Vegediaries: Day 30

Wow, has it been a month already into my vegetarian experiment?

One month is long enough to start forming habits, and my vegetarianism is no exception. The simple fact is, I barely think about it anymore. As a matter of fact, others are starting to think about it for me.

Eating vegetarian is a personal decision, and not even one I feel that strongly about. It’s an experiment, so I’m more interested in observing my perception over time, than I am in ensuring my vegetarianism is strictly followed. I’m being strict with myself, don’t take me wrong; I just don’t expect other people to bend backwards for it.

But bend they do. I feel like I have acquired some disability by choosing to be a vegetarian, in the way people feel obliged to carefully consider this whenever food is discussed. They’ll triple-check to make sure a specific restaurant has vegetarian options, for instance, or feel bad if they suggest I should enjoy a meat-based dish. The attention is nice, mind you; I just wish people didn’t feel they had to inconvenience themselves so much to support my choice.

On the personal front, I’m absolutely not missing meat right now. I still look at cooking shows featuring meat and think “that looks delicious”, but I certainly don’t feel like having a steak right now. As a matter of fact, the one dish I have been craving for a week now is palak paneer.

I  wouldn’t kill for it, exactly… But I would aggressively uproot a carrot.

I don’t know yet whether I’ll go back to being a regular meat-eater once this is over. I think I’ll definitely keep eating meat when I travel, since it’s important to me to be receptive of other people’s cuisines, and many of the world’s cuisines feature meat prominently. I couldn’t turn down snake blood alcohol when it was offered to me as a gesture of hospitality in Vietnam, so I’ll definitely accept beef offered to me out of kindness and hospitality.

But my perception of meat as an every day meal is definitely changing. My meat eating had already gone down before I cut it out completely for 3 months, but I’m thinking of keeping my diet mostly vegetarian afterward, with meat being used rarely and as a special dish.

Then again, Helene predicts that within 3 months, I’ll actually grow to find meat disgusting. We’ll see… That would be a heck of a reversal for a 3 months period. But who knows? If that’s the case, I’ll definitely have learned something about myself.

About Daniel Roy

Daniel is a writer, backpack foodie, slow traveler, and endurance runner. He is the author of the upcoming book, "The Way of Slow Travel: A Hands-On Guide to the Best Travel of Your Life."

5 comments

  1. Interesting stuff.

    When I was what I like to call “aquaritarian”, I was compelled to have torrid flings with pork products, the only meat source with legs that I really missed.
    I wonder if I had given up fish as well, if that would have been the case at all…

  2. Speaking as a reformed vegan hardcore.. I’ve mellowed, but I don’t classify what I eat anymore. Left to my own, I might eat chicken less than once a week, I don’t like fish, allergic to seafood, never give red meat much thought, but then my mom makes this pasta with tomato sauce, tons of roasted vegetables and slices of spicy italian sausages.. Moo-cow sausages! And it is probably one of my favorite meals.

  3. Have I ever mentioned to you that I was (mostly) vegan and 100% macrobiotic from 6 to roughly 12? Ho! and no refined sugar either (honey counted as refined in the eyes of my parents).

    Maybe it’s because it was forced on to me, but I’ve always craved meat, and the first thing I did with my weekly allowances was to go and buy candies and burgers.

    My Mom and Dad have reverted to “earth cautious” carnivores (meat once or twice a week max)

    Friends of my parents who lived in a commune for over 20 years and were strict vegan all this time invited Mymy and I over to eat pork chops last time we saw them.

    The point it: I don’t think that you can grow to not like meat to a point where it’s disgusting to you, just as you can’t unlearn to ride a bike.

    Maybe some freaks from PETA will tell you the contrary, but then again, some people from PETA are extremists wackos that don’t mind killing humans to “help” animals…

  4. As this point, the only animal flesh I think I’d miss long-term are fish and chicken – but, as Daniel said, we’ll see in a couple months whether the idea of animal flesh becomes revolting! And I’m having interesting discussions with current/ex-vegetarians; definitely agree that less meat in general is better for health and the planet. And I’ve been a real vegetable junkie for years…

  5. Joce, I can tell you that the two times (a long time ago) that I’ve been a vegetarian, I DID find the idea of consuming anything that came from an animal, including the lard sometimes used in cookies and cakes, ab-so-lu-te-ly revolting!!! It would turn my stomach. I can’t remember why I’d become a vegetarian those two times, but it may have had something to do with my doing yoga, health concerns, etc.

    I came back to meat-eating very slowly, willfully, thanks to (???) a friend’s wonderful beef curry… the small pieces of beef didn’t look or taste like meat at all. So I’m half expecting that 3 months without meat will bring me back to that point.

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