and I was becoming more adventurous with the kinds of foods I experimented with. Since January, I've cooked with meat 3 or 4 times, and I don't know that I'll be cooking it again until I make the Thanksgiving turkey.

EDW has been on board with it all along, since we could still eat meat when we went out to dinner. Around the start of 2011, I noticed I no longer wanted to order meat when we went out. I wanted fish, or more often than not, just vegetables. When we go out to eat now, I never order meat. Edwin goes for more variety, and I'd guess he chooses meat-free options 40% of the time when we're out. When he does order meat, I take bites to see what I think.

And what have I found? I don't like chicken at all anymore. I never was a huge fan of chicken, so that's not so odd. What is odd is my aversion to beef. I loved beef, and yet, when I sample whatever Edwin's having, I always want to go back to my own plate of fish or vegetables. I haven't sampled turkey since last Thanksgiving, so I'm not sure how I'd feel about it now. I made lamb in April, and while it didn't disgust me, I would have preferred a meat free bowl of lentils instead. Pork seems to be my meat of choice, since EDW's barbecue at 12 Bones the other day tasted pretty good to me. I say pretty good-- not amazing. My tastes have changed.

I thought about making a stand and becoming pescetarian, because I know I don't want to give up fish so I'd never go full vegetarian, but I decided against it. My hesitancy is two fold:

1. I don't want to officially restrict myself with what I choose to eat by adding a label. I'm perfectly happy to let people know that I would rather eat meat-free, but I don't want to make any firm declarations.
2. I don't want to live without maple bacon ice cream.

When we were at Table for my birthday, EDW and I shared a blackberry shortcake with maple bacon vanilla ice cream for dessert, and it was heavenly. While I happily ordered marlin as my entree, I don't want to ever feel like a sellout for wanting bacon ice cream. I'm not that excited about eating straight up bacon (my aversion to meat is largely a texture issue these days), but I love the flavor it gives dishes, like the collards on my side platter at 12 Bones.
And so, blog friends, there's part of an explanation on why I eat what I eat. I choose not to eat meat, but I'm not saying I'll never eat it; I love fish, and will continue to cook it and order it at restaurants; and I probably won't ever turn down bacon ice cream.


  1. Here is a good video on meat: http://carnism.com

  2. The bacon. OH Sarah, the bacon. You crack me up!