It’s fucking lima beans and corn, man

I stopped eating meat. And dairy.

But don’t worry. It’s OK. Cool out, man.

But, protein!

When I tell people that I no longer eat meat, I receive any number of comments, snide remarks, jokes and questions. So many questions. Leading the question pack, by a landslide, is: “What about protein?”

To be fair, this is a legitimate question. I wondered that myself. When you are eating meat, dairy, seafood, and the like, you just know that you are getting protein. Everyone knows that a cow is made up of protein. But, what does a cow eat? Vegetables! Of course.

It doesn’t necessarily follow that we should just eat the vegetables ourselves, instead of growing them for cows, and then eating the cows. But it does make sense when you really think about it. When you think about how we do not have enough land to grow the food we need to supply our demand for animals.

But, I digress. Protein.

Non-animal sources high in protein include: Vegetables! (highest in protein are spinach, kale, peas, sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, artichokes, asparagus, corn), beans, soy, nuts/nut butters, chickpeas, quinoa, hemp, seeds, wild rice, sprouted grains.

OK? Great.


“What about untethered veal?” (I got this question once)
“I’m not sure I understand the question.”
“Well, what if they are untethered?”
“You mean, are they are treated humanely if they are untethered?”
“Uh huh.”
“I guess? At least until they are slaughtered.”

The word slaughter really says it all. It doesn’t roll nicely off the tongue. “Bessie led a wonderful life up until the slaughter.”

Emily’s Moo

My favorite book as a kid was called Emily’s Moo. Emily, a cow, didn’t know how to moo. So, she went around asking the other animals how to moo. They could not help her. Emily needed to find her own voice. The book was ahead of its time.

I hadn’t yet learned to read but I had memorized the book and would “read” it to anyone and everyone. It was fair to say that I had found my voice.

As a kid, I just liked all the pictures of animals in the book. I was too young to understand the feminist message.

The book ends with Emily finding her voice.

Maybe in the sequel she speaks out that she doesn’t want to be forcibly impregnated to produce milk for humans instead of her own child, who was ripped from her womb and the best she can hope for is that her child is untethered. Up until the slaughter.

But, vegans!

Whoa. That dreaded word – vegan. While I would argue there are just as many fanatical paleos or ketos, the word vegan is especially inciteful. It’s almost as if you said Hitler. The late Anthony Bourdain called vegans a “Hezbollah-like splinter-faction” of vegetarians. Even if I were a vegan, I would hesitate to use that label.

Yes, there are vegans who run the gamut from annoying to downright hostile, but I still don’t understand the anger around both vegetarian and vegan diets. So much anger! The reaction is akin to saying you just kicked a baby or stabbed your mother.

I’m just eating vegetables, man. Cool out.

George Carlin had a great bit on food items with strange names. One of my favorites:

“What did you call me, you fuck?”
“Hey, fucking cool out. It’s fucking lima beans and corn, man.”

But, why?

I gave up meat and dairy for my health. It started as an elimination diet, because I had a lot of GI issues. I thought I’d try it for a month and see what happened. Almost immediately I felt so much better.

From a health standpoint, it is not only encouraging and motivating to feel better, but it has also inspired me to cook more and to research recipes and try new things.

The food has been delicious. It is so much better than what we were eating. Part of that is getting out of our rut, but it’s also a whole new way of thinking about food.

When you take the meat out of the equation, you naturally open yourself up to other options you may not have even considered before. It’s been truly life-changing in that regard.

But, cheese!

Ok, yes. I was born in Wisconsin! I ate cheese every single day of my life for decades. Sometimes more than once in a day. I used to think about giving up dairy (again, to see if it would help any of my GI issues, as dairy is often a culprit) and I couldn’t fathom it, even for a couple of weeks. Because, cheese.

I do not know why I thought I could do it this time, but it just felt right. Or maybe I was just sick of feeling sick. I felt like I could at least try. And no one is more shocked than me at how easy the transition has been.

Chicken Lady

I eat eggs, mostly because we have chickens. We got them a couple of years ago. We now have three: Delta Dawn, Bakaw, and Ozzy. We had two that we named “chicken lady” after the Kids in the Hall skit. The first ended up being a rooster, and the second one died after laying her first egg. We decided against using that name again.

chickensOur chickens are adorable and surprisingly entertaining. And so many expressions come from chickens that I never really thought about before but now witness daily. Like: spread your wings, shake your tail feather, all cooped up, flew the coop, pecking order, ruffle your feathers, empty nest, and many more.

But, thankfully, at least at our house, the saying “like a chicken with its head cut off” is not literal. We treat our chickens very well, they are free range, and we will keep and care for them until they die naturally. Yes, even after they stop laying eggs.

And I must say, it was a little awkward when we used to grill chicken right in front of them. It feels so much better now when I tell them, “we don’t eat you anymore.”

Circle of life

I’ve heard this one a lot. Survival of the fittest, circle of life, etc. But, we do not have to eat animals. It is not “survival of the fittest” if we mass breed animals so we can eat them. We are not hunting for food to feed our family or we will go hungry. We are tearing down the rain forests to grow the crops we need to keep up with our relentless demand for meat.

From an environmental standpoint, what we are doing – no matter how you feel about it – is not sustainable. We are out of land.

Fake news

I’ve had people comment on the number of ingredients in veggie hot dogs, sausages, etc. and it’s true. There are a lot of ingredients, and many are unfamiliar. And while in general I try to eat real, whole foods, I do sometimes opt for convenience.

I figure, as long as the ingredients don’t include lips and anus encased in intestine, then I’m all good.

But meat tastes good!

Yes, it sure does. Many (most?) people don’t give it up because they hate the taste of it. Which is why there are so many alternatives out there that try to come as close to their animal counter-part as possible.

And that’s OK. Cool out.

It’s fucking lima beans and corn, man.