I love bacon.
Sure, meat is murder and all that, not to mention it’s contributing more emissions than most of us slightly green carnivores would like to admit, but it is tasty.
And filling. I learned that last bit in June when my family gave up meat at the slight urging of vegetarian Gristmillers responding to my query about the best ways to green my family life. It took me about three tummy-rumbling weeks before I learned veggie burgers satisfied my craving for hearty food.
In a month’s time I came away with conflicting thoughts about meat.
For instance, kids can be easily converted to vegetarians.
Mine devoured pesto made from farm-fresh arugula, a new staple at our house thanks to the handy recipe from my community supported agriculture farmer, who helped me realized kale is more than just a back scratcher. And even if my kids hated pesto or sautÃ©ed kale, I could always hide it in their potato pancakes the next morning.
A vegetarian diet seems perfectly fine for children. I’m not sure how the vegan crowd does it, but my daughters’ pediatrician shook her head at the idea of not giving my children milk or eggs.
I was surprised at how tough a vegetarian diet was for my husband and me. We ate more foods from the middle aisles of the grocery store — breads, pastas, and crackers — and my husband reverted to frozen meals for his work lunch because lettuce-based meals don’t travel well. By the end of the month, I started craving fast food, which I hardly ever eat. I finally satisfied my hunger with fake meat sandwiches, which seem unnatural and are expensive — but ooh, were they delicious.
So we returned to our meat-eating ways in early July. I was full once again, but I came away unsatisfied. This could be because we resumed eating meat with a series of gluttonous Independence Day celebrations, but even good cuts of meat left me a little sluggish.
So I made a deal with myself. I’m not a vegetarian. My family just bought $20 in pork ribs from an organic farmer for this weekend. I won’t lie. I’m pretty excited about it.
But my family’s health is a top concern, leading me to make more vegetarian meals and buy mostly locally raised meat. And in case any mom out there is considering going vegetarian, I’m here to let you know: cycling around town plus more veggies is a great way to get back into those pre-baby clothes.
I’m just saying.