Irony and coincidence are plentiful in my life. I had just made a comment on my friend Consuella’s post about her decision to cut meat out of her diet for a while, when my son’s girlfriend (I’ll call her Muchacha in honor of her Mexican heritage), came back from her apartment with the book “Skinny Bitch” that she recently finished reading. Muchacha is also determined to live a nearly meat-free lifestyle, and not just on a temporary basis. Although she would like to see some weight loss and health benefits from cutting out meat, Muchacha’s main motive is her love of animals. The book talks about some of the heartless treatment of the animals we use for our food, and she can not bear to be a part of this abuse.
I, too, would be more motivated to not eat meat more on principle than for health reasons. I struggle sometimes with the thought that we are actually killing living beings to satisfy our cravings. And then I go right ahead and dig into that gorgeous hunk of juicy steak.
You see, no one has yet been able to give me the definitive proof that we are nothing more than animals ourselves, as entitled as the next beast to use our wits and hunt for our food. We’re all fair game, right? Then there is the other extreme, which to me is yet another excuse to not feel guilt while savoring a morsel of prime rib. Many religions teach that animals were put here for our own personal use and pleasure, and cite the Bible passage where man was given “dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” It all sounds a bit egocentric to me.
Those crazy chicks that wrote “Skinny Bitch” would not only have you give up meat, but also fish, eggs, dairy products, and just about any alcohol besides organic red wine without any sulfites. Of course, I totally agree with their recommendation to cut back on processed foods, white flour and sugar. I try not too eat much of those things, but there’s no way a piece of candy will never go in my mouth! Even worse, they go on and on about the evils of that heavenly morning staple–the steaming hot cup of coffee. I can’t even fathom life in the morning without a cup of coffee. The few times I’ve tried to function at work without at least a cup of tea, I was lifeless and dull. I’m at my productive best with a cup of java by my side. No lie.
There are people that live to be a hundred years old. Many, if not most, are carnivores. Many drank liquor; some even smoked. I don’t know how many more years of life they would have eked out had they completely given up these indulgences. I believe moderation is the key.
At one time, I was a skinny bitch. I ate large helpings of red meat and potatoes. I drank whole milk by the half gallons, and I frequented the corner candy store. Now I’m just an average bitch, eating more veggies, fish and chicken but still enjoying a T-bone with some gummy bears for dessert. I feel fairly happy and healthy, even if I have a few unsightly lumps and bumps. That’s what body shapers are for, am I right? Take away my taco meat, my corned beef and cabbage, or my morning cups of coffee, I’ll be nothing but a mean bitch. And those few extra years I might possibly gain from this deprivation will not be worth it. For anyone.