Tag Archive: bacon


i saw this picture of a giant stack of bacon on Facebook the other day:

bacon

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

veg

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? 

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mary

10 things vegetarians are sick of hearing / your vegetarian friends want you to know

I became a vegetarian on my ninth birthday. This usually elicits shock and the assumption that I am vegetarian because of my family / culture / religious beliefs. But, no – I was just a child who was interested in where my food came from and when I knew the facts eating meat (read meat, fish, poultry) didn’t make sense to me, even at nine.

Having been a vegetarian for so long the biggest thing I’ve learnt is that you cannot convince someone to change what they eat. It is a personal journey and people will either get there or they won’t. So I will not be doing that. Instead, I’d like to use this opportunity to appeal to my meat-eating friend to think before they say any of the following things to the next vegetarian they meat…I mean meet.

1. Why are you vegetarian?

Firstly, you probably know the answer before you even ask. But I’m not saying don’t ask – I love sharing my beliefs about food with people who are genuinely interested and like many others who have written his week I strongly encourage people to educate themselves about all the food they are eating (meat and otherwise). What I am saying is please don’t ask if your plan is just to argue with me about the answer I give you.

This happens to me all the time…so much so that my first response to this question is usually “do you really want to know or are you just making polite conversation?” Most people think they really want to know. So I explain. And then the “debate” starts, or I get accused of trying to make someone feel guilty, or told that the conversation is “not cool” while people are eating meat. But, um, you asked??

I’m going to start ranting soon so enough said on that point.

2. But how do you get your protein / isn’t that really unhealthy / don’t you have a poor immune system?

Again, do your own research. But I can honestly say I don’t know any vegans or vegetarians who struggle to get enough protein in my diet. We have been brain washed into thinking that protein only comes from meat, when in actual fact it is one of the least healthy sources of protein. I heard a dietician describe it like this once – I have spent my career (of over 20 years) treating patients with cholesterol, gout, kidney problems, etc, conditions that we know are associated with a high-meat diet. But I have never treated a vegetarian or vegan for protein deficiency. Pretty interesting if you ask me.

3. Do you eat fish? And chicken? No meat at all??

Fish = still an animal (and that would make me a Pescetarian)

Chicken = also an animal

Yes, I really meant no meat at all.

4. But BACON

I have a pet-hate of the recent bacon craze that appears to have spread throughout the world. Firstly, pigs are really intelligent, affectionate animals (just youtube search “clever pig” if you don’t believe me) who know when they are being taken to slaughter. They literally scream when they are being killed. Secondly, even if that doesn’t bother you and you make the decision to continue eating pig products, what you are doing by supporting the “bacon-with-everything craze” is celebrating and glorifying the fact that an animal has died so that you can eat it. It is excessive, insensitive and barbaric.

5. Ja, but you eat eggs and cheese – what about the poor chickens and dairy cows

Don’t make your guilt my guilt. By being vegetarian I am not proclaiming that I am perfect and superior to all others. I have a real conflict with the fact that I still eat eggs and cheese and going vegan is something I think about daily. It is something I am trying to rearrange my life towards. But at least I’m doing something.

6. But our bodies are designed to eat meat, and paleo, and banting and stuff

No, they aren’t. Watch this TED talk for some pretty convincing arguments from an Archeological Scientist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMOjVYgYaG8

7. Vegetarian food is boring

Again, not true and a pretty strange comment coming from a non-vegetarian. Have a look at the wide range of veggie cookbooks out there. I will happily share recipes with anyone who is interested.

8. You don’t know what you’re missing out on

Yes, I do. I get this from my dad all the time – even all these years later he still seems to think I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like the taste of meat. (Although after all these years I probably don’t). I don’t miss or crave meat at all anymore but some vegetarians do and this kind of statement is not very encouraging to them. (For any new struggling vegetarians reading this – it gets easier, I promise!)

