Over a year ago, I decided to go off meat. By “off meat,” I mean off chicken, beef, and pork (and pork sub-group bacon). I still eat fish and eggs in moderation, so I suppose that makes me a pescetarian. So I thought I would talk a little about why.
I regularly eat with friends and family who are rabid omnivores, and I could care less if someone ate a dripping red piece of meat, wrapped in a bun, in front of me. My point is this: the reasons that I chose to limit my food choices are personal, and have nothing to do with other people, and more to do with my preferences. Here are some of them:
1) I really like veggies, and I naturally gravitate towards them. You know those people that mention “veggies” and “coming in their pants” in the same sentence? Well, that’s not me. But I’ve never had to retrain myself to eat more fruits and vegetables.
2) Stopping my meat habit was not a big deal. I have talked to people who have told me that they go a little crazy without meat, they tried going vegetarian, and their bodies could not handle being deprived. My body was chill about it; it had a “No Meat, No Problem” attitude.
3) Hormones. I’m not going to go into detail here, because Skinny Bitch, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and other books can offer a much more detailed discussion than I can in one paragraph, but suffice to say, I don’t want to consume livestock that is hormonally induced to grow as large as possible, as fast as possible. What also intrigued me was Garance Dore’s experiences that women from other countries often put on 10 lbs when they come to the US.
4) Conscious eating. What I learned from reading books and articles, is that I wasn’t actually thinking about my food, or where it came from, or what my preferences were. I was just eating whatever was available and seemed healthy. I have since learned that I prefer my everyday meal to be simple, and that I don’t want all the flavorful, rich foods that restaurants offer. I also decided that animals are a natural resource just like any other, and I want to limit my consumption of animals, just like any other natural resource.
5) Weight loss. So now, we get down to the true, tofu and potatoes reason why I chose to give up meat. One of the pissiest questions I get asked is whether I did this to lose weight. Would you ask a dude this same question? So the answer is a fat yes. Hell, yeah man. This is exactly the reason why I chose to do it, and why everyone else on earth should put kale on a pedestal. I lost at most 3 pounds of pure lard giving up animals, and if you want to drastically change your lifestyle to lose 3 pounds, then put that chicken away.
6) Immigrant guilt. What stopped me for a long time from giving up meat, was that fact that my parents literally starved before they came to the US. They both grew up without means. It seemed to be a slap in their faces that they would come here, and then I would refuse to eat food that they had been denied when they were younger. I decided, that instead of eating meat, that I would try not to waste food, and that that would be out of respect for them.
7) Consequences. My skin was not entirely chill about my choices. One of the reasons why I don’t like hormones, is because my skin is very sensitive to hormonal changes, and my skin is really good at letting me know when it is pissed. I do believe that your skin is an indicator of what is happening internally. So a few months into my no meat habit, everything was fine. At about the one year mark, however, my skin started freaking out, and I got really bad cystic acne and wanted to hide my head under a rock. (Of course, I still went to work) No one was more upset by this than my mother. Then, the acne stopped, and my skin is now fine. Here is what I think happened: I think my body was rebalancing my hormones internally. Now that meat was out of the picture, it had to produce more hormones to replace the hormones that I was no longer consuming, and increased hormone production led, for me, to gross acne. But, then it was over and I moved on.
At best, I hope this article changed your life, but at worst, I just wanted to show how the decision of what to eat is specific to a person.