I enjoyed this very thought-provoking article in the Sunday New York Times. I didn't even realize as I was reading the article that the author is the very same author of the cookbook I had just bought as a gift for my friend Alison for her birthday. The book is "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" by Mark Bittman, and I'd been wanting to pick up a copy ever since I'd first heard of it. Soon I'll pick up my own copy of the book and I can't wait to start trying out the recipes.
Although I've been a vegetarian at different periods of life, in recent years my dietary tendencies have leaned more towards omnivorous. And although meat has not been at the center of my diet for a great many years now, the above article serves as a good reminder to me about all the reasons I ever chose to keep it out of my diet in the first place.
Many years ago I was on tour in Tucson, AZ and very nearly crossed paths with Howard Lyman, aka the Mad Cowboy- remember him? He was being interviewed on the radio station KXCI that I was headed towards to be interviewed myself, and the interview with him just blew me away. Sadly, by the time I got to the radio station, he had already left, but suffice it to say he left a lasting impression upon me, and I bought his book while I was there in Tucson, and stopped eating meat right then & there. I didn't start eating it again for quite a few years, but eventually, I did start eating it again.
Now, my reasons for wanting to change my diet again are personal as well as political. The unfortunate news is that my stomach has been very unhappy for some time now, so I don't want to make it work any harder than it has to (I am NOT looking forward to having procedures with names ending in "oscopy").
The good new is, I've fallen in love(!!!) with an amazing person, who is, among other things, a vegetarian. And of course one of my favorite things to do is to cook and share food with the people I love, so I just haven't been all that interested in recipes heavy on the meat, and I really haven't missed it.
I don't know if the vegetarian police are going to object, but I'm still eating fish, with no plans to stop that. And, I'm not saying that no bit of meat shall ever touch my lips again, because rarely in my life have I been able to pull off being a purist of any sort. For now though, the path without meat seems to be the right path for me. I'm going to get my own copy of Mark Bittman's book, and I am looking forward to trying out all his great recipes!