i saw this picture of a giant stack of bacon on Facebook the other day:
And fortunately someone hadn’t yet shared this particular piece on my wall [although give it time] but it still made me a little angry. It had the message “Tag someone you know who would eat this” and fortunately no one had yet, because you know what? i would not eat that much bacon.
Gasp! Shock! Horror! WHAT? Surely you jest? No, no i don’t jest.
You see, i do enjoy the taste of bacon, but i am not as obsessed with it as you think i am. When it comes to raiSINs, yes then i am as obsessed as you think i am – KEEP THEM AWAY FROM ME, evil little creatures [why do you think they have the word ‘SIN’ firmly entrenched in the name, and don’t get me on to the ICK of Pickles!] but even then, every single time someone finds a meme, a joke or a picture with raiSINs in and posts it on my wall, it loses it’s funny after about three. i started the ‘I Hate raiSINs’ group on Facebook for a reason, people. Stick your pics there.
But back to bacon. i have allowed the impression to be had that i am this absolute bacon fiend, but i never intentionally set out to do so, and it’s getting a little bit old. So politely please quit it! Thank you.
THE INFLUENCE OF VEGETARIANS
i have a fairly large group of friends who are vegetarians and i have come to understand what a dick i was when i met someone who was vegetarian years ago and then thought how funny it might be if i tried to convince them to eat meat or why their reasons for vegetarianism didn’t measure up to how good meat is or something. The answer is not very much at all and now i cringe when i see other people do it for fun or even sometimes for realsies cos of not being able to comprehend a world where people choose not to eat meat.
i was hugely inspired and challenged by the number of stories that were shared in my Taboo Topic series piece on Vegetarianism and if you haven’t read them yet, then seriously go do so now. i have been well humbled by how gracious and patient and polite vegetarians seem to be, especially when meat eaters can be a bit of a rude unthinking bunch at times. But for the most part, the vegetarians i have encountered and know are people who have made a choice or a series of choices for a number of reasons, but generally don’t feel the need to make everyone make the same choices they have [which i’m not sure i fully understand even, but i am grateful for it].
But that series made me think [and at least one other person it seems as i received a message from a friend of mine saying the series led to her doing some research and moving to a journey towards vegetarianism and even veganism] and tbV and i chatted a bit about it on our recent Americaland trip and came up with some ideas to work some change into our lives.
THE TINY LITTLE BIT WE’RE LOOKING TO DO
Two of the main reasons people tend towards vegetarianism seem to be the cruelty committed to the animals that we eat and the effect cattle have on the environment. In terms of the cruelty side of things, tbV are doing our best to source meat and eggs from places far more likely to treat their animals well [a former Improv buddy of mine lives on a farm and makes regular treks into Cape Town to sell some of the meat from the animals he is raising and i know they will be being well treated].
In terms of the environmental effect, tbV and i are trying something new with our eating. We don’t think we particularly eat a huge amount of meat as it is, tending to create a lot of meals with just vegetables, but starting last week we did a whole week of veg meals at our place and then the idea for this week is to eat the same amount of meat we would normally eat in a week so maybe two to three times. Then next week will be purely veg again. And so on. Theoretically, this should reduce our meat-eating by 50%, which, while it may not lead to huge changes in the bigger picture, feels like a great start, and if we can encourage others to give it [or something like it] a try, then pretty soon we will be starting to have an effect.
We looked back at the end of this week and both realised we hadn’t particularly felt like we had missed meat at any time during the week. Because there are so many good veg option meals out there. And maybe this is a great opportunity to ask our various vegetarian friends to put together some good recipes for us and help us to make more fun and exciting dishes. How about it, vegetarian friends?
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
So what does this all have to do with you, you ask, and i’m so glad you did. Do i want you to become a vegetarian? Absolutely not. Well, you can if you want to, but that’s not the purpose of this post.
ASK THE QUESTIONS. If you do nothing else, then at least ask the questions. Take a look at what you eat. Do some research on what effect it has on the planet or be lazy and ask one of your vegetarian friends to tell you [cos chances are they know!] Experiment with some vegetarian meals. Try a no-meat Monday as we did a couple of years ago or join us on one week of no meat, one week with meat, just for a month and then report back as to how it was and if it didn’t feel any worse then let it become a regular rhythm.
As a follower of Jesus, i know that collectively we can get caught up in the life-after-death scenario and totally live for it at the expense of anything that happens before death. We can also get caught up in the focus-on-people focus as if the environment was not our concern. Yet, i believe that we serve a holistic God who entrusted the whole of creation to us and asked us to look after it. We have not done that one so well. And so giving time and attention to what and how we eat as well as how pro we are for all types of life feels like part of what we have been mandated to do.
What are your thoughts on this topic? If you are a meat eater, have you ever given it any kind of thought?