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Food and rules

November 22, 2009

I think vegetarianism for me is going to be like quitting smoking for some… it’s not going to happen on the first try. 🙂

I hadn’t touched meat, and was pretty happy about that, until Friday night. We went to Perla’s for the first time, and once I looked at the menu, I was deeply saddened that I had chosen to exclude oysters and scallops and halibut and such from my life. I tried to think about the treatment of animals, the environment, and all the things that had been keeping me from eating meat. And it wasn’t enough. I ordered calamari and scallops. I tasted oysters and clams. I felt guilty that I didn’t “care enough” about the myriad problems of the world to stop eating meat. But I also felt good about eating it. Which was kind of weird.

I mentioned before how much I worry about food. It’s entirely out of proportion with the rest of the things I worry about in my life. I tend to create rules for myself, and then beat myself up when I don’t follow them. I will be vegetarian. I will be vegan. I will only eat local/organic/humanely raised. I will stop eating processed food. I will not eat foods with high fructose corn syrup. I will only eat home-cooked food. I will only shop at the farmer’s market. I will…

And inevitably, the lines I draw become too harsh. My own rules become the very thing I want to rebel against. I keep thinking that someday I will learn… someday I will just do whatever it is that I actually want to do, without checking it first against my own personal rules and the rules of society. But for some reason, I seem to be addicted to those rules.

Anyway, I read two things recently that made me stop and think about these rules of mine (food-related or otherwise). First, a comment from a long time reader, Sicilian:

I think it is an age thing. When I was your age I used to fret about potlucks and family events, but now that I am older. . . . . I eat what I want when I want. . . . . I do not stress over food any more.

That’s inspiring to me. The thought that she has finally reached a point in her life where she doesn’t stress about food. I wonder how long it will take me to reach that point… and then I think, why not now? What keeps me stuck in this routine of worry? Which brings me to the other thing I read recently, this recent blog post about breaking out of the routine that we call Life. I love the idea that one can turn away from the rules and obligations and expectations that abound in life, and just leap out into the unknown, just be exactly who you are, and not worry about what others expect of you. It sounds fascinating and exciting and… difficult.

Again, no real point to this post, just getting some thoughts out of my head. And explaining why you’ll probably see meat on my blog as usual. 🙂

Happy Sunday, everyone.

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Discussion about this post
  1. Michelle says:

    One thing you have to remember is YOU are not the one that is cruel and horrible to the animals. In all honesty, you never really know if a person is as humane as they claim. I know my situation and reasoning is different from yours but look at me! You remember how I would beat myself up about eating this or not eating that until I made myself feel and look horrible. I have finally stopped telling myself I can’t eat certain foods and I feel and look (22 lbs thank you very much!) so much better! I still beat myself up sometimes because I ate that freaking Key Lime Pie, but then I remember why I love eating it! When you eat something you like without reservations you enjoy the flavors and beauty of it and realize you aren’t eating it because you want to break the rules, but because those very flavors are what made you like it in the first place. I have noticed though that when I don’t restrict myself from certain foods……I tend to not eat them as much as when I tell myself I shouldn’t eat them. Ok….maybe not the same as becoming vegetarian, but pretty close. Anywho…..I love you sis! With or without meat!! Haha that doesn’t sound right huh, but you know what I mean!

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