Jim and I have been meandering towards vegetarianism for some time now. Not with any great intention and will, not with any pamphlets in hand, or soapbox. We've just been tapering off. We used to buy those individually fresh-frozen chicken breasts all the time in the big bags, but gradually the gargantuan size of them, the sheer hormone-induced monstrosity, began to gross me out. As I chewed, disgusting thoughts would come to mind (pardon me, but thoughts of pus, and of beaks lying shorn off in a heap), and I'd leave the hunk of flesh uneaten. We scarcely buy chicken anymore, and then only organic, but now there are reports coming out about what a sham organic labeling is, and I hesitate to buy that anymore.
I'm not opposed to the idea of animals eating other animals. I think it's among the most natural things in the world, up there with sex, childbirth, and buying books. But there's nothing natural about factory farming. They are places of great filth and unfathomable suffering, things I do not want my mouth and body to be complicit in. Last Sunday Jim and I went with Kelly to an art rummage sale at the Doug Fir, a hip music club in town, and Jim bought a zine called Invincible Summer by a local artist/writer named Nicole J Georges. It's a charming, funny read, filled with her wonderful drawings and self-portraits, and I was extremely moved by her account of the month she spent volunteering at Farm Sanctuary, a place in Orland, California that rescues animals from factory farms and nurtures them like valuable living creatures, rather than McNuggets-in-progress. Wow. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say, piggy is off the Easter menu. It's not like I didn't know this stuff before, but something about the way she wrote and drew about her experience, was enough for me to finally say, Okay. That's it. Pass the vegan meatballs please.
(Jim and I have already been practically living on Trader Joe's vegetarian meatballs for the past year.)
I didn't even have to try to convince my mom. At the flutter of a mention of not having pork, she seized on it like she already wanted to have vegetarian Easter. So, we're planning a 7-layer Italian vegetable torte, carrot-ginger soup, and other pig-free goodies. I'm not making a vegetarian resolve like I did when I was sixteen, I might still eat meat under the right circumstances, but we're stepping up the pace of our lazy meander towards meatlessness. I think we'll get there eventually.
PS - the new Sunday Scribbling will be posted tomorrow!