It's October. That means changes in our household. J15, while a tried and true onmivore, has always expressed interest in being a vegetarian. For lots of reasons. I don't have a problem with that. I was a very lax vegetarian while I was in college. In fact, I hadn't eaten red meat for years when I met V. (he is a fabulous cook and he won me over with a grilled steak, marinaded in red wine first) What does this have to do with it being October, you may ask? October is Vegetarian Awareness Month.
Two years ago, J15 was going to try to eat a vegetarian diet for the month of October. We were supportive until she wrecked her bike, lost a lot of blood and ended up in the hospital. She was so anemic that I gave her the option of giving up the veg for the month or eating lots of spinach (and other iron containing foods). She opted for eating some red meat.
I'm not sure what happened last year but this year, she is again hoping to take the challenge. She has one friend at school who is going to be her 'veggie buddy' and she has asked me to join her as well.
We already eat much less meat than many Americans. We already eat vegetarian meals at least once a week anyway so it isn't that much of a stretch for us. Someone once asked me (on this blog) why I thought it was important to eat vegetarian at least once a week. I've got lots of reasons.
First- health. Both of my parents have trouble with their cholesterol and Dad has had a triple bypass. They are both on medication for blood pressure. While my cholesterol has always been fabulous, I'm not taking any chances.
Second- I just don't think we need to eat that much meat. Nutrition-wise, it seems better for us to eat lots of things other than meat. I feel kind of sluggish if I eat too much protein. I'm much happier with the meat being an ingredient, not the star of the show.
Third- Even though I grew up on a farm (corn, soybeans and pigs (non-confinement!)) I have a really hard time with factory farms. We do eat meat but we're more aware of how it is produced now. Grassfed beef is much more expensive than the feedlot stuff (but more tasty) so it isn't economically feasible to eat great slabs of meat.
Fourth- I want my children to have the exposure. I feel it's important to introduce them to many different foods and ways of life. This way, if they go to a friend's house, they are less likely to be turned off by something different being served. I mean, really, my boys will actually eat tofu!
There are a few other things, but these are the most important
So, the long and short of it is that J15 and I are going to try to go veg for the month. It will mean some juggling and creativity on my part as I'm not going to expect the guys to do it. We will still eat several vegetarian family meals each week as usual, but there will be times where J15 and I will be eating a slightly different meal then everyone else.
It will be an interesting month.