Recently I’ve been contemplating the benefits of a vegetarian diet. I’ve realized though, that it’s something which is probably best not to mention that you’re contemplating. But if you’re the type who enjoys observing people’s reactions to controversial topics, just mention that you’re thinking of “going vegetarian” in mixed company. I did not anticipate discussing this topic at a recent wedding Richie and I attended, but he thought it would be a kick to mention it over the chicken entrée and steamed vegetable side. He had the pleasure of not only observing other people’s reactions to the controversial topic, but I think he also enjoyed watching me squirming under the awkwardness of it all. He’s known for this trait.
Our company was polite in their response, yet I felt as if I had suddenly grown an extra eyeball during the car ride to the reception. We had a range of responses from puzzled looks to declarations of personal loyalty to meat. It made me realize that we’re getting more and more fringe in our interests, which inhibits us from carrying on normal conversations at social events. Thank goodness for this blog. Indulge me for a few moments, dear reader:
Consider the effect that a vegetarian diet has had on the community of Loma Linda, CA. In 2005, National Geographic earmarked this city as 1 of 4, “Blue Zones”- defined as towns with the greatest number of individuals leading healthy lifestyles into their 90’s and past 100. The other 3 were Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; and Nicoya, Costa Rica. I learned of this fact while reading a recent article in the LA Times about the predominantly Seventh Day Adventist town which is currently split over the decision on whether or not to allow in their first Mc Donalds.
And recently when learning of the FDA admitting that arsenic (a carcinogen) from arsenic laced chicken feed has been found in small amounts in American chickens, I gave going vegetarian some serious thought.
The final straw that broke my carnivorous back, came while watching Forks Over Knives (available on Netflix), a documentary primarily based on results from the The China Study. We were only about 45 minutes in before the documentary showed how the study presents a serious blow to the idea that we need as much dairy and meat protein for good health as we’ve been told (ooooh conspiracy stuff here, alert the skeptics). In fact it alleges that our standard American diet (SAD) is actually responsible for a variety of health problems. Cue more serious contemplation of going vegetarian.
This brings me full circle to my “fringe” moment at the wedding. Note to self: Don’t mention controversial documentaries as you arrive on the arm of your skeptical, meat loving husband. Keep the dinner conversation to the usual, family, weather, work and sports and keep the social ease of all intact.