For weeks now, SPH and I have been eating a vegetarian diet. But in just two days Lent will be over, and we’ll be finished with our commitment to eat vegetarian for Lent. The big question looming in my mind for a few weeks now has been, “where do we go from here?”
I never intended for this temporary taste of vegetarianism to completely alter the way I eat, permanently, nor did I ever think it would make my carnivorous husband even consider permanently giving up meat. However, the other night, we started sharing how we felt with about our vegetarian journey. SPH floored me with this statement:
“You know what? I don’t even miss meat. I am not craving it one bit.”
Perhaps I would have fallen out of my chair except for the fact that I feel the same way. Even my beloved bacon, for which I thought I may be pining, hasn’t even come close to being a craving. Already planning to bring a vegetarian dish to my family’s big Easter dinner, I hate to say this, but I am not looking forward to the ham in the usual way I do. This is a big deal to me, because my Uncle Frank makes a divine ham, one for which people return to the serving area 2 or 3 times. And this is not an offense to my dear uncle, but I am just jazzed up the same way I usually am.
So where do I go from here? I am, after all, the grand-daughter of a butcher, and the product of a very meat and potatoes type upbringing. Food, and meat, is at the center of some of my family’s traditions. Ribs on New Year’s Day, Ham at Easter, Turkey at Thanksgiving…you know the drill because I am guessing if you are an omnivore, you have some similar traditions too.
And while we are on the subject of non-vegetarian eating, don’t even get me started about seafood. Have you heard the term “Pescetarian?” A vegetarian that will eat seafood. I think I could do this gig pretty easily.
I have decided that I am not ready to make a firm commitment to be a dedicated vegetarian. For that, I need a bit more time and space to reflect. However, as I told a friend recently, I think I could see myself becoming a 90%+ vegetarian, eating meatless all but about 10% or less of the time.
So for now, my plan is to continue cooking largely vegetarian dishes at home and when I order at restaurants. I am going to see how I feel going forward giving up meat at all times and during all celebrations and just take it week by week.
In closing, I think I am an omnivore, who just sees the beauty of using vegetables as the primary focus of my meals, not merely as a side or afterthought.