to eat meat or not to eat meat?

That is the question.

Ever since I was little, meat has grossed me out. To this day if I chomp on an unmentionable (veiny thing or fat) I panic, start to sweat, and then either attempt to swallow or spit it out. Lately I can’t even finish the meal if that happens.

Ground up stuff on the other hand, I can take – all that nastiness is mixed together so you can’t determine what’s what! <- That statement is so ridiculous but true. An example: I had a Mexican meal last week with the best beef tacos and tamales in town. It’s located here but has a different name now just in case any Richmonders want to venture outside the city.

Meat promoting aside.

At the beginning of this year I attempted to stop eating any of it. It was fine except for when I went to eat my normal meat meals like pizza and Mexican when I’d have to rethink a bit. Obviously there are simple substitutes but it made me think! I went a couple weeks and then went back to my normal eating habits. I think going back was a combination of having to cook for myself as well as my meat eating husband and the question of ‘why?’. What’s the point of stopping if I like some of it? I thought this and I’m sure my husband did too.

This morning my blogger friend Sarah wrote a post on Polyface Farms which is a ‘green’ farm talked about in the movie Food, Inc.
She reminded me that I’ve had this post in my drafts folder for a couple weeks now so I thought I’d bite the bullet and finish it.

I’ve been meaning to watch Food, Inc. ever since it came out (four years ago!) but I’ve been too scared to do it.

You know I’m a huge animal lover (my family keeps growing and growing) so too see all that pain and suffering would be tough. Watching the movie would be a game changer because I’m not a huge meat eater to begin with.

I’m scared of becoming a vegetarian even though I have an urge to do so. Also, it’s about the cooking challenges and the judging of my reasoning by others. Very silly reasons to not watch a movie that will help me grow. I am a grownup after all, I can do it.

But I haven’t.

I know for some vegetarians it’s about how gross it is to eat flesh and for others it’s about the rights of animals. Or at least I assume these are the reasons because really, up until I started reading healthy living blogs, the only vegetarian I knew was my older sister, Amanda. Hi AMP!

After writing the above, I realize I’m a little bit of both.

So should I become one? My views on animal cruelty are quite strong but I do like to eat meat once in a while. Do I want to give up my beloved tacos and tamales? Maybe I should just make sure the product is coming from a ‘happier’ place like Polyface Farms?

I think for now, that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll find a local farm and/or head to the farmer’s market on Saturday to explore my options. Maybe I’m chickening out or maybe this is what I’m supposed to do.

It’s an interesting crossroads to be in. I’ll be watching Food, Inc. this week for sure.

If you’re a vegetarian or meat eater that is particular about their vendors, what is the reasoning behind your eating habits?

28 comments on “to eat meat or not to eat meat?

  1. Such a tough, personal decision. I can totally relate to all of your hesitations about going vegetarian. It can be challenging to go out to eat and I definitely spend a lot of time answering diet-related questions.

    I was back and forth for a while with turkey and eggs before finally going vegan. In the end, meat didnt make me happy, it didnt make my digestive system happy and I feel better with a vegan diet.

    Do what you feel is right for you!

    • Adrienne says:

      It’s nice to know there are others who can relate!

      I’ll have to try out a lot of new vegetarian recipes and see how they make me feel. I’m hoping to get in a lot more veggies so I’m sure I’ll have more energy at the least.

      I will!

  2. gabbysgfree says:

    I pretty much have the exact same feelings about meat eating vs. non meat eating. For now, we only buy local,humanely raised meat & fish and I only eat it a couple times a week or less. My husband worked as a butcher for a brief period of time so he is also very adamant about local, humanely raised meats.

  3. elisariva says:

    I was vegetarian for five years, I did it purely for health reasons. I went back to carnivore because I was gaining weight! I love animals, but I also believe in the food chain. I prefer organic and grass fed. I know there are debates, but for my level of athletics I would have a difficult time getting a healthy balance of protein for muscle health. That said, I rarely eat bee if ever. I do have an egg and yogurt with breakfast, black beans and tuna are my lunch protein and dinner is either beans, fish, chicken and for red meat bison. Don’t beat yourself up, you have to choose your own convictions, preferences and tastes. When I am questioned by vegetarians for my choices I ask them if they want to talk religion too. End of subject…

    • Adrienne says:

      Interesting! I won’t be training as often as you but I’ll definitely need more protein if I’m going to be running a ton. Nice idea, these topics can be pretty touchy!

      I have to tell you. This morning I tried out a new yoga class and the teacher kept making jokes and laughing the whole time! It reminded me of the yelling and clapping in spin class. Yikes!

      • elisariva says:

        Another pet peeve of mine!! Some yoga instructors at my gym play hip hop music! Now how am I supposed to relax and find my inner piece when Usher is singing OMG or Katie Perry is sharing her romantic stories…

      • Adrienne says:

        Hahaha. It’s just not possible unless you’re a Buddhist Monk or something!

