The consumption of meat in this country is unlike any other country in the world. In addition to our large consumption of meat, we are consuming enormous amounts of over processed food (meat, starch, etc) and little to no vegetables. This is most likely the primary reason why terminal illnesses such as cancer has skyrocketed over the last six decades. Yet there continues to be less vegetables in the kitchen. From a very early age, we are bombarded with large servings of dead animal flesh with a side of everything other than vegetables. We have been so programmed to indulge ourselves with these foods that we cannot envision life without them. To the extent that it affects your emotions.
Let’s be honest, emotions are very often linked with food. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying about soul food, that “all you are going to have left is your soul, when you’re done eating it.” It’s a cute pun, but a truism. My grandmother was the queen of soul food. Everyone enjoyed her delicious, down-home, southern cooking. That’s all she knew, growing up in the south. The results from years of consuming those decadent, and often unhealthy foods is that she now has high blood pressure and is at risk for diabetes. As a country, we need to to be rational thinkers and stop letting our cravings and emotions control us.
I understand that it is not just the consumption of meat that leads to obstructive health, it’s also the lack of knowledge and the lack of other necessary nutrition in this type of diet which therefore leads to obstructive health. Yet this issue does not get enough attention and makes it harder to be a vegetarian.
I chose the vegetarian lifestyle, because I refused to live an unhealthy one. As I became more and more dedicated, I began to realize that maybe I never really liked meat to begin with. I’m also discovering how difficult it is to live in a world where meat is the focal point of our diet. There is not a restaurant in this country that does not serve meat, unless, of course, it is a vegetarian restaurant. It has been extremely difficult for me to get acquainted to such a lifestyle, especially hard during the holidays.
I usually start feeling anxiety before even entering a restaurant because I always assume that their vegetarian menu will be very bleak. For your typical pescatarian or flexitarian this most likely won’t be the case, because they can indulge in dishes that include fish. Seafood is the second most popular consumed food. Yes, I understand that these meat dishes are in demand, but there’s more labor and financial investment that goes into finding or catching “meat” and preparing it. Where is the variety and choices for vegetarians? Until there are more options that encourage the consumption of a healthy diet, most vegetarians will always feel like foreigners in a strange country.