Some people are vegetarians.

And I’m about to become one.  Beginning Sunday, we will be omitting chicken, beef and pork from our diets for the month of July.

I’ve had this conversation frequently over the past few weeks as we’ve mentioned our upcoming lifestyle change to friends and family. So pardon me as I presume your thought process.

A lot of you are thinking, “say whaaaat?! Girl, you crazy.”

To which I say, yes. Well, actually, not really. Maybe. We’ll see.

It probably seems strange to go from eating meat for over 27 years to suddenly decide to stop. I grew up on a farm and we raised beef cattle, for goodness sake. Only this isn’t a decision that was made suddenly or lightly. Hubs and I have talked about taking on a vegetarian diet on and off for years.

Over the years, I’ve learned bits and pieces about the gruesome practices of most major meat producers, the conditions the animals are raised and the intentions of these mega-farms.  If you’re curious, Food Inc. is a great source of information on these practices. So about a year ago, we stopped buying grocery store meats. We began purchasing farm-raised beef and chicken but kids, that stuff is expensive.

For beef-lovers, the most economical solution is to purchase a ¼, ½ or entire cow. You know, buying in bulk. It comes (obviously) butchered and packaged for storage in a deep freezer. But this is still expensive. We’ve considered taking on a vegetarian lifestyle for awhile and before we invest several hundreds of dollars into beef, we need to give this a serious shot. Because once that money is spent, you better believe we can’t afford to let it go to waste.

We’ve also discussed raising our own chickens for eggs and slaughter.  While I don’t consider myself to be overly sympathetic to animals and I don’t personify them, I imagine I would have a difficult time killing something I spent time caring for even if the intentions were clear from the beginning. Especially when it just isn’t necessary.

“Expense is a weak reason to cut out all meat. Just cut back!”

It’s not all about expense. You can’t un-read or un-see things, as much as you may wish to. I became so bothered by the habit of companies like Tyson, I found it difficult to eat out not knowing where the meat was from, what it was fed or how it was prepared. I suppose it goes back to having an annoyingly strong moral compass. It just felt wrong to be supporting a practice that I found so disturbing.

Becoming vegetarians isn’t a small task for our family. You see, the majority of vegetarians love them some cheese, yogurt and other delicious dairy products.  But with B’s milk allergy, those items are off the table. So we’re looking at a lot of vegan meals with the addition of eggs and honey.

“But aren’t you worried about your kids’ diets?!”

Nope.

We have two excellent eaters who generally eat whatever we cook. There are lots of plant-based sources of protein (quinoa, beans, peanut butter) and they eat lots of fruits and veggies every day.

“Earlier, you said you are removing beef, chicken and pork. What about fish?”

At this point, we will still occasionally be eating fresh, wild-caught and/or local seafood.

“But that’s cheating! That makes you a pesceterian, not a vegetarian!”

No, it’s not cheating – our diets, we make the rules. Yes, technically, we will be considered pescetarians.  With B’s unusual dietary restrictions, I felt omitting seafood would be very limiting for her and traveling and eating out would become nightmare (Ha! As if it wasn’t already with a toddler and preschooler). Also, coastal living provides us with access to a variety of affordable and locally-caught fish and shellfish. The foundation of our diet will be plants and seafood will be an accessory.

“What happens at the end of the month?”

I don’t really know. If Hub or I are practically dying for a taco or grilled chicken, we’ll reevaluate.  He seems to think he’ll go back to eating meat. We’ll see.

“Man, I love meat. I could never be a vegetarian.”

Hey, that’s ok.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to share with people how easy and enjoyable it is to live a simple, natural and sustainable lifestyle. Please understand, I am in no way saying you or anyone should jump aboard the vegetarian wagon. Eating is a personal choice and there are a lot of emotions and societal factors attached to diets. But I do want to show you that it’s doable and even (hopefully) enjoyable.

I do hope, however, that you will educate yourself on where your food and meat, specifically, comes from.

“So, why are you telling me?”

Because this is my blog and that is what I do. I’ll be sharing recipes and recaps of what worked and what didn’t. Also, I’ll be blogging to keep myself accountable.  No emergency Chick-Fil-A lunchtime drive-thru when the kids are famished or last-minute sloppy joe dinners. And if there are slip-ups, I’ll tell you.

Lastly, I need your help – what are your favorite vegetarian and dairy-free recipes?

Want more info?

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13 thoughts on “Some people are vegetarians.

  1. What am exciting adventure! I would love to eat less meat but my husband would never even consider it, so I try to eat meatless meals for lunch. I’m looking forward to seeing what recipes work out and trying them on my meat-eating husband. Maybe I could slowly convert him… 🙂

    • I can’t wait to share some of the recipes we’ve taken on a “test drive” over the past few weeks. They’re definitely hearty enough to hold over my husband. A lot of recipes you can easily add meat at the end and have a vegetarian and meat version. And for the record, it took a lot of reading and documentary-watching to get my husband to this point 🙂

  2. Hey Liz! Long time no see!! I always read your blog, as I am constantly thinking about how I can lead a healthier/greener/just cleaner lifestyle and trying to find way to get my boyfriend on board – though he is pretty stubborn. I also consider going vegetarian often, for a number of reasons, but I haven’t yet fully committed. One of my favorite recipes is I preheat the oven to around 375 – 400, cut up thin slices of 3 organic red/orange peppers, 1 zucchini, 1 squash and 1 sweet onion. I place those all in two 9X13 pans. To each pan, I mix 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and toss the veggies. Put them in the oven for about 45 minutes and check them. I usually stir them around at that point and then put them back in for another 10 minutes. I make about 1 lb of wheat pasta and toss it all together when its done. My boyfriend likes to sprinkle parmesan cheese on his but I don’t think it necessary.  I’ve made it for my family and they love it! Love reading your blog!

    • Hey Jessica! I hear you on the stubborn men – of course, I can be pretty strong-willed from time to time to it can make our family dynamic pretty interesting 🙂 That recipe sounds delicious! I roasted some eggplant and squash similar to that but never thought of just tossing the pasta right in – an excellent idea because I had a lot of liquid leftover when the veggies were done. Balsamic vinegar is becoming one of my new favorite cooking tools. I’ve been using it with strawberries lately in salads – delicious! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. Thank you SO much for the shout-out, Liz! I actually got chills reading your post. Not to sound corny, but it’s so incredibly cool that blogging allows us to share our stories, inspire one another, and connect with others across the world, in a way never possible before. I am so excited for you and your family during this trial period. Hats off to you guys, and I will be excitedly following your progress!

  4. I have tried vegan for a week here and a week there recently, kind of for all the same reasons you are talking about. Plus, my crappy processed food diet was making me feel… well… crappy. I got a lot of help from http://beccasgreenkitchen.wordpress.com/. She offers great vegan recipes and she’s kind and helpful if you have questions. And she’s funny too. I place great value on funny! Good luck on your journey. I’ll be following your blog to see how it works out for you.

  5. I’m a vegetarian and for me personally this made my health much better. I dont want to go back again eating those meat with lots of harmful saturated fats that clogs your arteries.

  6. Pingback: That Vegetarian Thing; Part Un | The Lambent Life

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