Could I quit eating meat?
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
My life changed when we traded our Netflix DVD plan to streaming. Now I get to watch the many tv series I've missed and some great movies too. I think it's wonderful!
Now, you don't get much really current content unless it is produced by Netflix, but the number of offerings they do have is immense. I've also noted that there are several documentaries on the American diet and healthy alternatives. I watched one today about becoming vegan. In other words, no meat, no fish, no eggs, no dairy--it's hard to wrap your mind around this way of eating. The devotees of a vegan lifestyle say that it's much more than a diet. It's learning to do without anything that came from a living creature, like leather, alligator, feathers, ivory, fur, etc. I'm somewhat cautious about diving into a way of life that excludes so much, but I can see the merit of it if that's what a person wants to do. The diet, by itself, is healthy, and you'd be surprised how many regular foods count as vegan. Think double stuff Oreos--vegan, according to the experts in the film. Weight loss is not so dramatic, but the diet tends to bring down your cholesterol and lowers the blood pressure.
One of the most interesting visual aids in this documentary is a regular pie chart. The pie is cut in half. Half of the pie is processed foods of all kinds with all kinds of chemicals and preservatives. Then, take about 3/4th of the other half. That is all animal--stuff that eats. Then you have left 1/4 of the other half that is made up of vegetables and fruit. Now, divide that pie piece in two, because one half of the vegetables and fruit category goes to potatoes. I had never looked at a pie chart of the American diet that told the story like this one did.
I have to be careful, because my daughter is a protein chemist, and she's all about meat and eggs in her work. She might get mad at me for touting up a vegan diet, but I'm only reporting--not touting! Over and over, the doctors and nutritionists in these films are saying that we are killing ourselves by inviting all types of illness that flourish in an animal protein diet.
But can I do this vegan or vegetarian diet? I'm not sure. I have good intentions, but when I get hungry, it's not for kale. I'm not only hooked on fast food itself, but also on the fast part of it. I can drive through and begin eating in about 5 minutes. One thing I learned from the documentaries, though, is that all of these foods are an acquired taste for people who may be trying them for the first time. I usually take one bite and make a lifelong decision about it--I don't like it! I can do better than that. I need to incorporate it slowly into my meals and give my appetite a chance to "get to know" this new food. The pros say that one day I will like it as my taste adjusts. Think of when you were just a little kid. Did you like everything on your plate? I know I didn't like most of it, and I was skinny as a rail. My father made me sit with a helping of hominy in front of me until I ate it. I never did, and it still almost gags me to think about it. There are, however, many vegetables I came to enjoy as I grew because I started eating small portions of the food until I developed a taste for it.
So I'm going to cut down on meat and add more vegetables slowly. We'll see what happens.