9. Sorry for eating this meat in front of you

I think different vegetarians have differing opinions on this, but I personally am not bothered by the sight of someone eating meat. My philosophy is very much – it’s a personal decision – so as long as I don’t have to pay for it or eat it myself you are not offending me. I love enjoying meals with my friends and take pride in the fact that I can braai better than many of the men I know.

10. Yes this dish is vegetarian.

It might seem shocking but I have been told a number of times by friends and family that a dish is meat-free, only to take a bite and taste immediately that there is definitely meat inside. The explanation is usually “Oh well I just used some for flavor”. Please don’t. Just be honest – I’ll be happy bringing my own dish or eating the side dishes.

[For a number of other great stories relating to people choosing to go vegetarian, click here]

PearlsbeforeKilling

As you all know by now, Pearls Before Swine is my favourite comic strip and if you ever have some time to enrich, you can take a look at a whole bunch of the cartoons i have shared over here. And usually he is just random or clever or biting cynically silly fun, but every now and then he draws a strip which makes you stop and go, “Wo!” and maybe even think for a minute.

i had saved this first strip to comment on some time and then he came up with the second one and i thought they worked quite well together so here they are. Appreciate them. Stop for a second and go, “Wo!” But also take a moment to think about your relationship to meat/killing. Because it is probably something that, unless you’re a vegetarian or more, is something you don’t think all that much about.

i have thought about it a lot more over the last couple of years and think our Americaland experience and some of the people we came into contact there definitely impacted my thinking in a number of ways. But here are three that come to mind:

[1] When it comes to people i am pro life, but perhaps not in the traditional way that that phrase is used. i believe that if you’re pro life you have to be pro all of life, so from babies that are still being formed to old people, from those suffering from disease to those who are going to be born with some kind of disability we have to be pro it all.

i do realise this is a tricky, sticky and potentially controversial opinion to hold. And that sometimes there might be an individual case by case scenario where some tough decisions need to be made. There might be a situation where a doctor has to choose between saving the mother and saving the unborn baby and i think probably the doctor in that scenario is going to be the best person to make that decision after consultation with the husband/father. While i disagree with the terminology [at the very least] of ‘assisted death’ i do think there are situations where we perhaps artificially help people ‘to live’ where it is not really living at all and so i do think we probably could rethink some of our artificial life preserving methods and be okay with allowing people to die when it’s their time to do so, although again i imagine these are really difficult decisions and should be taken situation by situation.

But we should hold life preciously, and the idea that someone would consider killing a child [because that is what it is!] because tests show it might be born blind or disabled or down syndrome actually sickens me. i cannot get my mind around that.

i absolutely believe the death penalty is wrong and don’t understand how so many christians are okay with their thinking that it is right. To kill someone to prove to people that killing is wrong just seems like the most ridiculous thing ever. Much more needs to be said about this.

[2] i came home from our time in Americaland with a greater appreciation of life. Now i have no doubt that i have vegetarian and vegan friends and possibly others who think i am way too far away from where i need to be. But i am definitely better than i was and i really like the change in myself. i have no idea what specifically caused it and again it might be simply from being around a lot more people who thought and lived a certain way.

The way i have seen it manifest is particularly with insects or bugs. Not that i think i would have gone out of my way to kill them before we went to Americaland. But i now have a mindset that says, ‘If i can avoid killing a bug or insect, then i will do that.’ i realised the extent of the change in me the other day when i carefully [this is going to blow too many peoples’ minds] removed a cockroach from my house and set it outside in the road as opposed to killing it. Before i wouldn’t have thought twice about killing a spider and now i will do my best – if it needs to be moved – to get it on a piece of newspaper or in a bag or on my hand and move it to a safer place. i will avoid stepping on ants if i see them – again, a really small mindset shift and a massive one as well.

Mosquitoes? Sorry, the change has not extended there. So maybe there is still some work to do. Or maybe that’s just ok.

The change can probably best be described as don’t go out of your way to hurt or kill a living creature. And if you are able to save/protect/rescue one then go for it. In some situations i probably will still kill ants and cockroaches and possibly even spiders, but i am now leaning more strongly towards avoiding it if possible. So that might not seem particularly significant to anyone, but it feels good to me. Small steps.

