Thursday, February 08, 2007

The First Year Back

This post is a little overdue, since I had those first strings of pot roast on January 21st of last year, after nearly eight years of vegetarianism, but I thought I'd offer a little update on my re-descent into carnivorousness.

Last February, I posted a list of things I'd never, ever, ever eaten. I've crossed off quite a few things in the past year. Check it out.

  • All fishes except rainbow trout » I've now had salmon, tuna, yellowtail, snapper, and probably some others I can't remember right now. Sushi options have increased dramatically since I started eating things with faces again.

  • All other sea creatures except shrimp and the artificial crab meat you get in a California roll » I've had eel, scallops, octopus, crawfish, and possibly some lobster and/or crab meat. Still no full lobsters or crabs.

  • Most game meat (elk, deer, pheasant, etc.) » We made quite the extravagant pheasant dinner back in April.

  • Jello » Still no Jello

  • Lamb » I am so going to hell for unleashing what is apparently my genetic adoration for tasty little lambs. My Greek blood will not be denied!

  • Veal » Still gonna avoid this one on principle, I think

  • Rabbit » Haven't had the opportunity

  • Duck » Did I write about our duck dinner? I don't remember. It was delicious though.

Even though I'm plagued by guilt every now and again at the evil of my carnivorous (i.e. murderous) ways, I think that on balance the switch back to meat-eating has been a good thing. I have enjoyed trying new things, and I've enjoyed expanding my cooking repertoire to include various meats. I don't feel as sluggish and crappy as I remember feeling right before I became a vegetarian (which was, in fact, the biggest factor in my decision to try vegetarianism), and I haven't gained ridiculous amounts of weight this past year. (Haven't lost any either, thank you very much Mr. Atkins, but I wasn't really working on that until recently.) I think I'll stick with the carnivoracity a while longer.


Momentary Academic said...

I think that being an omnivore is perfectly acceptable. :)

Tom's dad said...

Everything in moderation...

Jake said...

most ethical vegetarians are intensely aware of the horrible suffering of meat animals, they at least wonder whether there's anything really so different between humans and other animals that could justify killing one but not the other, they know that the meat industry is one of the worst things we do to the environment (altho fewer people know that being vegetarian is probably the single best thing you can do to fight global warming: livestock produce 18% of the world's greenhouse gases - more than cars and all other transporation combined). so i'm always curious when they give up such powerful moral principles. did you change your mind? did you get social pressure? what made you "go back"?

susan said...

MA - Thank you :)

My Dad in Law - Indeed.

Jake - I wrote about the whys of my decision here and here. And if I correctly parse the sentence of the article you linked, I believe they're claiming that livestock produce 18% more greenhouse gas than transport, which I honestly find hard to believe. But whatever. I don't need a guilt trip from you, thanks; I've got that quite covered on my own.

Jake said...

no, the report concluded that the greenhouse gases produced by livestock are 18 percent of the total, which is a higher percentage than transport. the reason is that it's extremely energy inefficient to feed grain to animals rather than just eating the grain, and because raising animals produces huge amounts of methane and nitrous oxide, both of which are far stronger greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. another study found that switching from an average american diet to a vegetarian diet reduces your contribution to global warming more than switching to a hybrid car.

the idea is not to make you feel guilty, but to start an open debate on a form of oppression that continues unchallenged because of the social consensus behind it - not unlike the way slavery or colonialism were once universally accepted (except by their victims, who had no power). it also seems worthwhile talking about the things we do that are leaving a terrible mess for our kids and grandkids, and how we can try to build an environmentally sustainable society.

Amy said...

crawfish? really?

susan said...

Yeah, it was on sushi. It wasn't very good. ;)