Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why I am NOT a Vegetarian

This blog is not meant to offend vegetarians in any way. This post is just my 'absolute' reaction to the Skinny Bitch book / movement that authors self-taught know it all Rory Freedman (as she described herself in the book) and nutritionist Kim Barnouin started. 

If you're a vegetarian, good for you. Or if you were medically advised to eating just grass, then munch away like Bugs Bunny, but I just can't be one.

Don't get me wrong. I have a soft spot for animals, especially stray kittens and abused dogs. I hate birds in cages. I believe they should be free to fly and scatter seeds and do stuff that birds do.  Chimps are not pets. They were meant to swing from tree to tree, and no matter how demonic a pitbull may look like, I'm still against having them smuggled and used for dogfights. But I draw the line on food. Sure I don't eat dogmeat but I can eat pork, beef and chicken without feeling guilty. So here are some of the reasons why I don't ride into that vegetarian bullcrap:

1) Humans need animal protein - Unless you have a medical apathy for meat, regardless of what any smart ass vegetarians may say, humans need animal protein. Yeah yeah, there are a lot of meatless sources for iron and Vitamin B-12 but it's not the same. You'll notice that most (if not all) vegetarians, no matter how healthy they claim to be, look a lot paler than their meat-eating counterparts. Ginnifer Goodwin used to be a vegan / vegetarian until her doctor advised her to put animal protein back in her diet. So being a vegetarian doesn't make anyone 'healthier' than the average 'healthy' meat-eater. And when I say 'healthy' meat-eater, I meant those who intelligently know when enough serving is really enough.

As long as we eat lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, brown rice, whole wheat products, oats, minimize salt and sugar intake, and consume meat / dairy in moderation, say at least once a day, we would all have our blood sugar and pressure in check. I am living proof that you CAN be skinny and still eat meat. I might get cancer at an old age but at least I enjoyed the taste of bacon cheese burgers. Anyone who says otherwise is really not 'living', which leads us to no. 2

2) Deprivation - and yes, no matter how healthier it is to be a vegetarian, YOU are still depriving yourself. I can eat steak and try veggie meat just for the heck of it. I can have rich buttermilk ice cream and soy ice cream, or serve soy milk with my oatmeal for breakfast. Vegetarians only eat veggie meat and soy ice cream. So who has more options and who's more deprived?

3) Human relationships should trump your 'animalistic' cause. Yeah you have to be 'humane' whatever that means. So if avoiding your meat - eating friends, or being prissy at a party because they rarely have vegetarian options makes you think you're standing up for a cause, you're actually putting a damp in your relationships. And since your friends know that you don't eat meat anymore, then they have to make adjustments for you, right? Isn't that kinda selfish? If that's the case, well I'm sorry but you just don't know your priorities. And if you're only mingling with veggie eating friends, then, you don't really know what you're missing.

4) Due to my Christian faith. If Jesus fed 5,000 men with loaves of bread and fish, I believe it's His way of telling us it's ok to eat meat - even if it's just fish.

5) Cooks Illustrated, Bon Appetit, Southern Living, you name it - Cookbooks have diverse recipes for poultry, veal, beef, seafood, not to mention endless desserts made of cheese and cream - and you're confining yourself to cooking just veggiemeat? I think ingredients made of imitation meats and cheeses is just plain hypocrisy. Eating spaghetti using tofu instead of meatballs? Then don't eat spaghetti! Say in a buffet, there's vegetarian pizza - made of whole wheat dough, melted soy cheese, olive oil, bellpepper, olives, garlic and onion vs. a regular pizza served with hefty toppings of meat, veggies and cheese? Hmmmm.. I wonder which one I'd pick...

6) Meat restos - In & Out, Ruth & Chris' Steakhouse, Squeeze In Diner, Ben & Jerry's, Max's Fried Chicken, Dampa, Jello's, McDonald's... nuff said.


Bopeep said...

hi Haze,
Just finished reading your blog! MY! I am quite IMPRESSED!!! And here are the reasons why:
1) Your voice in writing such a light topic with enough punch, timeliness and relevance is very modern-day. Clearly, you were not writing to impress, but to express. A good reader and a writer like myself can easily tell the difference. So keep it up =) Also, I served a few months as associate writer for Health Today magazine way back in the late 90's. So your kind of writing on this topic is right up my alley. ;-)

2) The Visuality of your article makes it more real, more human and therefore, easier to relate with. You gave examples of hating birds in cages, Bugs Bunny and the ugliness of pitbulls. The physicality of these images are very important to "suggest" YOUR reality to your readers and therefore gives your message a more exact shape, smell and sight.

3) I like how you took the time to imprint on your reader's mind the social impacts of being an uptight vegetarian to relationships among families and friends. Though your target readership is definitely not for the Filipino audience (as the restos mentioned at the last bit are surely in the U.S.), I think it is also good to know you have your target readership. This is the mark of a mature writer, no matter how amateur you believe you are.

4) You had a religious metaphor in Jesus feeding men with loaves of bread and fish. And this is quite daring for you to think that even he is a carnivore. Such courage in writing is worth admiring. However, you have to be careful on having a specific religious icon used in your writing although you are a Christian yourself and that your target readership may be coming from the Christian faith. Many may react vehemently, some may take it with a grain of salt, but still, there are others who could be strong intellectuals that may be up there to challenge your argument. And you might not see that coming as you were merely writing out of your private experiences with food.

I will take up the specifics on grammar, punctuations and the like on my next email. But overall, I AM quite happy of how you laid out this blog. I felt like I was reading a funky health magazine! =) Congratulations on this piece. And keep writing.

Bopeep =)

tough nut said...

wow! thanks for your encouraging words coach! sige, keep suggesting ways of improvement. i'm open for it. :)

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