Monday, March 21, 2011

Feeling Carnivorous?

I think it's spring's fault. My 70-30 vegetarian diet went by the wayside all last week and part of this week already. Part of that is because over spring break, I worked full days and went out to lunch with the guys I work with, and inevitably had to order something meaty: pork, beef, chicken--I had some of everything. So today, in a small effort to try to make up for it, I ate nothing but what I like to call rabbit food for dinner--2 servings of salad and a vegetarian burrito.
    If you could have seen me 10 years ago, your jaw would have dropped in shock to see me eating salad, probably a burrito too. I was picky to the extreme when I was younger. I couldn't even eat the chunks of tomato in my spaghetti sauce, and now there are RAW tomatoes in my vegetarian burrito? WTF.
    Vegetarian wasn't even in my vocabulary back then, and I hated 90% of vegetables in any form up until about 5 years ago. Tomatoes went in ketchup and spaghetti/pizza sauce, nowhere else--not on my burger, not on my sandwich. Plain cheeseburger was my typical order at a burger restaurant. And at Subway, I'd order the meat, cheese, and bread, and maybe mayonnaise, but not a single vegetable at the end of the sandwich line. Lettuce tastes like paper, I thought (and still think so of iceberg lettuce). Potatoes were bland and inedible unless they came deep fried and in French fry form. And don't even get me started on broccoli.
    I ate like a five year old until I was in my late teens, mainly because I was allowed to, but also because I hadn't learned to like things that were good for me, and wasn't willing to try them. But now, I'll try most anything once. I regularly eat raw spinach, romaine lettuce, potatoes in any form (except instant), and even carrots. I still have a hard time with the broccoli, but considering the only real vegetables I used to eat were string beans and corn, I think this is a massive improvement.
    The origin of the 70-30 vegetarian diet happens to be because of my boyfriend. He used to eat steak, hamburgers, sushi, and other animal products like they were going out of style, but once he went vegetarian, I had to convert--at least a little bit. My self esteem would not allow me to continue to feel unhealthy and inferior every time I ordered a steak when he ordered a plate of spaghetti without meat sauce or meatballs. I got used to it. I even like some of the veggies. But every now and again, I have to have the pork tenderloin, the clam chowder, the gigantic mushroom burger with five pounds of cheese on it. And I'm okay with that.
    I refuse to go 100% vegetarian, however. Not only because I want that skewer of shrimp or barbecue ribs that just went by, but because the crap they try to give you to make up for not eating meat is just that: crap. Tofu is gelatinous. Boca burgers are edible, but incomparable to the real thing. And seitan--no way in hell. (Just ate some of that for the first time today: pork flavored rubber that chews like gristle. So, yeah, I'll pass.)
    So, while vegetarianism may be better for the environment, and more immediately, better for my cholesterol and my overall health, I'll do my best, but I can't commit to it. Vegetables are acceptable--some of them, anyway--but all meat substitutes should just stop trying.
You can have my burger when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

1 comment:

Outnumbered said...

I'm picky too, and I'm really good friends with a hard core vegan so when we go out to eat I turn my nose up at everything but you know I've been subjected to a lot of vegan propaganda and in the end, it seems to me that no matter what you eat you can "vote" for better prices, food, treatment of animals, preservation of environment, etc just based on what you buy at the store. So I pay attention to the food I buy and I eat what I like.

+Constant Writer

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