I’ll never become a full-time vegetarian, but I have decided it’s time to stop talking about animal treatment on factory farms and start eating like it.
What started off as a carefree conversation around a vacation dinner table last June has actually turned into a way of life. David and I decided to eat vegetarian two days a week—Mondays and Wednesdays—so we could afford more humanely raised meat the rest of the week. So far we’ve been faithful, but like all worthwhile endeavors, it’s been challenging.
Going vegetarian—part- or full-time—takes some getting used to. Not the eating so much as everything leading up to it. The pantry, refrigerator, and freezer need to be tweaked. You need to think differently in the kitchen. And although you’re still eating many of the same dishes, you need to find new starring entrees to replace the meat, fish, or poultry that used to anchor the plate.
It’s been six months now. If I were a teacher, I’d give me an A for effort, because I’ve definitely managed to eat meatless two days a week for six months. But for creativity I’d give me a C, because on meatless days I haven’t eaten expectantly or joyfully.
On vegetarian days I feel a little like Mr. Tumnus describing pre-Aslan Narnia. “It’s always winter,” he says, “but never Christmas.”
Going vegetarian appeals to a lot of people, so like me they “try it.” But it’s a little like waking up one morning and deciding to quit smoking or go Atkins. You might succeed, but it’s not likely if you don’t make some changes to your basic patterns and habits. My goal in 2010 is to make some systemic changes in how I think, plan and shop for meatless Monday and Wednesdays. I guess I want Aslan to visit my kitchen and make my wan vegetarian days a little more like Christmas.