  4. Haha I’m totally one of those “ewww flesh” vegetarians. I was already a vegetarian when I watched Food Inc. but it really did confirm that I’m happy with my choice of vegetarianism!

  5. det-res says:

    I should probably watch the show before I comment. But I think the animal lovers take the whole cruelty to animals a bit far. Plants are living too you know. But one is okay and the other is not? Historically man hunted to survive. That is how he moved from plant to animal. If someone made a health decision, I think that is totally understandable and reasonable, but anything else is suspect.

    • Adrienne says:

      I’ve heard it’s pretty gruesome but we’ll see when I watch it. That’s true. There are people that don’t eat any living things whether it be plants or animals.

  6. I love this post! As a “meat lover who doesn’t eat meat,” my choice is purely based on the fact that I feel better without it. After visiting Polyface, I also know that it is possible to raise animals humanely, and, therefore, I think that should I choose to go back to being an omnivore, I would only want to invest my money into quality-raised chicken, beef, and eggs. After watching Food, Inc., the first time, I was “scared veg” for a bit, but went right back to buying whatever the cheapest chicken breasts were that week, etc. Now, since I’ve chosen to give that up, I feel like I could invest the money into purchasing what I know is ‘good’ since it would only ever be the rare indulgence.

    • Adrienne says:

      Thanks! That’s interesting that it can have a negative affect on the body. I forgot about that reason! I’m a cheapo but I’m certainly willing to pay the price for the ‘good’ meats.

  7. AMP says:

    Funny – you have always disliked meat way more than I ever did! Watch the movie. See where it takes you. Sticking with meats from “animal friendly” farms is certainly a commendable alternative to becoming a vegetarian. Eating out might be tricky. With your cooking skills you would be a champion vegetarian. Remember that if you don’t want to give up ALL meats forever that’s okay too! Kevin doesn’t eat meat at home, but does at restaurants. I have no doubt that you will find the path or paths that are best for you.

    • Adrienne says:

      I didn’t realized that! I will definitely watch the movie very soon. Yeah, I’m thinking I’ll cook meat at home so I know where it comes from and not eat it when I go out. I can just eat bean tacos. 🙂

  8. Reblogged this on grandmarosecookbooks and commented:
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  9. Little Sis says:

    I think most big dietary changes happen in incremental ways. We’ve recently gone “semi-vegan,” mostly for health reasons and as a result (after a lot of other things) in the end, of watching Forks Over Knives. For us this means on the weekend if we want meat or dairy, we have it. It also means if we go to someone’s home or meet friends at a restaurant and can’t avoid it, we don’t bother. We’ve found it to be much easier to have the release valve. Before this step we cut back on meat enough that we could afford to locally and humanely source that meat.

  10. I cut out meat and dairy after watching Forks Over Knives. My eating habits are to support heart and overall health. It wasn’t difficult for me to make the change as I’d already cut down to really only eating turkey a couple of times/week, eggs once a week, and very limited dairy (milk in my coffee).
    I still cook meat, eggs, etc for my b-f but it has started to gross me out.
    I’ve had little pieces of fish and turkey at some family gatherings here and there. The challenge is that after not eating these things for months, I just don’t have a taste for them. I’m the odd-ball who, when PMS-ing, actually craves broccoli instead of chocolate 🙂

  11. Adrienne says:

    Haha, I wish I craved broccoli instead of chocolate!! I’ll have to add Forks Over Knives to my instant queue.

  12. vegology says:

    I can’t possibly explain all the reasons I’m sticking with vegetarianism in a comment, but the most basic one is that I feel better without it. I have more energy and feel healthier now that I don’t eat meat. I started not for health reasons, not for the animals, but on a bet with Kyle to see who could keep it up the longest. Now that I have experienced being an omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan (for a week, a few times), vegetarian feels right. I would love to hear what you think about the movie and would be glad to discuss my personal choice to not eat meat in more detail later!

  13. It’s a tough choice 😦 Personally i’m a flexitarian (semi-vegetarian). So I pretty much never prepare meat for myself (I do eat fish though) therefore I rarely eat it. However, I do have meat on special occasions especially if I’m surrounded by meat loving people.

  14. […] him that I don’t eat meat, but if I did, I would eat his, it pushed Adrienne to publish a post called “to eat meat or not to eat meat?” Mostly, it dealt with her hesitancy to […]

  15. mygrandmasplate says:

    i definatly think is a person choice on whether or not it works for you. for me, it works great! i love meat and i have it probably once a day, at least. sometimes in the form of broth. however, thats just my body. i feel very weak without it and it is what sustains me and actually keeps me full. we also are lucky that we raise our own beef, buy local chicken, and i have hunters (wild meat!! 🙂 in my meat is never an issue!! but i think that trying different things and figuring out what your body likes is key..i tried vegetarianism…and it’s not for me. i’m sure you will find your balance 🙂

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