Sort of Vegetarian

 | June 2, 2009 12:58 AM

secret-asian-man-meat 

Vegetarianism is sometimes denounced as not masculine.  But I will go on public record that I am sort of vegetarian. 🙂

I have considered this lifestyle change for several years, being inspired by friends (EstherRoger and John) and recently doing more research via blogs and books.  Ji Seon remarked after I made my decision that she was wondering when I would.

My exact label would be “minimal meat eater who only eats humanely raised meats.”  But since there isn’t a technical term for that I usually find myself fumbling to describe my dietary lifestyle.  Saying I am pescetarian, i.e. a vegetarian who eats seafood, might be more accurate but people often don’t know what that is.

In public  I end up being effectively vegetarian because I don’t really want to ask if the meat is humanely raised because most likely it is not so I just eat the veggies.  This proves especially difficult at barbecues like the Mother’s Day barbecue the men in our small group did for their wives.  The organizer bought filet mignon steaks, which I love, and did not realize I just made this lifestyle change.  I did appreciate very much his sympathy.

The truth is I am still eating meat almost every meal at home.  We still have all this grass fed beef I bought in January which at least was humanely raised.  Also a good friend and avid fisher keeps giving me a large portion of the fish he catches, which I am quite grateful for.  Plus my wife and children are not vegetarian.

I consider this time a transition time for me.  I have actually enjoyed trying to put more vegetables and less meat into my diet.  For the first couple of weeks I noticed my energy was low.  I am not sure why but I think I might have been low in iron.  It seemed that went away after eating some Chinese leafy greens which I think are high in iron.  It might just be mental but I do feel more healthy.  That might also have to do with the fact I have been getting more exercise lately. 🙂

5 Responses to “Sort of Vegetarian”

John wrote a comment on June 2, 2009

Out of the closet, congratulations!

I find the social interactions the hardest part of being a vegetarian. Thanks again for sharing your journey.

essny wrote a comment on June 2, 2009

Yes, I think eating vegetarian-friendly foods that are high in iron and protein will help increase your energy levels. My staple for the past week or so has been quinoa (a superfood grain) with white beans, along with sauteed vegetables like squash, zucchini, garlic, onion, kale, and broccoli raab. It’s delicious. Here’s a good basic quinoa recipee to try: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Black-Bean-and-Tomato-Quinoa-238939

and a good snack that you–and Ji Seon and the kids–would like, I think, is brown rice cakes (without salt) with almond butter. Maybe with some nutella, too. 😉

seonghuhn wrote a comment on June 2, 2009

John, you’re right, the social interactions are the hardest part. I don’t like refusing and not being a good guest. Hosting is challenging too.

essny, I can tell you’re an accomplished vegetarian. I’ve been hearing a lot about quinoa.

Mark R. wrote a comment on June 3, 2009

I have mixed emotions about reading these posts, because I fear that I might find them persuasive. When Dominion was published, the NY Times magazine had a story on it that made me feel queasy.

On the other hand, can we say that these animals would be better off never having been born? Because that is the alternative — the vast majority of these animals would never would not have existed if it were not for farming and the demand for meat.

seonghuhn wrote a comment on June 3, 2009

Mark, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I know exactly how you feel. I spent many years thinking about this, not constantly, but off and on. Whenever I found out another person became vegetarian I always had to ask them questions about both their motivations and methods.

I am not sure how to answer whether the animals would have been better off not being born if not for farming and the demand for meat. I think in the case of factory farming where animals live a life of torture from birth until slaughter I think I might say yes. In the case of normal/traditional/humane farming I think I would say no. Life in nature almost always ends brutally but it’s the quality of the life that I guess matters.

Care to comment?