Scott: It’s too bad you just ordered that half hog and quarter beef. I don’t want to eat meat anymore.
Scott: Two days ago I ate those fajitas with meat, then yesterday I had salad with the leftover fajita meat on top, and now I’ve eaten just the leftover salad in a tortilla without the meat, and the salad is SO much better than the meat. YOU made me read the food books. YOU’ve been cooking me veggie meals. I don’t even really care about what the books say. It just TASTES so much better not eating meat.
I’ve seen this coming for a month or so. My first clue was when he had a bbq lunch with a bunch of co-workers a while back. He said they all had huge piles of meat on their plates and looking at what they were eating made him feel queasy. Then, a couple weeks ago I brought him his formerly favorite sandwich — smoked bbq brisket with coleslaw from Whole Foods. He finished it, but it was a HUGE chore and he did not feel well afterward.
Despite the clues, despite Scott begging me to make shrimp fajitas instead of flank steak, seared ahi instead of New York strips, salmon burgers instead of bison burgers…despite it all, I put down a deposit on a quarter grass-fed beef and a half hog. Both are from small local ranches, both are raised on pasture and both eat what they are supposed to eat instead of just corn and soybeans. Both will be humanely processed and ready for delivery in October, by which time I have a feeling Scott will be a confirmed vegetarian. So, what am I going to do with something like two hundred pounds of meat???
We’re about a week away from our veggie month. For the month of August, our family (along with Scott’s sister Liz and her husband, Michael) will be going totally veggie. No fish, no meat, no chicken. We will NOT be going vegan, so we will still be eating dairy (mostly raw and organic dairy) and eggs from pastured chickens. This veggie month should give Scott a pretty good idea of whether or not he’s really turned into a vegetarian. I think it will be a little tough on the kids, so I may throw some fish in for them here and there. They love tuna salad and fish sticks and salmon. Scott also loves fish, so the veggie month will be a sacrifice for him in at least one way. Plus he won’t get to eat Chipotle’s carnitas (pork) burritos, which are his favorite. Although, he now says he can’t handle eating one more than once every three weeks.
What’s crazy about this is that Scott used to be your typical Midwestern meat and potatoes man. When we started dating nine years ago, he ate almost no vegetables…unless you count the sauerkraut he ate on his DAILY Johnsonville pork brats. Or the pickles he put on his pulled pork bbq sandwiches. Or the occasional tub of mayonnaise-saturated potato salad. (Note to Scott’s mom…I know this is not your fault. I know he ate veggies straight from the garden when he lived at home, but bachelor life and his George Foreman Grill corrupted him.)
When we started dating I made dinner for him regularly. He ate normal food, not just processed food. And he ate salad. And broccoli. And corn. And he had lots of gas, at least for the first week. He seemed to adapt okay, though, and veggies became a normal part of his diet. But, he still needed meat. And lots of it. Until about three months ago.
We all change, right? I used to watch football religiously and followed the Niners in the off season. I used to watch SportsCenter every day, sometimes multiple times per day. Now I blog instead. And I try to keep my house semi-organized and some of my children’s clothes clean. Scott used to drink Keystone. Now he drinks hefty, local brews. He used to try to keep his car clean. Now he tries to keep the toilets clean instead. He used to play football. Now he does pilates. We’ve changed, we’ve grown together. Some of the changes have been good, some have taken a little getting used to. This change, this shift to partial vegetarian…I think it’s going to take some getting used to.