Many of you may or may not know that for a few years now I've tried to maintain a vegetarian diet. I even began a series on this blog about why I chose to "Go Veg" (see HERE and HERE), but I kind of fizzled out and didn't even get to my primary points: the environment and world hunger. I began my foray into vegetarianism while I was in Uganda- mostly because I didn't have a choice. Meat is a luxury in the developing world and I only ate it once or twice a week. It piqued my interest and I began researching the ways in which our diet is impacting starving people around the world. My findings were astounding.
In the last couple months, however, I've begun introducing more meat into my diet.
And here's why:
I'm a lazy vegetarian. Vegetarianism requires being very conscious and intentional about eating. Because I wasn't eating meat and wasn't making a solid effort to get my fill of nuts, beans, etc, I wasn't getting the protein I needed. While there are plenty of ways to get protein while maintaing a meatless diet, I wasn't doing it and eating more meat has been my way of doing just that.
|The words every vegetarian loves to hear.|
By removing meat from my diet, I was also removing my voice from an ongoing discussion about the state of meat production in this country and around the world. My intention was never to say "eating animals is bad," but I was displeased with the treatment of farm animals, with the hormones and unnatural elements going into my food and the toll conventional factory farming is taking on the environment. I mean, seriously, in what universe is a manure swamp healthy?! If I hope to rectify this, it's important to support the farmers who are "doing it right." If I want organic and sustainably produced meat, I need to model that in my diet!
My husband loves food. He'll eat anything I make (one of the things I love about him), but while I come from a family who is all about the carbs (I really think I could survive off bread and fruit), my Boo comes from a family where protein is the law of the land. When he started eating more fast food to get his protein fix, it caused me to reevaluate if I was meeting his dietary needs. I wasn't. He made no complaints, but I knew it wasn't fair for me to expect him to eat my protein-lacking diet.
|You're welcome, baby.|
So where do we stand? We still don't eat meat every day. Americans, in general, eat much more meat than we will ever need. But I have begun experimenting more with carnivorous recipes and introducing chicken sausage or breast into my traditionally vegetarian dishes. I'm a big believer in "everything in moderation" and I feel like I've found a healthy balance in meeting all my dietary needs.
If you'd like to know more about my take on food and hunger issues, visit my food blog, Sustainably Kaity.