Sunday, September 26, 2010

Everything But the Bacon

I had a friend in college who had this pattern she repeated over and over again.

After a particularly stressful bout of academia, she would go out and binge drink for what usually amounted to anywhere from 4-48 hours. Upon awaking the morning after her alcoholic bender, she would proclaim to anyone who could hear that she would never EVER drink again. For the next month or two, she would stoically refrain from drinking anything with even the faintest taint of the evil substance.

Then, classes would get more demanding, she would start finding herself staying at the library later and later...and the whole thing would start over again.

I've always found this treatment of vices pointless; if you're going to have a vice, just accept it and moderate it--don't pretend its not there by going on benders every few months.

However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't think about quitting.

I've been thinking about quitting my own vice lately--not caffeine, alcohol or nicotine---but meat.

As an animal biologically designed to eat other animals, you may think it incorrect to label this as a vice. After all, meat itself is not necessarily bad for you---and lets face it, we're designed to live off of other living things, whether they be plant or animal--there is no way around it.

However, sometimes I go on what could be called "meat benders," long stretches of time where it seems like I can't go for a single meal without consuming some sort of animal product. After these benders, I feel more sluggish, fat, and usually a little depressed, likely resulting partly from the first two symptoms. I remember what it felt like the last time I ate a salad---was that days ago, weeks, months? Time blurs when you're on a meat bender. Surely, I was more alert, lively and happy when produce was in my diet.

So, I vow to go meat free for a period of time.

But it never lasts. Partly, its because I'm living with someone who has no desire whatsoever to go on a journey of vegetarian discovery with me. He'll humor my tofu stir frys and vegetable stews, yes, but isn't planning on giving up burgers and steaks anytime soon. Partly, its also because, admittedly, I like meat. I think there are a number of meats I could give up, simply because I wouldn't mind leaving them out of a lot of dishes. But then there are bacon.

While I'd love to give up eating pigs in particular for emotional reasons, bacon tastes like nothing else. It makes everything taste better, including vegetables.

bacon wrapped asparagus = divine.

So is it possible that I could be a vegetarian, and give up every meat except bacon? Would that actually be healthier, or would I just end up putting bacon on everything?

I guess I'll find out--in another week, the hubby will be gone for a few days at a work conference, and I'll be left to fend for myself culinarily. I'll probably be buying a lot of things I'm still afraid to make for him (due to an expected negative response) such as brussel sprouts and squash. I'm going to see if I can go meat-free, and try to maybe even make something that's worth preparing again in the process.

If you have any recipe suggestions, feel free to let me know! I'm in the mood to expand my horizons.

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