Saturday, February 14, 2009
Me And Meat
Yeah. So...vegetarianism. Almost always associated with healthy eating. Often a cause for which people are willing to do all sorts of reactionary deeds, from trying to convert others to "The One Right Way" to attacking fur wearing individuals.
To them I say: Yawn. I see you as Vegeterrorists.
Gillette at age 16....reading all sorts of esoteric treatises from all sorts of spiritual paths about that "One Right Way." One Teacher said that since all of Life is energy, and that everything is connected, when we eat the flesh of something that has been killed, we eat the energy of trauma that the animal felt when it was in the stock yard and then cruelly killed. Didn't appeal. I started the process of stopping eating flesh.
Chicken was easy. My Mom and I used to get KFC and put it in the oven to crisp up. Yum. But then there was the issue of veins snapping back when I would eat the legs. Eeeuw. It was the first to go.
Then I let go of beef. Not a well received decision, given that my grandparents were in the cattle raising business. When I was a kid, I used to cry hearing the young steers braying in the fields at weaning and de-balling times. But yeah...tongue sandwiches. Burgers on the grill. "Rocky Mountain Oysters." Pickled Pigs Feet. Steaks. This was my Midwestern legacy.
So there I was, age 16...the Teenage Vegetarian Weirdo smack dab of middle America in 1972. I was a freak. The last thing to go was crab on my birthday at age 17. But I was ready.
My lacto-ovo vegetarianism was not something I found difficult. I am such a hedonist, that if it had been, I probably wouldn't have been one for 28 years. I never missed flesh. Didn't want it.
Until I hit age 45-6ish. For some reason, all of a sudden I wanted fish. Or as I call it...feesh. I then went from cooked fish to sushi in about three months.
In the interim, I never proselytized. As I have said, I don't care what you eat. It's none of my business. I also think that some bodies require meat to be whole and healthy, others don't. Sorry...I simply don't believe there is only One Way. (even though, as I have clearly indicated, I do have my opinions...and that, obviously, my opinion that there isn't only One Way is, itself, an indication that I think that "The Way," yes?...ah...Gillette...).
I am now 52. I enjoy all sorts of feesh and seafoods. Since age 50, I've been trying more land animals. I'm able to consume a bit of fois gras (because when I do, it's at a top notch restaurant, with an amazing wine pairing and accompaniments). I've made pate at home and can have one bite. I'm able to eat a small, couple bite lamb chop and then I'm done. I tried one steak at The French Laundry. Got down two bites and then I was done. Word has it by my two steak eating companions that it was the best on the planet, so my guess is it's safe to say I'm not a steak fan. Venison, the same. I'm able to eat small pieces of pork items in small amounts in things that disguise it.
I'm not sure if I will ever want a full portion of land animal food. I don't force myself, I merely listen to urges and experiment. It's all about fun.
I don't usually talk about my preferences in the flesh department but I am doing so here to explain one aspect of this blog. Although I've always lived with meat eaters and cooked for them, I don't taste the stuff so have no idea if the dishes are good or not. The eaters tell me they are. And they eat the stuff. And they are not polite enough to eat crap, so I believe them.
I confess, I've never gotten the beef thing down. Anything but hamburger in small bits and chicken fried steak always end up tough. Ironically, even though chicken is the LAST thing I would eat (ba-luck, veins), my kids all say I make the best chicken they've ever tasted outside a high end restaurant. Go figure.
But the upshot is that you won't find much in the way of recipes of the landlocked/airborne flesh sort here.
Unless I start to eat more of them.