This week I got several e-mails from various associations encouraging me to become a vegetarian ... to swear off meat. I didn’t read too far into any of them because it ain’t gonna happen. And besides, I was taught not to swear.
Don’t get me wrong, I love vegetables. I also love meat.
Now I was wondering why, all of a sudden, I was bombarded by these appeals to give up beef, chicken and pork. For some reason, fish wasn’t considered a culprit.
I searched the Internet and I couldn’t find anything pronouncing last week as some kind of “Lick A Stick Week,” or “Kiss Your Rump Roast Goodbye Week.”
I guess it was just coincidence or either these various associations have all hired the same public relations firm.
I know that too much red meat is not good for me. I know that fried chicken and country fried steak are not good for me. Therefore, I eat more baked and grilled meats than I do fried. I didn’t say I don’t eat fried meat, I just try to keep it at low ebb so they don’t one day find blood in my cholesterol.
Having grown up on a farm, I naturally enjoy vegetables – butterbeans, peas, corn, rutabagas, cabbage, collards, turnips, mustard, onions ... and the list goes on.
Now when I say vegetables, I’m not just talking about the hard-core vegetables I’ve just mentioned. I also like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and asparagus. But you can hold the seaweed, sea kelp, tofu and other such vegetation. That always looked like stuff we chopped out of the peanut rows. But again, for people who like that kind of grass – to each his own.
Now, I doubt very seriously that sending out e-mails to try to get people to stop eating meat will have any great affect. It has about as much chance at success as a politician saying, “Trust me.” Or a campaign that promotes joining the military because you can get free haircuts.
I don’t think one has to give up meat to be considered a health enthusiast. I consider myself a health enthusiast. I exercise strenuously, I don’t smoke cigarettes, and I try to eat sensibly. For the past two years, I’ve been able to keep my weight within 5 pounds of what I’ve determined to be my desired weight. Of course those 5 pounds is always on the top side of the scale.
I’ve mentioned in a previous column that I have learned you can order just one hamburger. For years, two was a minimum for me. And now, quite often my wife and I share an entree at a restaurant, and we both declare that we are full when the smoke clears. Not only does eating less help our health, it also helps our bank account. I think this is what they call a “win-win” situation.
There are those days when I will eat just vegetables and fruits. But these occurrences do not account for long periods of time. And I could become a vegetarian if I really wanted to. I just don’t want to.
I once dreamed that I became a vegetarian. And just a few weeks into the program, I got hit by a truck hauling hogs to the packing house. Put on a tweed jacket, smoke a meerschaum pipe and twist your mustache and you can see how philosophical I became the next day about all of this.
And so it came to pass, after three or four of these vegetarian promotions moved, a news release about the National Beef Cook-off came flowing into my e-mails. I took that as a sign.
Now, I’m not saying that eating meat is a spiritual thing, but given that I grew up thinking Baptists invented “dinners on the ground,” I suddenly felt a twinge of old-time religion.
Walden is the editor/publisher of the Moultrie Observer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.