What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
Chicken is my powerfood.
From 2002-2009 I was a strict vegetarian, and about 5 of those years were vegan. I began abstaining after watching “Meet Your Meat,” which I am intentionally not linking, so you don’t get nightmares. You’re welcome. It’s a PETA video about the absolute HORRORS of the meat industry, and it’s all legit and real and gross. I was never an evangelical Vegan, which I’m proud of, but I definitely felt good about my decision to stop partaking.
Before I became veg, I was already a chubby girl, and had terrible eating habits. After the transition, things only got worse. My diet consisted of mostly fried things, bread and sugars. I hate broccoli, eggplant and several other vegetarian staples. I’m allergic to soy, eggs, and avocado. I had not become vegetarian for health reasons, and so my main focus was to avoid foods with animal products in them, and I was lazy, so I decided I didn’t care about anything else and I loved delicious things. Long story short, I gained a lot of weight over those seven years.
My long-term BF was also a vegetarian, though he was slightly better at it than me. A few times over the course of our relationship, I contemplated ending my veg-ness, but felt like I would have been ending our agreement. I even asked a few times: “Do you think you’ll be vegetarian...forever?” His response was always “Yeah, probably.” And I would mumble “...Me too,” veiling my disappointment. I really wanted a goddamned steak.
When we eventually broke up, it took about three months of vacillation for me to take the plunge. There was a LOT of guilt involved. On the night that I did it, I announced, pretty drunk, at a table of friends that I was going to order a cheesesteak. My friends would not “allow” me to make such a big decision while drunk, and so I frowned and ordered cheese fries (delicious.) When our orders came, my friend Sarah lifted her own cheesesteak to her lips and, like an alligator, I whipped my head around and took a sideways bite out of her sandwich while it was in front of her face.
“DONE!” I screamed, victoriously. Oh god, it was SO DELICIOUS.
Thus began my meat bender. Which is still happening.
Now, a little disclaimer here: Remember earlier in this article when I stated that I had just ended a 6 ½ year relationship? Have you ever done that? If not, let me tell you what happens: You go INSANE. Ending vegetarianism was one bullet on a long list of 180’s I did in that first year, in a dramatic attempt to reject everything about my former unhappy life. I also stopped watching television, stopped cooking AT ALL, got every tattoo I was too sheepish to get because my ex didn’t like the idea of me being heavily tattooed, quit my job, donated most of my belongings to a thrift store (an employee asked if i was terminally ill,) and moved to a farm and lived in a tent.
Not only did I start eating meat, but I ate EVERY kind of meat. I ate raccoon roadkill. I also learned how to slaughter a deer, after we hit it with a truck, by accident. Here comes the gross picture:
Listen, I learned a lot that night.
I have since found the happy medium for many of these huge, dramatic changes. The way I learn lessons, unfortunately, seems to be that I have to travel to both Poles before I can tell where the middle is. It wastes time, but at least it works. Sort of.
But the meat? The meat bender is still happening, and it’s awesome.
My body loves meat! I now loosely follow The Blood Type Diet, and while I don’t think it’s a science, a lot of it has definitely been really true for me. My allergies to eggs, avocado, soy? All of those things are no-no’s for type O.
Type O is also the carnivore blood type -- the oldest of all blood types, we are the cave people eaters: so the whole meat thing makes sense. Not only has eating meat again helped me to lose a lot of weight, it’s also made me feel LIKE A SUPERHERO.
Chicken, in particular, is like a magical elixir for me -- it’s better than RedBull. Beef Jerky (NOT slimjims) is my go-to snack, if I don’t have time to eat a meal. I eat my sandwiches from the inside out; meat and veggies first, and if I’m still hungry, then the bread. I’m usually not still hungry.
I’m familiar with the whole “meat is manly” thing, and to a degree it is true. I eat very differently than most of my female friends. On the other side of it, my step-dad refuses to eat tofu because he is “scared of growing tits,” which is LOL hilarious, but also sort of makes sense, when you think about the way soy products are advertised. They’re not really looking for my ex-cop, ultra -masculine stepdad’s vote.
I don’t feel oppressed as a meat-eater, and maybe that’s just my good karma coming back to me for never making meat-eaters feel shitty about their choices when I was veg. I’m not really outraged about anything here, FOR A CHANGE, but I would like to note: Diet is so incredibly individualized. it’s hard to make it line up with our morals, let alone our gender, economic status or our community.
For me, despite the squeamishness I feel about the idea of eating dead flesh, my body does not support the vegetarian lifestyle, being intolerant to so many of the alternatives.
Health class never taught us to listen to our bodies -- they taught us standard rules, which *can* be good guidelines, but most times need to be altered to the individual. I’ve learned a lot from listening, and I feel a whole lot better. GO MEAT!