Before I start sharing my experiences, recipes and general foodie information, I want to offer some explanation. As stated previously, my husband and I have been working on the vegetarian lifestyle for about a year now. We started with cutting out beef because we found out about all the grains that cattle unnaturally eat, grains that could be used to feed humans that are starving. Cattle can live off grass, I promise. This was a very hard decision considering that we live in cattle-raising central. We actually have a few family friends that raise cattle for a living, but have grass-fed cattle farms, and if we decide to start eating beef again, we would most definitely purchase from them.
After a few months of avoiding beef, we decided to cut out all red meats, leaving chicken, turkey and fish, which we very much enjoy. But it was only after watching Food, Inc. that we decided to try the full plunge into vegetarianism. If you have ever viewed this documentary, you will know exactly why. It turns out that chicken farms are among the worst in the meat industry, injecting numerous growth hormones to shorten the animal’s lifespan, and keeping the animals in a disgusting environment during their lives and during their slaughter and processing. The greed and corruption of the meat industry is utterly appalling. Please keep in mind that I am making many blanket statements that are not meant to be blanket statements. I realize that this is not the case with some contributors to the meat industry, but we have made the choice to be better safe than sorry.
After about a month of cutting out meat altogether, we realized what a difficult change this was going to be and, unfortunately, went back on our word. I have to say that committing to vegetarianism is extremely hard. Not only did we face internal difficulties, but we also had many people in our lives not understand the decision that we had made and not be very supportive. Understandably so, as we live in the heart of America, where it seems to be tough to wrap our minds around the fact that there are things in the world that are corrupt. In the end, we decided to claim the term “flexitarian,” a person who enjoys a mostly meatless diet, but occasionally does indulge in meat. For instance, my uncle so generously provided us with some deer meat, deer that he killed in season and processed himself. Also, as mentioned before, there are many grass-fed cattle farms that we would be more than happy to purchase from, if we so choose.
I don’t doubt that some of you will skip over this post, thinking in your head, “Just get to the recipes already!” But I wanted to make sure and cover some bases before I dive into my adventures in cooking and trying out a mostly meat-free diet. Please feel free to comment, positively or negatively, about our journey to this point. I welcome criticism and encouragement, and I want you as my readers to be along for the ride with me.