So 8 o’clock tonight marked 48 hours that I’ve gone intentionally without meat. It’s part of a one-week experiment where I walk in a vegetarian’s shoes for a little while. I know I’ve gone a day or two here or there without meat, but usually it was unconsciously or for a given reason (i.e. I’m Catholic, so there’s supposed to be no meat on Fridays during Lent). However, I wanted to see how my perspective changed knowing I could have meat, but would abstain. For more information, see my previous blog post here.
I’ve noticed something that I probably took for granted before. I’ve always appreciated food, but here’s a new spin on it:
Food is amazing. You can do wonderful things with it when you try. Until today, I thought peanut butter was just something to spread on bread or put on celery…today, however, it was a protein source. Today, I enjoyed a veggie burger. It’s not the first time, by any means, and won’t be the last. I enjoy veggie burgers. However, knowing that it was, again, a source of protein that I knew I needed made it more valuable.
Essential nutrients aren’t just something you happen to get throughout your day; you should be conscious of it. Food interacts with our bodies in amazing ways, and a well-rounded diet is a part of that.
I’m enthralled with what I’ve realized after only two days. After the week is up, I’ll go back to meat-eating with a new appreciation for the nutrients it brings to the table. Iron, zinc, B vitamins, protein…they’re all things I need, and getting them is harder now.
People, food is amazing. And now more than ever, I’m grateful for the well-rounded and diverse food system we have here in the U.S. Many places in the world don’t have the choice we do, and because of that, I can work to continue to maintain a healthy diet, even without meat for a week.