Thursday, May 14, 2015

Quitting Meat

Lynsey 30th - birds
Today's entry is a small detour but important to share, it's the beginning of quitting meat and although small in length it's ultimately the beginning note to some big changes.

So I yakked on about eating/not eating dairy - paralling at the same time to this one of the most traumatic things happened to me. 

Alone upstairs in our old house I heard this horrific shrieking/crying high pitched squawking coming from below. I ran downstairs to where my eyes met with Gremlin (our cat) and in his mouth, an amazing pale faced rosella – sad story ender, the bird died. I'm not sure I can explain the horror of that exact moment. Looking back, it was lucky our neighbours were hundreds of metres away because I was a blabbering screaming mess - I'm sure an Oscar winning performance or at least deserving of a police call. I kept screaming at Gremlin over and over to drop the bird like some madman but it was all too late. Sadness turned into anger and I couldn’t even look at gremlin or speak to him yet everyone around me assured me it wasn’t his fault it was just his nature. The irony being that for dinner that night I cooked myself a chicken pasta. The irony wasn't completely lost on me and I contemplated for about 3.4 seconds whether this made sense. Chicken is delicious though so I gave myself some solid reasoning :)

My main concern at that time was to stop the bird killing (the Gremlin bird killing) we tried a few things, extra bells, a slightly earlier then intended de-sexing, keeping him in at the key bird times, dawn and dusk but despite this over the next few weeks there were still a few close call bird incidents – all good story enders but we still needed a permanently solution. That solution came in the form of a cat bib – aka the bird life saver :)

A simple invention with a velcro top to latch onto your cat's collar.

When we put the bib on I realised we were making Gremlin make a forced sacrifice so I endeavoured to play my part as well. I decided that I would no longer buy meat at the supermarket, I made a pact with myself that it was okay to eat meat out but I wouldn't directly contribute. 
 
Gremlin with his cape aka Cat Bib.
The first month of this plan was awful. I stuck to my word but found that all my favourite dishes had meat in them. I used to be one of those people who not only said I didn't eat much dairy but definitely said, shouting from rooftops that I didn't eat much meat. In hindsight, a slight misconception on my part there :P Being a fish, seafood but mostly chicken consumer, I read online that tofu was the perfect substitute for chicken. I simply started to cook all my meals with tofu instead. I tried so many ways of cooking tofu and they were all terrible. I’m not even an advocate against tofu (the Japanese do some amazing things) but the tofu at my supermarket combined with my cooking skills were making something awful!

So here I am, an 80% dairy consumer, an 80% non-meat consumer, on a balance beam, feeling pretty disheartened by my new restrictions and diet and let's be honest contemplating throwing it all in but then a chat with Elvis’s wife Bronwyn changed everything. Next time, I'm going to be introducing that scary word...
ETHICS!

(I told you this part was short but the next part is LOOONG!- well longish so be prepared)

18 comments:

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    1. It's pretty darn cute! And I'd say he is pretty much oblivious to it being on him now which is also nice :)

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  2. I think it's all about getting the balance right for YOU. We all have our own morals and we have to stay true to them. Good luck <3

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    1. Exactly! You do have to choose what fits in best with you and nobody is going to know that but yourself :)

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  3. Wow. That's a big commitment and if you can keep it up more power to you! As for Gremlin I'm sorry about the little birds :( and I'm glad the bib is working. What does the bib actually do? I'd never heard of that.
    But I'm glad you're standing strong on your convictions. :) I can't wait to read the next part.
    Juli xx

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    1. The bib is so awesome! When Gremlin is walking, running, stalking things, the bib sits at the front and it provides a pause for birds as it flaps up just before the moment of impact, giving the bird time to escape. From what I read, cats use their claws and mouth to go in for the attack and the bib stops that motion. I didn't believe it at first but it's 100% worked for us with Gremlin still able to do all his normal things like eating and drinking and climbing trees :)

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  4. Fee, love this post and the one before it about dairy! That cat bib is such a cool invention that I'd never heard of, and Gremlin looks great wearing it as a cape. ;) I've been struggling to eat less meat lately, but I do like tofu and that goes a long way. Completely cutting out chicken will be the death of me!

