Sometimes meat is the easiest food, sometimes it's the hearty satisfying component to a meal and sometimes it gives you all the energy you need.
Surely meat eating is a lifelong tradition. It would certainly take something powerful to give up meat.
Well, for me that powerful thing was meeting my wife!
When I went home and told my family my new friend (who I really, really liked) was a vegetarian, there was a stunned silence. And then comments from various brothers sounded like "How could someone be a vegetarian? You know, if she hasn't eaten meat since age 6 you're going to have to be vegetarian too!"
Does my love for this woman outweigh my love for meat?
It doesn't compare. The love for my now wife that is!
My new journey started; an alternate one! We buy really big bags of lentils. And broad beans, cannelloni beans, red kidney beans, butter beans (yep, there's more than just baked beans). We make giant hummus dips and we're starting to sprout chickpeas. What do I now marinate in soy sauce and garlic overnight then fry up? Tofu; and it's good.
There are the common reasons for not eating meat: environment, animal loving, health… But what made me jump into these foods (not including out of love for my wife of course!) is a reason I think maybe 25% of people reading this will also become vegetarian… How awesomely cheap it is!
Cheap = $2 per kilogram when you soak your own chickpeas. $2 per kilo compared to $16 per kilo for meat, and it shrinks when you cook it! Vegetarian = BARGAIN.
But it hasn't stopped me from eating meat completely. My daughter and I love to have special Daddy Dates where we scamper off to the local park BBQ's stopping at the supermarket to pick up a fillet of fish or cut of meat. If we ever find ourselves eating at a non-vegetarian restaurant it is daddy and daughter on one side and mummy on the other.
Our daughter has 'somehow' fallen into a habit of "reeeeeally neeeeeding some prawns" when we shop. So on the trip home she is happily holding her cocktail prawn pretending to swim it through the sea saying "look mummy, would you like a prawny?"
Will she forever like meat? Or will it click that that swimming prawn actually had to die?
All I know is that you can get full being a vegetarian, I haven't eaten all my money and my appetite for meat is reducing – it actually tastes quite fatty and sits heavily in your stomach.
Maybe we will both be vegetarians! Let's see…
Daniel Stott is a primary school teacher on the Gold Coast and is Bible College trained.
Daniel Stott's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/daniel-stott.html