Last night’s sunset. It was so gorgeous that I felt compelled to get off my tush and go out to the porch to capture its beauty. “Even while cuddling with one’s husband, one sometimes has to make the decision to break away in order to do the right thing”- Claudia’s wise words for the day.
Wild strawberries in the side garden. That’s ground cover that I planted in the background. Will an actual strawberry show itself? Stay tuned.
These little flowers pop up every year in the garden bed that’s right next to the porch – the one with the older hostas. Long ago, I discovered its name, but I don’t remember it any longer. It’s such a sweet little plant and was here when we moved in. It lives under one of the hostas.
Many of you have asked me to share more about my vegetarian lifestyle and the recipes we use, as well as what food we buy. I hesitate to talk about it for two reasons. The first is that Don does most of the cooking and his meals are usually something he whips up from various things he finds in the cupboards and refrigerator and there is no official recipe involved. He likes cooking that way and he’s very good at it. At some point, I can share a list of things we tend to regularly buy at the market if you would like. I’ve been a vegetarian for 30 years and believe me, there is SO much more available than there was when I first made that choice. It’s very easy to live this lifestyle and get the protein you need. In fact, I never worry about it.
The second reason is that my choice to be a vegetarian is very personal and is based on a moral imperative that I feel deep within my heart. And that moral imperative is not to eat any animal, be it fish, foul, cow, lamb – anything. I don’t believe in killing animals for food, especially in our modern society where there are so many possibilities for food, so many plant-based choices that allow us to eat humanely.
Whenever I share this with readers, I run the risk of offending them. I tend to avoid the preachy, knowing that the only thing that matters is that I’m living my life in a way that matches my heartfelt beliefs. This is my choice. My husband often eats vegetarian meals, but he still eats meat occasionally. That is his choice.
That being said, let me explain my beliefs. I don’t understand, nor will I ever understand, how people can admire the beauty of a cow or a lamb or a chicken and then turn around and eat one. I am unable to separate the beauty of those animals, the fact that they feel pain, that they think and live and breathe, from the act of killing them. None of what I believe is a misinterpretation of ‘having dominion’ for me. What makes me think I am superior? Because I have opposable thumbs?
Don’t get me started on hunting or the abundance of trophy deer heads I see on decorating blogs.
But again, this is what I believe. And I believe it deeply, strongly and passionately – with every fiber of my being.
I’m not perfect. I wrestle with the choice to wear leather shoes, for example, or use a leather bag. I do my best to learn and grow on this journey.
So there you go. I started this journey when I was in graduate school. I had already started eliminating red meat from my diet when my elder brother was diagnosed with cancer – he had lymphoma. He made the decision to fight it with diet instead of chemo. He became macrobiotic. I was intrigued by macrobiotics and I embraced that lifestyle, as did my mother. I ate very healthily but eventually the demands of my teaching position in Boston with its long, unpredictable hours made it impossible to follow that specific diet, so it morphed into a sort of vegetarian diet. But I still ate chicken and fish. Eventually, my feelings about eating any animal became so strong that I eliminated all meat. And I haven’t looked back.
Paul McCartney says he never eats anything with a face. I couldn’t say it better.
What makes eating a dog (which we understandably find appalling and disgusting) different than eating a cow or a pig or a chicken? How and where do we draw a line? How do we compartmentalize those decisions?
I simply can’t.
And now I sound preachy.
You see now why I don’t speak of this very often. It’s private and yet not private. If I could convert everyone, I would, because I would be saving animals. It is a major part of who I am today. But I speak of it quietly, behind the scenes. That’s the way I roll.
I still have further to go. And more changes to make.
That’s probably the last I’ll speak of it.
If, after all this, you’re still interested in a list of things we tend to use in our cooking, I’ll start to put one together and I’ll share it with you.