So I broke my meat fast.
Last week I took my brother out to a Brazilian Steakhouse. To train for “The Meat Olympics”, I ate meat at least once a day for the four days prior to the event.
I had just been on a 21-day raw fruit and vegetable challenge, and having spent the last year as a Pescetarian, I knew I was in for a wild ride.
Sunday the 26th was the first day I could have anything besides raw unprocessed plants, so I went to Central Market for the Jalapeño Cheddar Potatoes and on a whim ordered breakfast sausage. I was in the restroom for the rest of the day.
Monday was better. I realized sausage was a bad place to start. I went to our office’s local mediocre Italian joint and had my normal country salad but added chicken. The waitress said, “Did you say NO chicken.” No, that’s right, chicken.
Tuesday, I hit up Chipotle and had the carnitas. I had been dreaming about them for the last few months, and here they were, in my mouth! The crew seemed excited to see me, but they did a double-take at my choice of meat.
Wednesday was another day at Chipotle, but this time, I went with the chicken. Thursday was back to the mediocre Italian for more chicken salad.
Thursday night, the main event.
If you aren’t familiar with the Churrascaria, you have these cards on the table, one side is red the other side green. If you place the red side up, nothing happens. If you turn it over to green, the meat starts pouring in.
We were seated and the magic started to happen. Picanha special cut, rump roast with garlic, leg of lamb, top sirloin, pork loin & sausage, bottom sirloin, beef tenderloin, chicken, ribeye, and filet mignon. Plus the salad bar had a bowl of crispy bacon that I hit pretty hard.
My brother’s girlfriend spoke Spanish to the Gaúchos, so even when our card was red, they kept coming to see if we wanted to taste of salted cooked flesh. I ate it all from medium-rare to well done. After gorging ourselves thoroughly we all had dessert.
I was proud of myself for not crying when I saw the bill.
Epilogue: I was in Chipotle this week and one of the cashiers I see a lot saw my face and almost rang me up as a vegetarian bowl. His shock when it was carnitas showed me how far I had fallen. I was taking a late lunch and there was no line, so I mentioned I only stopped eating meat for 2013. He asked me why. I feel embarrassed now but I told him, “No real reason.”
But I did have a reason, there are many great reasons for not eating meat. I will leave you with the two best:
It’s better for you: Humans were not designed to eat meat, we have a long digestive track whereas carnivores have a short digestive tract. Meat takes longer to digest than fruit (humans are frugivores) so it becomes rancid inside us. In The Blue Zones, one common theme of people that live over the age of 100 was that they ate little to no meat in a given year.
It’s better for the planet: The livestock industry is one of the biggest pollutants in our world. The more well-off people become the more they want meat. More and more countries are becoming richer which means more meat production. Meat is an incredibly inefficient food taking many times the resources of other foods to create. You could feed the entire world with the number of grains used to feed the cattle industry.
- Imagine what kind of world you want to live in and how healthy would you like to be in that world?
- Try to reduce your meat consumption. I made it for a year without any ill effects. In fact, I feel sluggish in the afternoons now that I have assumed the mantle of an omnivore. I did not experience this last year.