So the deal for this prompt was: Think of a word. Then do a google image search of the word and choose the 11th image listed and write about that. I was like, think of a word? I thought of hundred words in the last 30 seconds, how do I pick? So I googled a random word generator and picked the fist word that came up. The word was "polar." Then I did the image search.
This is what I got:
A couple of Polar logos for some company, a lot of cute pictures of polar bears, and then number 11. Yay.
I grew up a vegetarian. Today, I'm what you'd call a part-time vegetarian. I generally don't eat meat at home, and I never cook it. When I'm eating out though, or if meat is being served where I'm eating I do eat meat, and I enjoy it. There a couple of ideas that inform my approach to eating meat.
1. Meat should be eaten in moderation and on occasion. I admit that it's self serving but I think that the way I approach eating meat is a good way to go. There's no doubt in my mind that Americans (and increasingly the rest of the world) eat way too much meat. It's bad for our health and bad for the environment. Historically, humans have not had the ability to consume meat regularly in quite the way that we do today. And in cultures where meat consumption is low, the population tends to be healthier and live longer.
2. It's important to make peace with what it costs for that steak to be on your plate. An animal was slaughtered. Again, historically most people had to be intimately acquainted with the process of going from living, soft-coated, doe-eyed creature to slab of succulent supper hot off the grill. Those few among us who still hunt and store up venison in a freezer understand these realities, but I'm not sure that many other people really think much about it. I've always said, half-jokingly, that I take my cue from the Native Americans who would thank the animal for giving it's life so that I can eat. I realize that the cruel and inhumane methods used by the modern meat industry are of particular concern. But it's important to understand that even under the best of circumstances an animal is still being slaughtered, and depending on your sensitivities that can be considered bad, which is better than horrific, but still not good.
3. I still follow the Adventist rules about clean and unclean meat, even though I don't believe there's much Biblical support for a moral imperative to make that distinction. I don't think it's wrong to eat bacon or shrimp. Yet in most cases I avoid unclean meats. I don't have a really good reason. I just chalk it up to a habit of culture.
4. If it was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me.
5. None of it is that big of a deal. I know people who can get quite worked up about how "meat is actually healthier than those highly-processed 'veggie-meats' and estrogen-laced soy products." I know others that are full-on evangelists of the vegan diet and look with stern judgement on those who insist on consuming animal products. I think all that is unnecessary. To the pro-meat crowd I say, just enjoy your meat and let the vegetarians be. It's not necessary to judge and dismiss someone else's diet in order to justify your own. And I say the same to the plant-based, Forks Over Knives crowd. Eat what you like, like what you eat, and be happy. I'm sure it's true that all kinds of dangers lurk in the ground beef, the cheese, the tofu, what-have-you but that's life. Make healthy choices (with the occasional indulgence), make sure it tastes good, and don't worry about it. If I had to choose between eating meat every day and becoming a full-time, rigid vegetarian I would probably choose the latter. But I don't have to make that choice. So, I'll have that burger medium-rare.
"A man is not defiled by what enters his mouth, but what comes out of it."