Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Conversation on Vegetarianism

My mother was in town this weekend (she was in need of a little city time) and we had brunch at Rosebud in Davis Square (I highly recommend grabbing brunch here). Their patio is now open and feels like a little haven - equal parts sun and shade. The cocktails are delicious (a make your own Bloody Mary bar and my favorite - a boozy iced coffee that has maple simple syrup in it. Over our omelettes we started discussing food.

My mother has a garden and often brings me veg when she visits. On this trip she brought a bag stuffed with kale, spinach and arugula. It tasted so fresh and unblemished. I made a saute last night with some of it and just felt so good knowing what I was consuming. Which brought us to discussing books on food. I gave my mother my copy of Eating Animals years ago and she started it and never finished it. Which isn't totally surprising but disappointed me all the same. I wanted desperately to discuss it with her at the time. Anywho, part way through the conversation she asked me about eating animals that have been raised outside of cages, fed properly, etc. I replied with, "Sure, that's fine for other people." But what about me, she asked. Why wouldn't I consider eating meat raised that way?

Without hesitating I responded. "That's not for me. My issue isn't with how the animal is treated before its death." (Although that is another issue in itself.)

I have thought about this for the past five years since reading Eating Animals. In all honesty there are times that I miss the taste of brisket, BBQ chicken, dark meat turkey. But eating those foods is a choice. And I choose to eat other foods, more nutritious foods. What it boils down to, what is most important to me, is that I do not want to be the cause for another being's suffering. I don't believe that my life is any more important than another creature, no matter the size.

I signed a petition online last week to try to end the Yulin meat festival in China in which thousand of dogs are rounded up, boiled alive, burned, basically the most horrible things you can imagine, and eaten. The idea of that, over here where dogs are considered members of the family, is horrific, tear-inducing. But someone could argue that we do to pigs (who are equally as intelligent as dogs) what they do to dogs. All of this, ingesting what you do, is a choice. Every meal you make a choice. And for me, who considers myself to be an absolute animal person, no matter how the animal is raised, fed, cared for, etc., I don't want to be the reason that life was cut short. I think of my sassy little furbabies and imagine how terrified they'd be if they were rounded up in hoards and killed. It makes me feel ill.

And so, I continue into my sixth year of pescatarianism, wishing I had a little backyard where I could grow my own veg and herbs. I need fresh dill so I can pickle something! Also, I leave you with this picture of Bug, who I caught in this pose when I walked in the door the other day, being her sassy self. Her biggest worry is whether Beans will take her favorite spot on the bed.


~Stephanie


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