I recently decided to stop eating meat. I’ve always loved meat and have often listed my favourite foods (in those quizzy type things) as simply just meat (I am from Benoni after all), but when attempting to be a bit more classy (I wonder if I should have spelt classy with a ‘k’) I have listed bacon, chicken and even ribs.
Strangely, the thought of consuming any of these foods is now nauseating for me.
I have often thought of not eating meat. I hate the idea that some poor animal had to die so I could chomp on its thigh, but I always pushed that to the back of my mind. I suppose you have to when you arrive at Nando’s and they’ve already rung up your order when spotting your car pulling up.
It started when I read a book called God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Now, you should walk away from that reflecting on how aspects of religion have been damaging to humankind and the examining the possibility that God may not exist. I walked away not eating pork.
Then Carte Blanche did a story on egg farms and I saw those poor little male chicks being sent into a masher and a few others dumped into an empty old dam to die.
No eggs for me.
I then read a book called Eating Animals after seeing an interview on the Ellen show.
I then watched a cow being led to slaughter on youtube.
I wish I hadn’t. But I’m glad I did.
So for two months I have not eaten meat. I have eaten the odd piece of fish but think I may head to cutting that out of my diet too. And I feel fantastic for it. Not in a healthy way – in a humane kind of way. I like that I didn’t hurt another living animal so I could nosh.
Now FJ, who has to deal with my many idiosyncrasies, has attempted many times to explain how animals have evolved to be eaten by us. I understand that. Friends have shown me their gnashers and explained how they are perfectly shaped to rip into an animal’s flesh. Sure. And some others have just blatantly mocked me and told me how idiotic the concept is.
The latter response has been the most concerning.
At no stage have I told anyone that they shouldn’t eat lambs, calves and chickens, but somehow saying that I choose not to invokes an argumentative response.
I know it’s a pain to invite me to dinner now. Lord knows, I used to roll my eyes when informed that I had to prepare something without animal flesh in it. And being a wine drinker, I know how difficult it is to pair wines with food when traditionally food and wine pairing is all about what carcass you are about to consume.
I just can’t bring myself to do it. As an animal I don’t want to stop other animals from having a life when I don’t have to. I don’t mind if you do. I hope you eat less, mostly from an environmental perspective, but if you want to eat animals then that’s fine.
I’ll just pair my Cabernet Sauvignon with something that hasn’t been killed.