Somewhere around Thanksgiving, a change took root in me. It’s been threatening to grab hold for a long time and in between the obligatory holiday bird and the pigtastic meal (don’t get me wrong – in that moment, it was delicious) at Husk in Charleston, it finally locked on. I went through the motions of eating like everyone else because, well, I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers – no pun intended. It sunk in after I’d settled back in at home and my usual eating habits just didn’t. I’d finally done it. I’d eaten my last bit of meat for a while. I’d finally become some version of a vegetarian.
Those who read this blog regularly are looking around confusedly thinking “You weren’t a vegetarian before? You don’t use a lot of meat on your blog.” You’re right. When left to my own devices…when I cook for only myself and share those things with you on the blog…I cook very little meat. However, in my real everyday life, I live with a carnivore. All of my friends are porkophiles. Being a non-meat eater in these days of the Bacon Expolosion and the All-You-Can-Gawk-At visual pork belly buffets on the internet is hard. It certainly isn’t cool. Most importantly, up until a month ago, the occasional roast chicken or bone-in ribeye was tasty. Quite tasty. I mostly believed in eating animals that were sustainably raised & humanely treated. It was the order of things.
What’s changed is that order doesn’t make sense to me right now. I feel too strongly about the way poultry and livestock are raised, fed, and slaughtered for food to contribute to the business of it. It’s not for me. Is there really a humane way to kill an animal for food? I’m not sure. Given all that…and when there is so much heartlessness and cruelty in the process…the idea of being part of it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Am I going to be giving away PETA stickers and pamphlets on this blog? No – I’m not so sure they’re helping the cause, either. Do I expect all of my friends to not eat meat around me? Nope – to each their own. Will I always be a vegetarian? I can’t be sure. I do know that until I get the issues sorted out in my head and significant changes to the process occur, I’ll stick to the veggie plate, thanks.
So if this isn’t a call to arms for all the readers of RWT to stop eating meat, why am I posting about it? I guess this post is more about me and my need to say it out loud. To hold myself accountable and let folks know how strongly I feel about it in my own life. Most of you aren’t coming here looking for a recipe for a standing rib roast or lamb prosciutto – there are better blogs out there for that sort of thing. You come here for stories. For soup recipes. For salads and the occasional not-so-disastrous foray into baking. Those things will all still be here…and in larger quantity. I’ll be doing a weekly post as of this Saturday that my loyal readers will absolutely love. There will be more adventurous cooking with vegetables, spices and world cuisines. I’ll still be blabbering on randomly about things that touch my heart. This post is to say that as of January 2011, RWT is officially a vegetarian (with the occasional pescatarian post as i get my diet sorted out) food blog. While not a big change, it’s a big statement and I’m really excited to be on this new path. I can only hope all of you will be supportive and enthusiastic like I am…and I hope more folks will visit for great veggie content. Here’s to a really new year!
Butcher’s Stall with the Flight Into Egypt by Pieter Aertsen – image information found here.