Day 442: Kitchener, Ontario
I will never become vegetarian.
I can say that with absolute confidence. I enjoy eating meat but as someone with a meat loving blog name I should admit:
Eating meat is messed up.
The problem is that we hold this fantasy that the chickens who lay our eggs are out clucking around or the cows we eat lazily graze on grass in a pasture, or the delicious pigs we devour are out oinking in the mud.
We know that isn’t true.
What’s worse is that I know this more than anyone. I have not only watched Food Inc. but also Food Matters, the Future of Food, the World According to Monsanto. I have read The Omnivores Dilemma, Eating Animals and many more books about food.
Yet somehow I cling to the very same meat fantasy that the animals are happy before they die and live in good conditions.
Here is my meaty confession:
Before I left for Latin America I didn’t eat a lot of meat. The reason I named the site Bacon is Magic is that I often used bacon as a garnish for a vegetable-based meal.
It best represented all that I am. I sprinkled pancetta on brussel sprouts, wrapped it around asparagus or used it as a secret ingredient in my roasted tomato sauce.
I made a lot of money and didn’t have many expenses so I could buy organic food and meat. That soon changed.
In Latin America I ate more meat in one month than I had in the entire year prior. You cannot buy organic food in much of Latin America and you just hope that they grow and raise food the way we used to before we were obsessed with bigger/faster/cheaper.
I pushed the reality of meat production out of my head and blindly ate the meat. I didn’t regret any of it – well maybe the kidney at Siga la Vaca.
But as soon as I arrived back in Canada I started to feel sluggish and tired. I gained ten pounds in Argentina. I had eaten too much meat. My body was lethargic and siestas weren’t solving anything.
The last week after I left Vancouver I decided to take a meat break. Within days I felt better and it reminded me that it’s okay to eat meat but in moderation.
This isn’t permanent. I’m heading to Manitoba soon and I’m excited to eat caribou and other game. Food is part of a culture and essential to how I travel but when I’m not traveling I will be making more conscious choices.