• Paula Tiberius

Animal Panic Sets In!

Giving up pork this month has had its challenges, but part of the reason it’s gone so well is that I’ve been eating beef and chicken like it’s going out of style. And I’m not just using that expression willy nilly. It really is going out of style for me. Beef is the next animal to go from my diet, and I’m acting like a heroin addict on his way to the detox center. Just on more hit before I kick. Actually, make that several hits.

This week alone I’ve had Beef Stroganoff at a friend’s house, beef shwarma from our local falafel place, beef and broccoli from a Chinese place. And that doesn’t even touch the chicken dishes. Here’s a related problem: I’ve been eating out way too much. I love cooking, but it’s so hard to come up with recipes every single week, and we get bored of eating the same thing all the time. I made eggplant parmesan last week and it was fucking fantastic, but I ate it every day for a week. Enough already. Then you have to keep it up, keep the treadmill rolling, something different every day. It’s exhausting.

Most days I’m lucky to just get proper vegetables into Violet, and my own meal plan just goes in the crapper. Tonight, for example, I ate two beets (?) and a small bowl of buttery noodles that Violet wouldn’t finish. Can you call that a meal? Richard’s no help. He eats his first meal of the day at 10pm, always meat. Help!

Anyway, the point is I was planning to make is that I’m so not weaning myself off meat gradually. I’ve merely eliminated the one animal that I ate the least of, and now giving up beef on November 20th is going hit me like Rocky hit those slabs of….beef. Again, the junkie analogy. You give up crack and heroin, but you’re on Methodone, and you’re still drinking and smoking weed like a son of a bitch. You’re not sober, you’ve just rearranged some deck chairs, if you see what I mean. Then one day you’re court ordered to go to detox and it all has to go at once. Cold turkey! (no meat pun intended) Panic sets in!

When I think of November 20th now I get a constriction in my chest and a feeling like someone just yelled at me. I don’t want to give up meat. That’s my big revelation. But now I’ve made this stupid pledge. I need to close my eyes and think of the big furry cows with their long eyelashes and soft ears. They are not wrapped in cellophane with price tags on them. They are living creatures. Sigh.

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