Since starting my meatless monthly mission on the first of February, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from people asking how I’ve been doing.
In a word, “eh”.
So far, I’ve maintained my newly adopted vegetarian lifestyle. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve managed. And even when tempted by a bunch of freshly smoked pork butt, I was able to stay strong and resist the temptation to throw this Monthly Mission out.
While you could technically call this month a success, it has done little to make me consider a full time shift to vegetarianism. I think there are 3 big reasons that a wholesale switch from omnivore to herbivore would be impossible for me.
- Lack of Options–While there are no shortage of options of exotic vegetables and meatless dishes at most grocery stores, my wife and I really try to eat as fresh and locally as possible. Every weekend we go to a farm about 12 miles away, and pick up our share of veggies as part of our CSA membership. The veggies are great, picked literally an hour or two before pickup, organic, and tasty. But this time of year we get a lot of greens from the farm. And I can only eat so much salad and sauteed bok choy/cabbage/collards.
- Familiarity–Meat has always been the center of my meal. From as early as I can remember, I have been a part of a meat, potato, and vegetable family. And that habit has been hard to shake. Even when I have gotten slightly exotic with my vegetarian meals, most meals have just seemed incomplete without some type of meat on the plate.
- Desire–I thought when I gave up wheat I was really going to struggle. And while that month was difficult at first, I was legitimately excited to see if I would be able to tell much of a difference in how I felt. This month, I really didn’t think I would notice much of a difference because I eat a lot of vegetables anyway, and I truly believe that a vegetarian diet can be completely healthy and whole. There wasn’t that one thing that I wanted to prove/accomplish this month, and that has kept me from really embracing the challenge.
So while this has been a little bit of an “eh” month, I do think it will have a lasting impact on me. I really think I will be able to be a bit better about eating less meat than I have in the past.
I like a good steak as much as the next guy, but adding some salad or green beans or whatever other vegetable to the plate isn’t going to diminish my meal any more, it will enhance it.
I just need to remember that on March 1st when I’m firing up the grill.