Tales of an Almost Vegetarian
Shortly after graduating from college, as a budding cookbook editor, I had an idea for a cookbook. I found an author for the book, got the approval from the publisher, and in 1994 Almost Vegetarian was published.
The subtitle of the book was “A Primer for Cooks Who Are Eating Vegetarian Most of the Time, Chicken and Fish Some of the Time, and Altogether Well All of the Time.” Not a short subtitle (succinctness has never been my strongest suit), but descriptive. It was the way I ate then, the way I still eat now, and while the book did very well, it was kind of ahead of its time. Now, 15 years later, this is the way tons of us eat, for all sort of reasons.
I do not like red meat. I’m happy to cook it for my family and friends. It just doesn’t do it for me. It’s not because of health concerns, or religious reasons, or moral concerns – while I respect all of these reasons, I’m perfectly sanguine about having landed on the pointy end of the food chain. Go, humans. Hello, lobster. Having said that, for all sorts of reasons, it would behoove the human race to eat less meat, and to treat animals a whole lot differently before we eat them.People are eating less red meat because they are worrying about their cholesterol or their weight, because they are trying to tread more lightly on the earth (one generally accepted statistic is that it takes 25,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat; wowsers), because they are trying to save money, because they don’t wish to eat animals at all. (Don’t we all know at least one strict vegetarian married to someone who lives for their next hamburger?)
Are you eating less meat? Or no? And if so, why? And what new foods have you discovered as you plot out your meals?
P.S. I recently wrote an article about foods celebrity chefs hate, and at the end of the piece, to spur comments amongst readers, added the fact that I don’t care for red meat. And WOW did a few vehement haters come out of the woodwork. Apparently, the fact that I write about food yet don’t eat red meat struck them as somewhere between ludicrous and offensive. I guess they never heard of the Moosewood Collective. Well, Angry in Akron, I’m sorry that my dislike of red meat is such a hot button for you. You do not have to come over for dinner.