Photo by Ernesto Andrade, Creative Commons
It’s been 10 days since my “Wrestling the god of the Gut” post, and I thought I’d give you an update on how the match is going.
Let me tell you a little about myself: I’m a southerner, which basically means I’m a natural carnivore. My two favorite food groups are meat and more meat. I love deep-fried barbecue pork ribs so much I’ve got breading for skin and barbecue sauce for blood (yes, such a food exists, and yes, it is absolutely as good as it sounds). I love to eat, but I don’t really like to cook. And I really love going out to eat with my honey-bunny wifie … in the south, where carne is king.
You’d think that finding cruelty-free meat wouldn’t be so hard in such a meat-obsessed place as southern Mississippi, but nope. Apparently, folks around here either don’t know or don’t care what’s done to their burger, bacon or chicken while it’s still breathing.
It’s probably innocent ignorance. We see the cattle grazing on the hills as we drive up Highway 49, and we think the beef we buy locally comes from them. But it doesn’t; it comes from massive factory operations in the midwest. Getting meat from the nearby fields involves either tracking down the meat guy at the farmer’s market (easier said than done), or buying a cow and having it slaughtered (hope you have a big deep freeze).
I’ve found some beef and pork at Winn-Dixie. It’s not local, but it’s pasture-fed, without crates or cages. I’ve also found free-range eggs, though I can just as easily get those at the farmer’s market (the egg guy’s always there). It’s expensive, though, and I still haven’t found free-range chicken for any kind of affordable price.
So I just decided to eat less meat. And I found out I feel better when I’m not eating meat. It’s crazy, but living on eggs, cheese, grains, fruits, and veggies has been a real boon. I can even eat sweets again without feeling too bad. I really only missed meat for the first week or so, and now I’m kind of “over it.” Maybe this is a phase, too. Or maybe I’ll be a full-on-vegetarian by year’s end (Nanny Jet’s chicken and dressing recipe does not count, by the way).
It’s funny, because I used to use meat (especially a big hamburger) to give me a boost when I was sick or feeling crummy. Now, I’m largely avoiding meat, and I feel better than I should. I had a bad headache yesterday, and I really thought about defrosting some of that free-range beef and medicating with a hamburger.
But my wonderful wifie thought of fixing my Five-Layer Bean Burritos of Doom recipe, and sure enough, it worked. It actually filled the role that all-beef burgers used to fill.
I’m not 100% sure what my big point is here, except maybe that God has taken my first tentative steps toward reducing the cruelty my consumeristic existence causes, and He has blessed them beyond what I’d ever expected. I’m excited to see where He’ll lead me next.