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    1. Sarah even if you're struggling to eat less meat that's still awesome to even think of reducing your consumption. You definitely need to find a few tasty meals that you love to eat which makes everything WAY much easier. I still can't do tofu, I could definitely still do chicken (:p) but I have grown to love a lot of other things, which have been my saving grace. I've tried to make my next two blog posts (and especially the last) full of helpful tips and recipes :) Or maybe you already have an awesome meatless dish recipe to share!

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  5. Oh I can't even get into how I am torn everyday about being a meat eater. Even own some leather makes me feel horribly guilty (I don't buy leather except Minnetonka shoes always seem to get the better of me). I have tried to quit meat but wasn't successful and then I only started to buy meat where animals were raised humanely but that still makes me feel terribly guilty. Someone also said to me - well doesn't your dog eat meat? And then it was a whole other thing where the world feels more compelled to save domesticated animals and not all animals. Such a complicated issue that I am still trying to get my head around. I do have cooking challenges when it comes to trying to change my diet but I hope to overcome that one day. I love how you also vowed to make a sacrifice because Gremlin was. Not many people are like that :)

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    1. Oh Jane I wouldn't beat yourself up so much, I'd try and be positive about the things and thoughts you already have :) Even acknowledging the leather issue is huge or making some dishes meatless. I must admit when I cut out meat and dairy I became guilty about the whole World but now I'm at a point where I feel like I'm doing the best I can and who knows what will happen in the future :)

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  6. I have a similar rule. I eat meat when I'm out and when visiting friend. don't want to be a fuzzy eater. but at home I rarely ever use it myself. stopped eating chicken about four years ago altogether as it is so full of chemicals, I might as well throw myself in front of a train. that said, ever since I moved to France, I eat more meat again. the French are crazy meat eaters. and I'm surprised myself but I have to say it seems to do me an awful lot of good. I still don't eat chicken. but I have read meat once or twice a week, and pork a couple of times a week too, and yes, who would have thought. I'm doing better. better digestion. better energy levels overall. and I'm not saying this to convince anyone to do anything, but I do believe that there is no rule that fits all. for years, I wished I could go all vegetarian. I do try to buy good quality meat from local farms though, and not the meat factory stuff that gets shipped halfway around the world.

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    1. One of the most annoying things is being that "fussy eater". Luckily 99% of places I've eaten out there is always a option for me - still annoying to have to ask for any modification though. I was talking to a vego the other day and her iron was crazy low despite trying to do all the right vego things so she now incorporates red meat back into her diet once a week and said she feels so much better - so definitely have to do whats right for you :)

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  7. i haven't had much luck with tofu either, which isn't that big a shame because i actually enjoy eating whole foods and with the varieties of vegetable, grains, and legumes i don't really miss meat either. i will say though that occasionally i'll smell a burger on the grill and drool a bit. ha!

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    1. I've 97% given up on tofu though sometimes I'll still order it if it's on a menu and then instantly regret it as I bite into the mushy mess. I have a feeling it just needs to be more thinly sliced?!? I never thought I'd say I love eating vegetables but my gosh, I really was missing out but, yup, meats can definitely have an amazing smell - totally drool worthy :P

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing these! I can certainly relate. I have been trying to eat less meat, and generally don't eat much dairy but it's such a challenge — trying to achieve a healthy balance is sometimes the best we can do!

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    1. I think you have to pat yourself on the back for your changes too, I think there's a lot of "you have to be in 100%" attitude and it's too full on. Even cutting out meat one day a week is something to be proud of and everyone is going to be different with their approach to what they eat :)

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  9. Never seen the cape before! Is it working with Gremlin? It almost seems science fiction (or superheroes movie is more appropiate ;P) but I guess it affects their jumping technique? You made me smile when you said that you were one of those people thinking that they don't eat much meat because it made me realize that I may be also one of them :) I favor fish over meat but surely I eat much more meat than I am aware of.

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    1. The cape is so funny! It's unfortunately only a cape sometimes though (usually when he is sleeping) normally or when he is out frolicking it flips around and becomes a bib. Not 100% sure how it works but something to do with giving birds that extra few seconds to get away when a cat lunges for them. Cats apparently use their claws and mouth to make the kill and the cape/bib gets in the way of that?!? I'm not 100% sure but it works - been our miracle saver!

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