New Veg-Head Thinking

While I’m traveling on the road, there’s really not a lot of time for philosophical thinking. Instead, I’m preoccupied with thoughts of:

  • Where I’ll be sleeping tomorrow night
  • The man walking too-close behind to me
  • And if I’m going to regret that taco for lunch

That said, I recently made one large decision while on the road: I’m turning vegetarian.

Now, if you know me, you know I eat everything under the sun and I particularly like meat. And a juicy cheeseburger is just about my favorite meal of all time. So I’m not becoming vegetarian because I don’t like the taste of meat. I also have low-iron blood, so red meat is one of the quickest ways for me to get a large dose of iron.

It’s more of an ethical decision. I recognize that we don’t need to kill animals in order to cloth and feed ourselves anymore. Our nutritional diet and options of clothing have evolved so that hunting is no longer necessary. I’m now uncomfortable with the idea of an animal being killed just to satisfy my culinary pleasure or so that I can buy a rockin’ pair of heels.

A New Journey

So with less than 4 months left on my adventure, I’m starting another journey – this one philosophical. My goal is to be totally meat-free when I return home at the end of the year. I decided to implement my new thinking fully when I return to the U.S. for 3 reasons:

  1. Not being a fussy eater has a lot of advantages on the road. One of which is that I don’t have to offend my hosts, who may kill an animal in my honor. Like when a water buffalo was slaughtered in Sapa, Vietnam to feed us.
  2. In my home environment it’s just a lot easier to control what I eat. I know what’s available and I can cook, something that’s difficult while traveling (but not impossible, as many hostels have communal kitchens).
  3. And, like I said, I actually like the taste of meat and am trying to wean myself off gradually.

Stepping Carefully

Here’s my step-by-step approach to becoming a full-time veg-head:

Step 1: Food – First, I decided not to eat meat for breakfast anymore. No sausages on the side, ham in my omelet, or – gulp – bacon.

I also only eat meat every other day and try and choose a vegetarian alternative on the menu if there is one. As I head to South America, I think this will get easier since beans and rice rule the day. (Although Argentina may be the ultimate challenge…)

Step 2: Clothes – I’m also committed to not buying any items made of leather (or fur for that matter) in the future. This will be fairly easy (if expensive) in the U.S. where there are loads of sustainable clothing options – especially for shoes, purses and jackets.

At this point I only have 3 items of leather in my luggage (a pair of ballet flats, a pair of sandals, and a bracelet). And I have a few pieces that I saved, like my mom’s rad Matrix-worthy black leather trench that’s stored at home. After much thought, I decided to keep these items and replace them with a non-leather alternative once they wear out.

Comments, Thoughts, Advice? Write me! I’d love to hear what you think of my new decision or any bits of advice as I made the transition.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, September 8th, 2012 and is filed under Food & Drink.

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