• Paula Tiberius

I Want to be a Vegetarian, But it’s so Hard

I like animals. I really do. So why do I eat them? Yes, of course they are tasty, but if I can’t watch a documentary about factory farming without vomiting, shouldn’t I give up meat? Of course I should! I’m an educated woman with access to plenty of books on how to maintain protein levels and all that crap – this has nothing to do with nutrition. Not for me anyway. I’m sure there are people who really do require high protein diets for whom becoming a vegetarian would be difficult on that level.

But I’m on a different level. I’m on the level of a person deeply ensconced in the meat culture. I’m like a teenage peer pressure victim. “Everyone else is doing it – how bad could it be?” Sadly, lots of people do lots of bad things every day. John Boehner is the speaker of the house now, case in point. Eating lots of meat is popular, but that doesn’t make it right.

I also enjoy using the “woe is me I can’t think of what else to eat” excuse, otherwise known as laziness. For example, I buy potatoes and broccoli and then wonder what the final third of the plate will have on it. Chicken! Beef! How does anyone conceive of a meal that’s not built this way? But then I’ll have dinner with my sister and her husband (devout veggies) and realize, oh, you can have LOTS of different things prepared LOTS of different ways that are awesome and satisfying and you don’t even miss the meat. Why can’t I do that?

The answer: I can. The better answer: I can! The truly enlightened answer: I can and will!

And so, dear readers, I challenge myself to become a vegetarian, again. I did stop eating meat for a short period during university, but I was also smoking a lot of weed, so probably cookies were my main source of nourishment at that time. Then for ten years I gave up pork after my sister convinced me that if I only had the will power to give up one beast, pigs were the absolute worst animals to eat on the cruelty scale because they have self-concepts. I don’t think I really even remember what that means, but I’ll ask her and let you know. The plan was to give up pork, then beef, then chicken, in that order but I only ever stuck with the first third of the plan. Then I married an uber-carnivore and got pregnant, and the slippery slope back to Porkville was surprisingly short.

This time I’m going to go all the way. I gave up pork (again) on my 40th birthday on October 20th, and all the old familiar pork-free problems immediately began to arise. You can read all about them in my next blog: BREAKFAST SWINE & PIZZA PORK. There are few things more tasty. But too bad for me, I’m becoming a better person.

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