Eat Your Veggies

To eat meat or not to eat meat: that is the question, and I’m not the only one asking.  The issue seems to be all over television (Oprah goes on 21 day cleanse!) and the blogosphere (blog titan Dooce giving the cleanse a go, too).

I admit it’s on our minds as well, and I hope not just because the topic is so much in the air.  At my mother-in-law’s one past Sunday I took one look at Craig’s miserable face as he picked at his piece of chicken (bone in) and just outright blurted: “Maybe it’s time to give up meat.”  And guess what?  He didn’t say no.

Craig’s father is a devoted — and I mean devoted — vegan. Sufice it to say that the man hasn’t just saved a steak from his table: he has saved entire cows.  They live with him now and play games on his farm.  No joke.  And though neither of his sons has started an animal sanctuary of their own yet, it wouldn’t surprise me if kindness toward animals turned out to be genetic.  My brother-in-law takes in strays.  My husband would, aside from me I like to think, choose animals over people any day of the week.  I do not exaggerate.

So why are we still eating meat?  It’s easy to, me thinks.  It’s everywhere.  It’s relatively inexpensive.  And unlike the animals, we’re human.  We’re selfish.

Plus there’s the whole trying to have a baby thing.  Only a few pages of my new reading material talk about the vegetarian mom-to-be: 

Eating Well When You\'re Expecting

I know it can be done, but getting enough protein and iron will take some imagination.  How creative will I be when my head is down a toilet?  

Maybe it’s the kind of thing we could take on one day at a time.  Kick the chicken habit one day.  Red meat the next.  The outright vegan thing?  I’ll admit, I don’t see that happening…I mean, cheese, how will I ever forsake thee?  Hats off to those that do, hats off.

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6 Comments

  1. N said,

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 10:31 am

    I haven’t eaten meat in 16 years (though I do eat fish). Being a vegetarian today is so much easier than it was then as now there are so many meat substitute options in your frozen food aisle. I’ve never had an iron or protein deficiency, but then I am not trying to get pregnant. If you are concerned, I’d recommend that you make an appointment with a nutritionist. From what I understand, MDs don’t get much nutritional training, so it’s probably best to speak with a nutritionist rather than your MD. Good luck!

  2. Mom Quixote said,

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Thanks Ginge! I know it can be done! We’re really going to give it a go, just a bit slowly is all, lol.

  3. Christine said,

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    That is so funny! My husband is always looking at me funny because I always feel worse for animals than I do for people. Craige is not alone!

  4. Toast 2 Mom said,

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    I was a vegetarian for about 3 years…then I started “cheating” and buying hamburgers again. So if you give it up and then you cheat, your body must want it/need it back. I’ve considered doing it again…

  5. Salty said,

    Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 7:22 am

    I haven’t read that particular book, but I have to say that my experience with these popular pregnancy books is they talk to the masses. They’re not going to promote something that is still viewed as part of the fringe. The book I’ve been swearing by says running is bad, but I just ignore that part because I know that it’s proven to be untrue. People have a bias against pregnant women running or doing anything out of the “ordinary.” But plenty of out of the ordinary types do just fine!

    My best friend has been a vegetarian since she was 13 and she got pregnant no problem and had a very healthy vegetarian daughter. I was vegetarian myself until I had some injury problems related to running. I don’t know that bringing animal protein back into my diet actually helped, but that’s why I eat it at all these days. I try to stick to organic or at least kosher chicken and turkey if I can. But since I’ve been pregnant, I have been eating much less meat. I crave beans and cheese and vegetables more than anything else.

    As for going vegan, well, like I said I’ve been eating bucket loads of dairy products. Yogurt, cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, ice cream, cereal with milk, etc. I never ate so much of it in all my life 🙂 I worried about all the hormones in the regular dairy as well as the whole factory farm thing–it’s almost worse to be a dairy cow than a beef cow! I’ve been spending a fortune on organic dairy products–milk alone is over $6/gallon!! At the same time I have read that too much unfermented soy can lead to problems from an overabundance from phyto-estrogens. We can’t win really!

    I guess the take home from all of this is that the best thing to do is what’s right for you–Don’t feel guilted into doing what every one else does if that’s not the right way for you to go. You’re not a bad person or parent for making a different informed choice (unless it’s to smoke crack or something like that 🙂 There is no magic food that will help us get pregnant and there is no magic food that will guarantee a healthy baby. All we can do is make the best most informed decisions we can and hope for the best!

  6. Leah said,

    Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    We should have a book club because Iam reading that book too! I just am maybe 4 days out of my true morning sickness and let me tell you meat was not on my list of things to eat for about 3 weeks! Just the thought of it grossed me out. Even now, I am still picky about the size and smell of meats.
    You can for sure have a healthy and happy baby as a vegan. But bottom line is when you do get preggers eat what appeals to you. You body is giving you signals all the time of what it needs. Currently I am in love with milk. I try to eat as much organic as I can, but it is hard.


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