Saturday, February 2, 2008

The only thing better than chocolate...

On a certain episode of "Iron Chef America" (Battle Asparagus), judge Jeffrey Steingarten said, "the only thing better than chocolate is bacon."

That line has been quoted more than once in this household. While it's always been uttered in a sense of jest, the truth of it is, we enjoy both here. Very much so. That said, I have, more than once, considered giving it up -- bacon that is, not chocolate -- along with any other meat. It's usually about this time of year, at the beginning of Lent, when I plan out our meatless-Fridays meals, that I think, being vegetarian would be easy for me. I love my veggies and wouldn't miss beef in my chili or chicken in my salad. But then, by Good Friday, the "you want what you can't have" cravings kick in and I realize that I'm really just an idealistic omnivore, not a potential vegetarian (without even a chance at ever going vegan).

During both of my pregnancies, but especially my second, I had few "cravings," but one that did occur a few times was for BLTs. My mouth's watering for one as I think of it. And then there's the "West Coast Gigi" that wouldn't be the same without avocados, shrimp or, of course, bacon. It's not like I eat the stuff daily, or even weekly, but when I want it, I've gotta have it.

That is, until I get the next mailing of address labels from the ASPCA telling me how the hog who was sacrificed for my sandwich was bred and raised in quarters too tight to ever turn around, or some other cruelty. Then I'll admit to losing my appetite. For a little while, at least.

(I was going to take a tangent here, but I've decided it's another post in and of itself.)

That said, I completely agree with and understand going vegetarian or vegan for the sake of animal rights. And while I know it can be done, even by a bacon-muncher such as myself if the willpower was strong enough, I'm selfish enough not to. Sad but true.

(I've got more to say, but it's best I stop here tonight...)


Ginger said...

funny you should bring up bacon. that was the one meat that kept me from going veg for a long while. i have friends who ask me every so often how i can live without bacon or cheese. i just smile because i do miss cheese most of the time. the truth is that vegan cheese is sick and wrong and not fit to be compared with any my opinion. hah!

this is a good post and i hope i didn't offend you with mine. i guess i just had to get it out and my blog is my outlet.

thanks julie....peace

Chucka Stone Designs said...

It makes me very conflicted to think of the way animals are treated before they are placed on my plate because I, like you, find it very difficult to let go of eating it. I have already worked beef out of my diet & replaced it with turkey now because it really just makes me feel yucky but pork products (bacon, ham) are going to be the toughest for me too.

My mom has been veggie for a really long time and I think as a kid I battled against it just to rebel but now it is tougher to get myself off the stuff. Someday maybe...

artjewl said...

Oh, Ginger! Absolutely no offense taken! You brought up an important issue, and it encouraged some introspection -- and not just for me according to the responses you got. So that's a good thing.

We all just get so complacent and go blind in our ignorance. Sometimes a "shake up" is good, even if it's just to wake us up, even if we don't move. At least then we are reminded of the weight of our actions.

Thanks, Ginger. :)

artjewl said...

Jenn, good for you for at least working beef out. I wouldn't miss most of it, but I do have a weakness for steak maybe three times a year.

My biggest challenge is the "cooking for everyone" dilemma. My husband would miss the meat, and if I didn't make pork or chicken, my boys would hardly get any protein. (Them eat beans besides green ones? HA!) Maybe as the kids grow up, I'll be able to bring some more veg options into our home diet. But in the meantime, I'm so not up for the arguments.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so maybe this will go to the insensitive redneck side of the zila, but hey, everyone who knows me knows that it's there.

Sorry, I did a whole post on a seperate issue you blogged about. I'll put it there.

So, if the treatment is so cruel, then couldn't it be considered a mercy killing? Yes, yes, it'd be better to treat the animals in a humane fashion, I'll concede that. And if you like paying premiums for the satisfaction that you are only eating animals who were treated well, then there you go.

Me? I'll eat the meat without the need to feel bad about it. Mercy killing indeed. Why only take the animals from the good life? Let those pigs live it up (in slop) and those chickens RUN FREE (as we take their unborn chicks for omelettes.)

It falls back on the only way I could ever consider being a vegetarian. Not because I loved animals, but because I hated plants.

*half tongue in cheek, half figure out which, eh?*

artjewl said...

zila, so how much is Lucifer paying you now? ;)

Good to see ya, even though I'd be half tempted to push ya in person for being so... redneck.

Seriously, though, stay tuned since I'm not done...uh... beating this (proverbial-since-I-would-never-beat-a-real-one-alive-or) dead horse.

Anonymous said...

Well, I gave Lucifer back his check. They tend to bounce, anyway. Although, when we go up on the mountians and view the wonders of the world...

Ahem. Anyway.

If it's the holiness of life, then why are you still eating plants? Don't you know that they're just as alive as those cute furry animals? And you, in your selfishness, have to eat MORE plants if you're getting rid of meat. Tell me, what did those lovable trees ever do to you that you have to consume them, their even take their corpses, dissect the sexual organs, and use them to DECORATE your house!!!! How DARE you?

*rolls eyes*

If it's a sanctity of life argument, then why aren't plants included? If it's only a sanctity of "cute" life, then what's the problems with killing pigs? They're evil and UGLY. Little...piggy...faces...

hehehe. :)

artjewl said...

zila, I don't think I've mentioned just how much I've missed you! (That'd be a lot.) Even if you are kinda a pain in the butt sometimes. ;)

First, let's not confuse "sanctity of life" (which typically specifically refers to human life) with "holiness" of life or respecting creation. Since I'm already coming from the Christian worldview direction, plants are there to be eaten. It says so right there in the book of Genesis, right smack dab in the thick of the Garden of Eden bit. (I'd give you chapter & verse if I could remember numbers worth a poo.)

But heck, why bother leaning on the Bible for this one: when science reports that plants feel pain, when trees show evidence of emotion, or when grass grows brains, then I might feel conflicted about eating 'em. ;)

And let's not jump the gun here. I never said I'm really "for" (or against, for that matter) giving up meat. Rather, if I were to go vegetarian, it would be in objection to the inhumane treatment that goes on in commercial livestock farming. That takes us to part 3 of my rant which I haven't laid into yet.

As for pretty plant sex organs, cliche, I know, but I hope to get a bundle later on this week. Preferably at work. Maybe you could drop J the hint so I don't have to.

Ginger said...

zila, you remind me of a friend i used to work with that used to say gross things about meat just to watch my reaction. she was funny.

someone asked me about a week ago about the plant eating thing you also brought up. i personally believe that plants are available for the nutritional needs of all animals and humans on earth. i know the tidbit in the bible julie's talking about. i'm a buddhist though so i can't really pull that card.

also, if i could figure out a way to survice without eating plant matter i may do that. apparently there are people spiritually advanced enough that do that. they're called breathatarians.