I have finally come around. To all my friends out there who already are vegetarian, I apologize for taking so long and I salute your worthy effort. I've been toying with the idea for years and finally decided that I can no longer justify eating meat. It's not that I have a problem with eating animals per se, I do believe that people are omnivores, it's just that what the meat industry is doing to us is horribly wrong. And what it's doing to the planet is wrong. I don't want to be a part of it any longer. There maybe a couple of pros out there to eating meat, but the list of cons has weighed too heavily on my mind for too long. For all of you skeptics out there I'd suggest reading Mad Cowboy and Fast Food Nation and then come back and talk to me. They can really outline the debate much better than I can. Although, to quote Howard Lyman (author of Mad Cowboy) "if you don't want to know where something comes from, maybe you shouldn't put it in your mouth". Oh, and The Sacred Cow and the Abominable Pig also makes a good case for the fact that a lot of our beliefs surrounding food are really just cultural, not scientific or even correct. It's not promoting any specific kind of diet either. I'm reading No More Bull right now, and it's really enlightening. And speaking of enlightenment, with regards to my Buddhist practice, the cruelty that goes into the meat (and dairy) industry, which brings so much cruelty right into my body and my home, has always been at odds with my beliefs of compassion to all living things. I'm just tired of being a hypocrite to be honest.
Anyway, I'm excited! This is inspiring me to cook new and exciting dishes, to shop locally, to take better care of myself. I checked out a few vegetarian cookbooks from the library and I'm looking forward to going to the farmer's market tomorrow and making a big pot of gazpacho. Our garden is looking great by the way, and we have a cantaloupe plant that is out of control- I think it's easily 20 foot now, if not bigger- with four or five melons already and a ton of flowers! I can't wait to taste one.