I think it’s important you learn as much as possible about your foods. After all, what you eat is what fuels your body.
But what you eat, is ultimately your choice.
Obviously I am not saying go ahead and pig out on fast food every day. And no, this doesn’t mean I am advocating that all your meals should be pizza, French fries and beer (Although that does sound great doesn’t it?) Eating these types of foods every day will eventually take a toll on your overall health.
If you choose to limit your meat consumption, or eat more meat, or go on the Atkins Diet or the South Beach diet, that is your choice. If you become vegetarian, but still eat fish, or cheese and eggs and dairy, that is your choice.
If you choose to be 100 percent vegan because you feel it’s morally the right thing to do, for the sake of your health, the animals and the environment, I think that is great. And again it’s your choice.
Don’t be one of those all up in my face people telling me I am cruel for having a piece of chicken or a steak.
That happened to me recently. It didn’t go over very well.
“BACK OFF LADY,” I yelled. “All those vegetables and fruits and plant-based items on your plate. They also had to be killed for your consumption.”
She looked at me aghast.
“Yeah that’s right,” I continued. “Plant based foods are living organisms – DUH! They grow, respire, reproduce, respond to stimuli, and even die, just like animals do. That poor apple you just bit in half was just hanging from a tree, minding its own business when suddenly it was sprayed with chemicals almost chocking it to death. Later it was plucked from its home, tossed into a truck along with other produce and shipped to a factory. While being processed, it got sprayed again so it wouldn’t rot quickly and sprayed again to make it all shiny. Then it was tossed into another truck to be taken to final destination, where you bought it and nearly bit it in half with one chomp.”
“PLANT KILLER,” I yelled.
The woman bolted away, as customers stared in our direction.
Feeling smug, I sat back down and finished my chicken sandwich.
Now before I start getting hate mail from all the vegans out there, please note that I totally respect your decision. In fact I have several friends who are either vegetarian or vegan.
It was THEIR CHOICE.
Recently I made the decision to try to cut down my meat consumption for a variety of reasons. The inhumane treatment of animals at some of the industrialized concentrated animal feeding operations around the United States, being one reason. Diseases likely caused by hormones, antibiotics injected into animals or pesticides and chemicals sprayed on our foods is another.
I’ve read about the dangers of genetically modified foods. Learned about the differences between organic and non-organic produce. I’ve heard the pros and cons of eating meat versus a strictly plant-based diet. I’ve listened to people explain why they became vegan or vegetarian or why they are on the paleo or other diet and how it has benefited them.
Based on my research I’ve decided to try to eat more plant based whole foods. I found that I feel much better when I eat primarily plant-based foods. And maybe there will come a time when I realize that I no longer crave a steak, burger, pulled pork sandwich or fried chicken.
That was my choice. BUT I’M WEAK, and old habits don’t die overnight.
I mean after all, I’ve spent the better part of my life as an omnivore. I grew up on Cuban sandwiches loaded with pork, some with steak and others with BOTH. We ate a lot of picadillo, made with ground beef. My favorite to this day is still a Palomilla steak with rice and black beans.
Oh, and my mother’s chicken soup was always the remedy for a cold or fever.
I have limited my meat intake extremely. And when buy meat seek responsible farms known for the humane treatment of animals. Farms where they’ve roamed free instead of spending their entire lives cooped up in tiny pens.
It costs a little more, but I feel a bit better about it. Paying the extra is worth it, to me, and also makes it a special meal, not an everyday thing eaten without thought of what was sacrificed.
It’s my body, my conscious decision — MY CHOICE.