This year, I considered making my New Year's Resolution to become a vegetarian. Recently, I've been really struggling over the issue of meat- and animal product-eating. Could I be a vegetarian? Could I be a vegan? Should I care whether I "can"; should I just take the plunge?
Ultimately, I decided no. I can (and do, without even thinking about it) eat largely vegetarian, even largely vegan if I put a bit of effort in. But I know there'd be moments when I'd fail - A's family's seafood Christmas Eve feast, sushi, enjoying another bistecca alla fiorentina, my family's juicy homemade hamburgers...stuffing. And I'd have a really terrible time living without canned tuna, as silly as that sounds.
However, I would like to be more informed about where my food is coming from. I'm fortunate enough to live near a farmer's market, though even there you have to be careful. There are a few family farms I am confident in, and a few others that have been recommended to me by people I trust. I hope to learn a lot about food this year. Maybe at the end I'll decide vegetarianism or even veganism is the path for me. But for now, I'm a meat-eating foodie who enjoys and respects her food.
The thing is, if I were to be a vegetarian, I'd have to be confident I would be doing it 100%. It doesn't seem too difficult on the surface - no meat, to leather, no gelatin. Got it. But then I found this...
PIG 05049. Christien Meindertsma's book follows the afterlife of a single pig. Each product you see there used something from this pig. 185 different products.
This frightens me. I am certain there are many vegetarians who have no idea how much pig they are using in their daily lives, even if they read the ingredients of everything they purchase (plus, I'm not sure ballet flats come with ingredients!)
Yikes. Let the research begin...happy 2010! :S