I couldn’t be a vegetarian unless I was forced to be one, like if all the animals in the whole world suddenly disappeared. Vincent Vega was right, pork chops taste good and bacon tastes good. Seriously, how the hell do you give up bacon if you don’t have to? And steak and burgers and OMG to many things I’d miss. But don’t get me wrong, I love vegetables too.
Even as a kid I loved vegetables, so it is not so unusual that my mother likes to remind me that I used to call broccoli “my little trees” and that once when I was a small child I turned down dessert for a second helping of mixed vegetables. What can I say, they tasted good and there was only room for them or the dessert. Despite the fact that I still remember how the mixed vegetables tasted and I have no recollection of what the dessert was, I did not grow up to be a dessert hating vegetarian.
Even with my great love of vegetables and my great love of animals for that matter, I still crave meat. For various reasons I have gone long periods of time with out eating it but eventually my physical need to eat meat won out over my disgust at seeing animals butchered (for food) and the mad cow disease scare. In 2010 the threat of near unbearable physical pain of a gallbladder attack kept me from eating beef and pork for six months (and chocolate bars, nuts, avocados, chips… you know the stuff you actually want to eat). Once I had my gallbladder removed (good riddance!) I was back eating meat with in a weeks time, in fact I missed so many of the things I could not eat that I overdid it. I then had to seriously rethink my diet. I made the decision that it was less crazy (I would be less crazy) to continue to eat all the different kinds of foods I enjoy and not to let my cravings go ignored.
So once free of my torturous dictator gallbladder and after a binge (or two) I’m trying to eat normally. My “strategy” is to give into my cravings but feed them with the healthy option most of the time, which includes having several meat free meals every week. So far my vegetarian options never feel like a meat free meal, they are just good tasting food and I am being totally honest when I say that after a meal such as chickpea burger I get up from the table full and satisfied. However, it does not make me want to be a full time vegetarian. So I’ll have a second helping of mixed vegetables without skipping dessert and I will continue to eat bacon cheeseburgers without remorse, I just won’t do it every day.