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July 17, 2006

I don't actually eat meat...

Had a nice second day of holiday with hubby and the kids today (we're spending the first week doing work at home, mainly the roof, and will spend the second week camping and visiting my in-laws). We took in an early matinee this afternoon (okay, so technically that's not really working on the house), and then DD and I spent the afternoon making a yummy dinner. We made Chicken Savoyarde, a luscious looking recipe that I spied while perusing a Tamasin Day-Lewis cookbook, and Hasselback (or Hasselhoff if you're my husband) Potatoes made with homegrown baby spuds and loads of crunchy Maldon salt. The chicken was a lovely creamy dish flavoured with tarragon, which is our new favorite herb - the kids are always grazing on it whenever they're outside. Ours turned out a little more saucy than it should have, I think because our chicken was about 2/3 the size it should have been. I have to mention here that we actually tend towards vegetar-ianism in our house, so this was kind of a one shot deal. I had been a vegetarian for 12 years and a vegan for one when I became pregnant with my son (our second child), at which point I started having dreams about killing half-crazed moose in self defense, thereby justifying my consumption of them (they were just lying there dead afterall). I took that to mean that I was probably lacking something, and gradually added back dairy, then eggs, then fish, and by the time he was born I was pretty much a full-blown carnivore again, much to my husband's delight (I never could bring myself to each much beef, though). But about a year and 1/2 ago, I read John Robbins' book "Food Revolution" and I've been vegetarian again ever since. Until today, when I found a lone frozen organic chicken that had been lost in the bottom of the freezer.
I'm actually toying with the idea of going at least semi-vegan again, partly for health reasons (heart disease is prevalent in our family and when I was vegan my cholesterol was way below normal), and partly for environmental reasons. I recently read in the Utne Reader that a diet based on meat and/or dairy products "generates the equivalent of nearly 1.5 tons more carbon dioxide per person per year than a vegan diet with the same number of calories."
That's food for thought.

7 comments:

Phelan said...

I just wanted to say that I too was a vegan for many years until I became pregnant. The urge to eat pork was overwhelming and I too gave in. Though now we raise our own meat, and that was the biggest reason I was a vegan, the way they overproduced and how they killed the animals.

Kudos to you for attempting to go back, it has to be hard.

Cheryl said...

Hi Phelan,
That's funny, I've heard the same thing from several people. It didn't happen when I was pregnant with my daughter though, but I was lacto-ovo then. Maybe it's boys that do it!?

Danielle said...

The environmental/ ethical issues are the biggest impetus for me in raising our own meat. While I was vegetarian (lacto-ovo) for a little over a year, I consider myself a mindful meat eater now. Living in a family of hardcore carnivores, I've embraced the idea of raising our own meat as ethically as possible and admit to hoping it will result in a more mindful approach for everyone.

Cheryl said...

Hi Danielle,
Good point - I don't think that meat lovingly raised on small local farms or by a family for their own consumption falls under the same category as meat which is raised in feedlots or on deforested land, shipped across the country and packaged in plastic. I guess people need to be more mindful of where all of their food is coming from, not just the meat. Grapes from Chile would almost certainly have a bigger impact on CO2 levels than a chicken raised in your back yard.

Phelan said...

Boys? Maybe...I had four. Craved some type of meat with all of them.

Cheryl said...

Phelan, I think we may be on to something here...

Phelan said...

HA! Think we could charge for our knowledge?

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