Sunday, October 23, 2011

Looking Up

I'm just a little sore from running yesterday.  However, it's a good, familiar sore.  It's the kind of sore where I feel like riding on it and doing something else today to keep the activity going.  So even though that was a wretched 23 minutes yesterday, some good came of it.

Last night I decided to get out of the house and meet my friend Beth at the restaurant where she's the house dancer.  She was "off duty" last night and just there to hang out.  She, like me, is in the throes of insanity for the sake of higher education and needed a break.  (She's thisclose to finishing her dissertation for her PhD.)  I haven't been to the restaurant since this spring and it's always been my favorite venue to dance, and I really should go more often.  At some point the cooks make Beth some sliders and she offers me one, but I had had a big cup of Mexican mocha and two pieces of the best baklava in the entire universe and I was full.  The owner, who chats with us at the bar, didn't hear me say I was full and said, "You're vegetarian, right?"  I laughed.  Perhaps he somehow remembered that I almost exclusively ordered the falafel wrap when I used to come by more often.  "No," I said.  "I've gotten close a few times, but bacon always brings me back.  I could never give that up."

Almost two years ago now, I wrote about how I had become an almost accidental vegetarian, and since then I have very slowly begun to eat meat more and more frequently.  It's not back up to the levels it was several years ago, but I buy it regularly now and almost always eat it when I dine out.  But lately I've been thinking about making a conscious decision to go back the other way and to go 99% vegetarian.  Why 99%?  Because I would still use chicken stock in cooking if it was on sale or something, and I freaking love bacon that much.  And carnitas.  (If I had to decide at gunpoint, I'd give up the carnitas for the bacon, though.)  My reasons are more pragmatic than passionate.  I mean, I believe that humans have canine teeth for a reason--to eat meat.  We need protein and I especially need iron.  But modern society allows us to get by with far less than we used to need, and signs are pointing to the harm that cattle farming is doing to the environment.  Plus there is the money-saving factor, although I've found that I just spend it on other things, so it's really a zero sum game there.

I had a whole roast chicken that I had to use up this week, so I did shred it and put it into a pot of 10 bean soup that I made yesterday.  I'm thinking that after that is all gone, that's it.  I'm not buying any more meat on my weekly grocery store trips.  Yes, I'm doing this even with the holidays just around the corner! *gasp* Well I don't care that much for turkey anyway, so "meh" to that.  Okay, unless my Dad decides to deep fry another one for Christmas just like he did a few years back...then we might have to re-think this.

Well, all that writing about food has made me realize it's time for lunch and I have delicious falafels in the freezer!