March 20, 2013

Great American Meatout

“A human can be healthy without killing animals for food. Therefore if he eats meat he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.” - Leo Tolstoy

It's Great American Meatout!

We live in a society that thinks fast, talks mast, moves fast, and wants their information as fast as possible, too. Not only does that include breaking news via social media or real life interactions where internet's abbreviated lingo is a part of every day vernacular, but lately it seems to also include a serious dependence on labels to quickly explain to us everything we might need to know about something. These preconceived notions and mass generalizations are something I've been battling with for years now. Everything you need to know about me can not be summed up by words like Single, Straight, Christian, Freckled, or Mainer (just a handful of things that could be used to describe me). And of all those things it seems "Vegetarian" is the one that when people hear they automatically feel they need to a) defend their own eating habits, b) press me for a reason as to why I chose the diet I did. My answer - in the years and years I've been eating as an herbivore - has never wavered. It's always been about three reasons: heath, sustainability, and compassion.

Sensible and entirely irrefutable.

If you've been with playing with the idea of reducing or entirely eliminating meat from your diet, there's no better time than to start today. The Great American Meatout is a grassroots effort to promote vegetarian and veganism. It was founded in 1985 by FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement), a nonprofit organization that works towards ending the (ab)use of animals (specifically as food), as a way to - according to Meatout.org - "expose the public to the joys and benefits of a plant-based diet, while promoting the availability and selection alternatives to meat and dairy in mainstream grocery stores, restaurants, and catering operations."

We are lucky to live in an era when access to animal, dairy, egg, and/or honey free products are all readily available. Soy milk, cardboard tasting veggie burgers, and bland salads don't define vegetarians (or vegans) anymore. Many companies have revolutionized the way folks with a plant-based diet can eat. There are animal-free seafood options, egg yolks, chick'n sliders, and even honey just to name a handful of the countless number of culinary delights we can spoil ourselves with!

So, put the meat away, go out with a friend to celebrate, and have a happy...

Happy Great American Meatout!