Monday, October 13, 2008

The more I know

If you've been following my "Currently Reading" sidebar, then you know that I've been reading The Compassionate Carnivore by Catherine Friend. I'm not going to say much about the book since I'm going to post a review of it on Elephant Journal, but I will say that this book has definitely had an impact on me. I've been really changing my food choices, especially when it comes to where I go out to eat, and now this book has increased the challenge. At this point, my choices when I go out are to ask the waitstaff what they know about the source of the meat (unless I already know), or go vegetarian. I actually don't have a problem with the latter option, particularly since two out of my three meals each day is vegetarian, but it's getting so that my options to go out and enjoy a meal are getting increasingly, frustratingly limited. If I combine the "no factory-farmed meat" with the "no high fructose corn syrup or trans fats" decision, then my decision becomes even more difficult. It's interesting.

I had a talk with a recent alumnus about it over the weekend, and he asked me if I ever get overwhelmed by it all and want to just say "forget it." I can't say that I'm not tempted sometimes, but then I realize that my decisions aren't just for me and that I'm not the only one affected by the choices I make, and so my resolve to stick to my choices actually becomes easier for me.

On Saturday I spent time at the farmers' market making sure that my meat supply was going to remain steady over the winter, and with the exception of pork and lamb, I'm pretty much set. I have yet to hear back from the farm where I want to get my pork, so I may end up calling them this week. My lamb will come from a vendor at the farmers' market that wasn't there this past weekend. My beef and chicken are both all set, so that's a nice plus. Seems like a lot of work, I know, but I just can't go back to factory-farmed meat. The only exception would be if I was at someone's house for a meal. For example, this December I will be heading back East for the holidays, and while I am with my family, I am not and will not turn down the food that is being offered; that would just be rude, and to expect them to change for me would be just as inconsiderate, and so my decision will be put on hold. Besides, I'm there to enjoy being together with my family, not to proselytize my lifestyle... my choices may be right for me, but it is not mine to force those decisions on others.

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