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Carnimorphismicallyvegetarianism, eat me

December 22, 2009

Before I sit down to write, my tendency is to chew on a topic idea that has been just merely cooked up the same day. As it is, today’s topic is FOOD. When I started, I was at a loss about what exactly I’d want to be discussing.

Now… now, on a daily basis, there isn’t much bustle (alas, don’t cast me aside as a bore. I promise you, this is just a phase). Due to the lackadaisical manner of my life, I’m leaning in the direction of using this blog as a platform for launching my opinions. Hmm– while I do my arbitrary chin stroke, I am arriving at my own conclusion that I need to construct a clear image for myself, what exactly it is that I believe in before I sprout my deepest feelings to the world as well as my daily going-abouts. The stances I take morph, contort, twist, and, occasionally, straighten over time.

An example of this goes back to 2005, April 9th. With no pomp and circumstance, on this date, I announced I was phasing out MEAT. I dug into one of my old journals and am happy to bring a part of an entry here with the simple act of copy-and-paste—

“What is wrong with “tree huggers”? From what I see, when people use that term it doesn’t necessarily seem to bring about a cheerful tone. It’s more of a mockery. Here’s my question, why? When we think of tree huggers, do you come up with the image of people shrouded in forest green colors and a head covered in dreads? Is it because their concept of living is so far from our own materialistic world? Or is it because of our cynicism? Are we collectively saying with our daily behavior and distain of tree huggers, “You god damn liberals can’t change the way we live. This is our society, THE society.” 

A lot of you might scoff at what I’m about to share. I’ve only spent a few weeks studying Environmental Science and the last two days contemplating a life change. I dare you to call me a tree hugger. I’ll carry the term proudly and you may mock me or join me or say nothing. The decision I’ve arrived at is a change to my diet: removing meat. I would have groaned a few weeks ago and said– those damn vegetarians, don’t they know we’re carnivorous! But, it’s not as simple as, oh we can’t kill animals– they’re living beings, too! Quite frankly, I’m still an avid meat lover and my taste buds are damning me…. but it’s the impact that the beef industry has on the environment. For every burger we take a bite out of, we consume 11 bathtubs full of water. This water comes from what the cows drink, the water used to grow grain to feed the cows, the water used to grind up the meat in the factories. You think oil’s in trouble? Try fresh water too.

This isn’t something temporary; something I’ll be all gung-ho for the first month and then change back to my habits. I have always thought vegetarians were annoying myself. “God, they won’t eat the chicken I just cooked; now I gotta find something that tastes good AND gives them protein….” or, “those vegetarians don’t appreciate fine cooking and the meaning of real food”… but it’s a way to preserve life on this planet and I’m finally inclined to agree with vegetarians. Giving up meat is a small exchange for the earth and posterity. It’s going to be extremely difficult for me. With my dependence upon meat, quitting meat will be akin to quitting cigarettes (I would imagine)! I’m going to go cold turkey. What I ask of you is please don’t torture me by waving a double quarter-pounder with cheese in my face; you might end up missing a hand. I have yet to tell my family. This will be interesting, my mother doesn’t eat red meat but my dad is red everything. I’m actually only removing red meat for the time being. I’ll only be reducing chicken and fish– I hardly ever have seafood, anyhow. I CANNOT remove dairy from my diet. It is impossible for me at this point. One step at a time, if I fail once.. I’ll still persist. When it becomes a habit and I’m used to it, I’ll move on to no white meat.. then on to dairy. Let’s see where all of this goes. One day I’ll own chickens and a milk-cow. There– I’ll be able to support myself and not the industry.”

Heh, welcome to me, aged 20. Well, well, Haley. It looks like it’s the time for the half-a-decade review. I successfully followed my new set of personal dietary habits for about three years, give or take. I’m told by my boyfriend of nearly 4 years that a part of the reason he (carnivore) liked me (herbivore) was because I had a stance and the ability to follow through…. We both have eaten our words (lexivore) since. Him on the part of loving me even though I really am not that much of a follow-througher. Me on the part that I ATE MEAT again. I do want to say I don’t eat it as much as I did when I was young. This giving up was part- getting the short end of a stick whenever eating over at someone else’s house, part eating out at restaurants that only had Caesar salad as their best vegetarian option, and part being unable to save money and split meals with my boyfriend whom I ended up living with for six months.

In 2005, I was inspired by my Environmental Science class. In nearly 2010, I am again inspired by this wonderful book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer. He went on his own three year investigation into the meat industry. The book didn’t necessarily tell me anything new about the awfulness of the industry, I always knew the Factory Farm industry was profit-driven and was turning animals into commodity instead of beasts filled with pain-receptors. I had given up on myself saying that I can’t change anything as an individual. What my Environmental Science class failed to instill was the awareness that I ought pass on my influence and bring this discussion to the dinner table. This book asks me to turn the tables on to you and ask you to reconsider why are you eating with a blindfold over your feelings? Pick up the book and tell me if you still feel the same about that piece of chicken on your plate that’s just been dipped in fecal soup.

I do it because our children need a better world, livestock is now the number one pollutant, beating transportation. I do it because I knew years ago that the water and grain usage to feed animals is proportionally ridiculous, we’ll get more out of the earth tilling it. I do it because these animals deserve “a good life and an easy death.” I do it because the genetic dysfunction of fowl and hogs gives viruses better pathways to humans. Factory Farming, an abomination. Trawling the ocean floors for shrimp and killing 145 other species as bycatch, no, thank you. I’m a VEGETARIAN again. Every once in a while, I realize that the younger me was right, the dream of innocence need not be one. I release myself from the guilt of eating MEAT. Thanks for the reminder, Vingt ans Haley, and many thanks to Mr. Foer.

I’m back in the fray, darling, bless my heart.

Head over to and sign the petition if you’d like to help reduce cruelty against farm hogs. AND READ THE BOOK!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy L. permalink
    December 22, 2009 1:23 am

    the book is now on my list. your words ring true to the reason why i became a vegetarian as well. the way we treat animals does not do justice so my first way of justifying that was just to not eat them.

    keep blogging. i love the way you use words haley.

    • December 28, 2009 3:00 pm

      I’m currently reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. Have you read that and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle about seasonal food?

      Thank you for your encouraging words, do you have a blog as well?


  1. back at it and boring review « Frolicking for life is but a dream

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