Saturday, November 17, 2007


So we are just about four days away from the official end of our month long vegetarian experiment (however the blog will live on! well at least we'll write about Thanksgiving and a few days later... and because we figure there will be such a high demand for the continuation of our musings on food and life, there's a chance we'll shift locations and topics and keep blogging). When I think back on the last three weeks, I don't even realize that I didn't eat meat any of those days. It's so normal not to eat meat at this point. It's weird to think about eating it again. That doesn't mean I don't want it. Just yesterday in the GSU with my friend Juan we were walking into the food purchasing area when someone walked by me with mandarin and orange chicken from Panda Express... I have to say I felt physically weak after seeing and smelling it. It really caught me off guard. It was like something I hadn't thought about in weeks (the cravings and missing of meat stopped pretty soon after we started this) suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks (which evidently weighs the same as a ton of feathers! who knew?!). I was knocked back and my knees buckled a bit, and I exclaimed in agony. People around me asked me if I was ok. One kid ran to my aid and I think one student actually ran off to call someone for help. I had fallen completely to the ground, so I picked myself up off the disgusting floor in front of the burger place, gave a slight, quick, embarrassed wave to the crowd that I was ok (every single person in a 50 person radius was staring at me) and then slunk into the food area, very embarrassed. I proceeded to the pizza line, ashamed, and discouraged that this was the only line open to me, as all other options featured meat prominently. When we walked back to our seats I felt the eyes on me, and heard one kid say "what is wrong with him? why did he fall? hasn't he ever seen meat before??" I gave him a smirk but he just looked down. You ever get the feeling that when you enter a room everyone's talking about you? Try feeling that way a hundred times. I got out of there as fast as I could, and tried to resume my day.

Now those of you who read my notes from Ecuador, especially the one from the Jungle, know that I like to embellish a bit and stretch the truth... None of the above story is true, except the fact that I did actually feel physically affected by smelling the meat. Beyond that there was no embarrassment. Sorry for any confusion or concern for my well being.

Nonetheless, I miss chicken. I understand how hard that must have been for Alex smelling those three types of meats sizzling together in a dance fusion of oil and heat.

Even though I miss my favorite bird, I do have to say that when it comes time to choose from a menu, I actually do see the meat options and think that they are wrong, or completely off limits. At a restaurant last night with a friend I picked through the very small menu to find two options for me - and I actually didn't mind being limited at all. I could either get an apple-brie sandwich (consequently what my friend ordered.. never heard of an apple sangwich - she said it was good though) or a black bean burger with cheddar. Guess what I got! I love black beans, err, I mean "beetles in purplesauce." The burger was de-licious. And I think that I would, after this experiment, still order that burger over a real one. I actually prefer it. It's better for you too. But its just delicious regardless. I think I can give up red meat even after this. I don't miss it at all.

In the past few blog posts Alex and I have been challenging you the readers to make a change in your life, even if temporary, for empathy or the greater good or whatever. This challenge I propose will be much less ambitious, and thus probably more practical. Next time you go to a burger place (only for those who are not already vegetarians of our readers) find the veggie burger option and get it. I guarantee you won't be disappointed (guarantee not binding, and by that I mean I don't guarantee it, but strongly think you won't be disappointed). You will hopefully find what I've found, that they are actually preferable to a real burger. If you love it so much why don't you marry it? - is what I'll say to you when you discover how great they are. Then to me you'll say "grow up, what are you 5?" I'll probably feel bad and admit to having the maturity level of a 5 year old. But, if you do love them, make the switch, and get them every time. Just think about the difference something that small can make! I established in the very first post of this blog that 1 pound of beef uses more water than showering for 4 months! If you substitute just your burgers for veggie burgers each time, you would save SO much water - enough to up the frequency of your showers from once every four months to a bit more frequent (seriously, you stink.. this is for the good of everyone, and not for environmental reasons). If you do try this, please let me know what you think, either post a comment here about your experience, or write me a message. I will be curious to see how it goes for y'all. I await your comments!

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