Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stopping Cold Turkey

Today, October 27th, I am a vegetarian. Yesterday for lunch I had a cheeseburger with onions at a new 50's style burger joint in my school's student union. For dinner, I had gourmet Chinese at P.F. Chang's, which included both orange and sweet and sour chicken. Both meals were delicious. More importantly, both were normal for me. On average I'd say I eat meat at least once a day. When I am back home in Minnesota, it may even be more frequent. Meat is big in the Midwest, and I was raised to believe that it is the center of a balanced meal. If a dinner didn't have meat, well then it just wasn't a proper meal.

So what have I gotten myself into? Or more important - what is my motivation? Why am I willfully giving up something that I love to eat?

To put it plain and simple - meat is bad for the environment. In terms of water use alone, meat is incredibly wasteful. To produce one pound of beef it takes over 2,500 gallons of water (to grow the food to feed the cow, for the cow to drink, etc). To put this in perspective, an average 10 minute shower uses about 20 gallons of water. That means you would save more water if you chose to skip ordering the burger or steak once or twice than if you stopped showering for 4 months! For the sake of your friends and family, cutting the meat may prove easier.

Yesterday I was the "meat-lovers pizza" kinda guy I've been for years. Today, I stop cold turkey (horrible pun intended). I am going into this lacking research or tools at my disposal, other than a few vegetarian friends, and my counterpart to this experiment a thousand miles away in Michigan. For now, I feel good. I had mac & cheese for lunch, no big deal. For dinner, I'll cook some rice and veggies. But for a month... It's going to be a struggle.

How soon 'til Thanksgiving?


Nick N. said...

Kudos to your initiative D-Mang. I'll think of you while I'm eating chicken-fried steak with a side of pork chops for dinner tonight.

Amelia said...

As much as I am trying not to laugh at this experiment -- not of course the experiment itself as I hardly eat meat because I don't like to cook it (a lesser reason than yours), but the seriousness with which it is conducted (minus Alex's comic relief), it does remind me of something. When I was younger, I would decide to "be a vegetarian" for two or so weeks before I went to visit my grandparents in the Midwest. Days there consisted of meat at least three times a day (multiple options were typically available at each meal), which was a huge contrast to the most likely chicken I ate around once a day. It was too much for me, and I had to cut back to prepare... and this at age 10 or so. Weird.

Anyway, I seem to lack a point beyond that anecdote and the geographical correlation. Maybe its just something about the Midwest... they do like their meat.