I have never been a fan of meat. I remember sitting for hours as a small child with a cold greasy glob of something. I’m sure that it was delectable to meat eaters before it congealed into a half chewed and spit out lump on my plate. There are photos of me asleep in a high chair with my meat waiting to be devoured. Did I mention I never did like meat?
Meat in the south is a staple of life. If you can kill it you can grill it or barbecue it up and slap it on a bun. There is pulled pork, chopped pork, well -trimmed and slow cooked until dry with sauce on the side. There is heat soaked and slathered in sauce. There are as many ways to cook up meat and special sauces are there are southerners. We won’t discuss squirrel or possum in this rant. While this paragraph makes some people hungry, it makes my tummy ache.
Years of upset bowels made the choice to go vegetarian pretty easy. My children were all for the idea. However, they were only 1 and 2 ½ so I’m not sure they exactly knew what they were agreeing to. My husband, however, was still a meat eater. I’m not entirely sure what brought him to the meatless side. He will have to start his own blog for that information.
As I began my conversion to Judaism I realized how well my being vegetarian works with being Kosher. Even if I wanted to eat meat, there are no Kosher butchers on the corner or within an hour drive for that matter. I was Kosher and didn’t even know it.
Fast forward to my son’s freshman year in high school. After many years of no meat, whole wheat postie- toasties with real fruit, and organic everything he was overjoyed at the food options in the cafeteria. There was Domino’s pizza, real Pop Tarts, milkshakes, a salad bar, unlimited fries and chicken strips in addition to the standard, unidentified cafeteria meat. Then there were the new friends that could drive.
One fine afternoon, my son went with friends to the local fast food restaurant and ordered not one, but two double patty bacon cheese burgers, loads of fries and a milk shake. Remember, this is after years of not eating meat, milk or preservatives. He came home and the cat immediately narked him out. She could smell it on his breath and wasn’t going to let that slip by without a comment. He proudly announced his daily dietary adventures into what I like to call the dark side. Dabbling on the dark side is my children’s choice. They are welcome to try the variety of dietary delights available to them in the general population as long as they realize, I will laugh when it makes them sick. Half an hour later my son was crying and emptying his contents into the porcelain bowl. Score one for Kosher and vegetarian.