These days, I’m thinking a lot about vegetarianism. I’ve flirted with it in the past. For me, it’s all about the animals. I can’t help but thinking that it’s not necessary for them to die just so I can eat. Added to that, the popular instagram page has introduced me to the horrors of factory farming. Don’t google it if you don’t want to see it. You just can’t unsee it. It’s truly horrific, at least for me.
On the other hand, I believe in intuitive eating. Through therapy, I’m working hard every day to strip away my rules with eating and just listen to my body and give it what it craves without shame. Sometimes my body craves meat.
It’s a bit of a rock and a hard place, really. Ethically, I believe in vegetarianism. Personally, I don’t want to establish another set of food laws when I’m working so hard to undo years and years of shame around my food choices. The path forward for me, at least right now, is to tell myself and others that I’m exploring vegetarianism. It’s all exploration. It’s not based on rules and regulations. Every time I get hungry, I try to check in with myself. I ask myself what my body is craving. I wonder if meat is on the agenda. Sometimes it is. Yesterday, for example, I had a chicken wing and some bacon in a wedge salad. Today, meat hasn’t been on the agenda yet. It’s all an ebb and flow.
It’s so easy to get caught up, thinking that life is so black and white. The reality is that most of life exists in the grey areas, a delicate balance between competing ideals. For me right now, the personal choice of vegetarianism has a lot of shades of gray. I’m trying to be comfortable with that, knowing that I probably eat with my vegetarian ethics about 75-80% of the time and it feels completely intuitive. I love food so much that it’s not hard for me to find satisfaction without meat, especially if I’m the one cooking. For the other 25% of the time, I trust myself to eat what my body is currently craving, even if that involves meat.
I’m finding that things don’t need to be as fraught as we make them out to be most of the time. We just need to do the best we can with what we have.
I took a lot of inspiration from this post on intuitive eating + vegetarianism. It’s well worth the read.