Sometimes when you post something on Facebook, you just know that it’s going to come back and bite you. I feel bad about something and I have to get it off my chest.
A year or two ago I swore, for sure this time, that I was going to be vegan, or at least strictly vegetarian. Morally, it felt one hundred percent correct. I’d been donating to Farm Sanctuary for years, after all, so what was I doing eating the same animals I was advocating saving?
I need to backtrack and say that the carb-heavy 80’s cemented my curvy-gurl status. I’ve never been a huge binger or out of control eater, but I’m short. And carbs on my barely over five feet frame fill me out rather impressively. I didn’t know this at the time, of course, because we all ate angel hair pasta by the mound-full and thought we were gonna walk the runway. Nope.
I did finally figure it out and stopped it with the fettuccine already. By the time I decided to be vegetarian, my go-to meal was chicken or fish and a salad. Ok I loved me a good cheese plate, too, but when I needed to trim down it was all about the protein.
All most people talk about is the farting when they go veg. My gut was unaffected, and passing gas doesn’t bother me anyway, so this wasn’t a thing for me. The issue for me was that all the beans and higher carb foods fluffed me up like crazy and suddenly I didn’t have my salmon and salad regimen to fall back on.
So, for a couple of years I flip-flopped between full veg, mostly veg, or chicken when I needed to fit into my summerwear. Chicken was my secret weapon.
Truth be told, I am still on the fence about which way to take this.
I saw a cardiac surgeon when I had the episode of vertigo because my neck doppler hinted at a possible blockage. Turns out, I don’t have it, but we got to chatting and he said I absolutely had to get my blood pressure down and that losing five pounds might help (He was being kind, try thirty.) I told him about struggling to remain plant-based and this guy just said PSHAH. He said that in his experience the vegans came back much harder from surgery than the meat eaters.
I can hear almost everyone I know except Philippe (my bacon-eating friend) yelling at me right about now. But that’s what the famous cardiac surgeon said.
I have to admit that, if I’m being honest, I feel better with a little animal protein in me. And for sure, I carry less weight. It’s just my own chemistry because I do know plenty of lean vegans. And I’m waving to them right now.
I reluctantly decided, for now anyway, to eat SOME, a LITTLE – fish or chicken and maybe grass fed beef on occasion…..anything that isn’t tortured when it’s alive. That feels like the best that I can do with how my body works.
I mainly make vegetarian meals but I add in little Japanese-sized portions of animal. And about once a month I eat a burger, though now with the pea-based Impossible Burger at the Tavern down the street, I don’t think I’ll be needing my burger fix to come from cow.
So that’s it. That’s my struggle with not abusing animals. In my heart I think that lots of vegetables and fruits and nuts and small amounts of animal protein is how we’re meant to eat, period. I also think a lot of people can be perfectly healthy without the meat. The main reason vegan is so healthy in my opinion is all the good stuff you eat instead when you don’t eat animals. So I try to mostly do that.
This month, not only am I eating animals, I am also eating animals that may not be ethically sourced and they come wrapped in plastic. I’m not happy about this, but I also need to get my blood pressure down, and fit into the tutu that is staving off my way past mid-life, empty-nester crisis.
So much of what we do isn’t what we’d ideally like to be doing. Driving too much. Making too much garbage. Eating our friends. Stuff that we just feel bad about. And I’m not ready to throw in the towel with my efforts to do better (beeswax wrap works really well).
I still want to be mindful and keep it to a minimum. But I eat everything now. And that’s the truth.