Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I’m going to do my once-a-year bit about being a vegetarian, which is something I hope all you meat-eaters will try out someday for yourselves.
First off, I’ve been a vegetarian since 1997, and I don’t plan on going back to eating meat. Although I probably pay more attention to animal welfare than most, I can honestly say that it was economic reasons that attracted me to vegetarianism first.
Simply put, meat production is an inefficient use of plant and water resources, which are used for livestock before the livestock can be fed to humans. I’m sure there are varying statistics for those of you interested in the exact numbers, but the main idea is that as long as there are starving human beings, it makes very little sense to use food resources inefficiently.
For all of you who urge your children to clean up their plate, or are upset to see the amount of food wasted by restaurants and groceries, please consider this as a good reason to give vegetarianism a shot.
Next up– the questions nearly everyone asks me… Yes, I feel healthy. Within a month or so of kicking meat out of my diet, I could feel a real improvement in my general health. I’ve never been sickly, so I’m not talking about a miracle cure here– just an overall betterment that I could notice. Having not considered vegetarianism for health reasons, I found this a surprising bonus. For the record, I’m also still shopping at the big and tall store.
Yes, my kids have been raised vegetarian. Aside from a couple mistakes involving eggs and sausage, my children have never eaten meat. As my long, sleepless nights will attest, they have energy to burn, and suffer no negative effects from the lack of meat in their diet. I have made it perfectly clear to my daughter that her diet is her business, should she eventually choose to be a meat-eater. However, I have also made it perfectly clear that my pots, pans, utensils, stove, microwave, and fridge are not available for any meat products she cares to purchase on her own should that day arrive.
Yes, I do occasionally miss eating meat. I always loved having a big country-style breakfast with sausage, eggs, bacon, etc… and although I didn’t often have it, I always enjoyed seafood. Oddly enough, I miss braunschweiger/tomato/mayo sandwiches the most. On the other hand, I have no good argument why the desire of my gut should dictate the death of any creature, and I’m disappointed that this is often the final argument of those resistant to a vegetarian lifestyle.
“I love me a good steak,” carries about as much weight with me as “I have faith that god is real.” If you have any convincing argument why these both aren’t useless arguments, feel free to leave them in the comments section.
Lastly, (and finally getting to this entry’s title) I got a Tofurky. For one of my first vegetarian Thanksgivings, my wife and I had a picture of a turkey at our otherwise-bountiful table. Every year, we joke about tofurky, but I wasn’t sure where to get one in my area… or even had money to purchase much food at all. This year is no different in the money category, but we still managed to scrape up enough for a lovely feast on the big day– a genuine Tofurky roast, apple-dumplings, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, green beans, chocolate pie, and cokes.
I can’t wait!
Oh and hey, let’s hear a big cheer for running your own Thanksgiving. Growing up, Thanksgiving was always marred by a few things: brussels sprouts, jello salad, green bean casserole, and yams/sweet potatoes. YUCK!
Anyways, have a happy Thanksgiving! –DaveX