[3] Bacon. i imagine this one will seem silly to people on all sides of the spectrum, but i’m okay with that. i enjoy bacon as much as the next person and yet somehow i have gotten this reputation of being the number 1 bacon appreciator of the world. i am aware to some extent how i have helped create this impression and so it’s not completely surprising, but i don’t think it’s true. i mean i really do like bacon, just not THAT much. And one way it has been propogated is that any time anyone sees a t-shirt or a meme or a bacon-salad picture they immediately think of me and post it on my Facebook wall and so it helps build up the picture.

But it’s not particularly true. To be absolutely honest i think i could never eat another piece of bacon again for the rest of my life and be totally okay with that. i wouldn’t particularly choose to, cos like i said i do enjoy it. But it doesn’t feel like a need for me.

The weird point i wanted to make about bacon though is this. i’m not sure when or where it started and don’t even know why. And i don’t particularly do it with any other kind of meat although i do try to be grateful and appreciate all the food we have an eat. But particularly with bacon i started in the last couple of years, taking a moment to stop and be grateful and in a sense thank the pig. To some this will be ridiculous, to others maybe hypocritical and maybe it’s just me cashing in my senility chips earlier or something. But i think it might in some ways be linked to tradition of first nation people of celebrating the life of the animal they kill before they eat it. A real sense of gratitude and appreciation. A moment of stopping to give thanks and thank the pig for its sacrifice that was made, giving me an opportunity to eat. Maybe this means absolutely nothing and makes no difference at all, but for me it is an extra moment of gratitude and appreciation and i think that’s a good step in the right direction.

i imagine most meat eaters don’t take any time whatsoever to think much about their eating of meat. Perhaps if we did there would be more vegetarians among us. So maybe take a moment to think about your meat-eating-ness or not. If you’re happy with it, then by all means keep on. But maybe even within that we can find better ways to do it…

pearlsbeforekill

[For a range of other Pearls before Swine strips, click here]

those of you who know me, know that i appreciate a little bit of bacon from time to time [oh, behave!] and so stumbling upon a blog page called ‘365 Days of Bacon’was clearly going to be a treat, and when on a whim i decided to email and ask if the creator would do a guest post for me and she said, “Absolutely!” despite being totally busy, i was even more bouyed and so thank you, thank you, thank you and here it is… [chocolate roses!!!]

2013: Year of Bacon

I’m so honored to share this REFLECTIONS ON BACON guest post for the friendly, intellectual, spiritual, bacon-loving Brett from Irresistibly Fish.

It just so happens that June is my 6-month 365DaysofBacon blog-aversary. What a great time to pause and reflect on my bacon-blog relationship!

As you might know, I wasn’t always a bacon lover. For the first 27 years of my life I didn’t care about bacon. At some point, I vehemently opposed its taste, smell, and general presence in the world.

Fortunately, I had a bacon “accident.” Or perhaps it was divine intervention. One day I was conversing over a salad, distractedly chewing, and there it was! That small, sneaky, thick-cut, hickory-smoked, crunchy bacon crumble in my mouth. AND I LOVED IT.

The rest, of course, is history. Several truckloads of bacon and one silly New Year’s resolution later, I found myself in the midst of http://365daysofbacon.wordpress.com. Now I can viably dream, cook, eat, write, and share my bacon love.

But don’t be fooled. It’s not all meat candy and crunchy bacon sprinkles.

It is work. Producing a post a day and having a full-time job is … demanding. Will I make it another 6 months? I’ll try. 🙂

The UPs and DOWNs of Bacon Blogging

SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACT

  • Excuses for Eating Bacon: Up
  • Personal Bacon Consumption: Up
  • Worldwide Bacon Consumption: Up
  • Cult Popularity of Bacon: Up

(Ahem, could there be a coincidence here?)

PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT

  • Creative Satisfaction: Up
  • Boredom time: Down
  • Available Free-time: Down
  • Hours of Sleep: Down

(satisfaction comes with sacrifice, apparently)

SOCIAL IMPACT

  • New friends made (because of bacon): Up
  • Conversation topics to fill social situations: Up
  • People who think I’m crazy: Up
  • Times neighbors have heard my smoke detectors: Up
  • Chance someone will throw me in Bacon Rehab: Up

(social normality is overrated. and who defines “normal,” anyway?)

OTHER IMPACT

  • Personal love of bacon: Up!Up!Up!

Gosh. Even after 6 months, I can still manage to make myself hungry for bacon.

Anyway, here are my top 5 fav bacon experiments:

Chocolate Bacon Roses

Chocolate Bacon Roses

Bacon Fatty

Bacon Fatty

Bacon Reeses Chocolate Cups

Bacon Reeses Chocolate Cups

Bacon Chocolate HazelNutella

Bacon Chocolate HazelNutella

Bacon Pancakes

Bacon Pancakes

lunchtime can have so many memories attached as food often does – it is seldom just about the food – usually the story or the company or the occasion…

so these three stood out for me…

firstly the one time it was about the food was this occasion of me sampling what must be the world’s biggest donut [which i got to sample when hanging out with my family in Texas two years ago] as kind of a lunchtime alternative:

the world's biggest donut

then secondly it was the occasion, which was on our honeymoon and tbV still claims this was the best sandwich she has ever eaten [with bacon, avo and feta as the chief ingredients it would be hard to go wrong]:

world's best sandwich

and lastly is was this beautifully cooked plate of breakfast food [altho eaten at lunchtime] slash bacon-and-friends that tbV cooked for me on honeymoon and so a combo of the food, the occasion and the company… good times, good food, but more importantly a great story, amazing memories and the start of an exciting adventure that continues on:

tbV supreme breakfast

Mmm…

[For the previous Photo Challenge on the theme of ‘Lost in the Details’ click here]

so when i am bored or creative or feeling that little bit extra’ly silly i make videos called ‘Dangerous Things You Can Least Expect’ as a character called Brad Fish who speak a bit different like and look at a different topic which you might have think was innocentful but will soon discover can be dangerist in many different forms or ways… there are now 17 of these which i shamelessly plug on facebook and twitter and anywhere else i can, and if you haven’t seen them yet, here are the latest 5 i did…

[Blocks]

[Friendship]

[Camping]

[Bacon]

[Birthdays]

Of course if you somehow only managed to stumble on them here and if you do like them at all [shares and links and likes are all appreciated] then you can find a list of the rest of them right over here.

so last year sometime the beautiful Valerie and myself decided to take a day out of the week and make it meat-free – and so we chose a Thursday for reasons i can’t remember

[no that doesn’t mean on Thursdays we run down the streets giving away packs of bacon to people altho i can’t see how they wouldn’t appreciate it – the people i mean, not the bacons]

and we encouraged people in our community (our church congregation enGAGE and my weekly thort for the week community) to consider doing likewise

and then after talking about it for a long time we decided to start some recycling as well (and by that i don’t mean we would go out on our bikes somewhere and then repeat the route – oh wait, we don’t have bikes, who were those people?) and so we put some crates outside our place and now have space for glass and tins and cardboard and plastic

then after a while – and big piles of stuff outside our window – we actually discovered where we can take that stuff and so we started actually recycling [altho we are still needing to figure out what to do with the cardboard cos the BP does not have a bin for that] and last nite we told the guy who stays in the flat next to us and he has already started putting his empty bottles with out

and we wrote an email to the complex we stay in and they sounded positive and said they would bring it up at the next meeting and so hopefully it will become an official part of where we stay

my point is that as easy as it is to bury your head in the sand and pretend the situation is so overwhelming (which it seems to be at times) that why bother doing anything… or you can start somewhere – one couple not eating meat and doing a bit of recycling is not going to change the world, but one couple and their next door neighbour man? well who knows?

what are you doing for your planet? and the next generation?

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