…Or, Why I’m a Flexitarian.
I am not vegan, or even vegetarian. Generally I like to steer clear of labeling myself–it makes me itchy. However, recent science people have found information-y things that make it seem like eating meat and dairy are, at best, not great for you and, more than likely, really, really bad for you.
Michael Pollan talks about this too in The Omnivore’s Dilemma and the movie Food Inc. I like his stance on the issue. Briefly summarized, people like meat because meat is freaking delicious so if you want to eat it then know the risks and maybe don’t eat it for every single meal. Or, even better, don’t really eat it at all. But who wants to do that. As far as I can figure this is the idea that super awesome cookbook author and dude that shows up on the Today Show sometimes Mark Bittman has too. I find this philosophy stunningly sensible.
Animal products, while very tasty, are not good for your health. They also take a ton of energy and resources to produce and are, therefore, REALLY EXPENSIVE at least if you try to buy stuff that isn’t nefariously chemical-filled or came from a chicken with like seventeen legs. (I don’t think they ever actually invented those chickens but seriously, conventional meat is weird. Watch Food Inc.) Most convincing to me as reasons for not really eating animal products are: #1 $$$ and #2 my own personal well being. But also not destroying earth is a big one too.
OK, so I’m a vegan who just really likes hamburgers sometimes. I feel good about this. I eat lots and lots of grains, legumes, fruits and veggies (because if meat is weird, fake meat is even weirder). If I crave meat, I eat meat. But honestly, the healthier I eat the less I crave stuff that isn’t because it makes me feel sort of dirty and weird. Especially dairy, but we won’t go into that right now.
At any rate, this is where I’ve arrived. Meat and dairy are tasty but I don’t want to eat them except for special occasions because they are expensive to buy and make, sketchy to produce, use up way more natural resources than they should and might kill me. I am telling you this as kind of a warning because I try to cook cheap, quick, healthy delicious things that don’t involve animal products so that’s why the recipes on this blog don’t contain them. So consider yourself mentally prepared. Really it’s not a big deal. Spending about $40 a week on high quality, organic groceries (and only about 30 minutes in the kitchen) will make you so happy you won’t care anymore. And then, if you want a hamburger on Sunday, you go eat that juicy burger and don’t feel bad about it.