Sunday, January 18, 2009

Being a vegetarian is hard

I have kind of been thinking about this post for a while, but then tonight at a gathering that GG and I went to it kind of came to a head. Last week GG and I were out and about and we stopped at a Trader Joe's mainly so I could go to the bathroom, but we figured we would pick up some cheese while we were there. I picked up some Cowchego (Manchego made from cow's milk) and I picked up another type of cheese, but in looking at the ingredients I noticed that it had annimal rennet in it so I put it back down again. GG asked my why I had put it away and I said because of the rennet, and I said that if I was going to be a vegetarian I might as well "do it right." Now the rennet is not that big of a deal, but really if I am picking out cheese and I think about it I might prefer the non-animal rennet to the animal rennet just because the idea of animal rennet is mildly repulsive to me, but I am not going to look at every package of cheese to see what the rennet source is and I am not going to stop eating cheese because of the animal rennet and I am not going to not get cheese in a restaurant because I don't know the source of the rennet for the cheese. This is more of a, I am going to try, but not a big deal versus that whole not eating pork, beef or poultry at all thing I am doing. So tonight we were at a gathering and one of the women was discussing how she was a vegetarian and ate dairy, but had issues with eggs. She had stopped eating them for a while and then her husband had started making eggs in the morning for breakfast and she was fine with that, but then she had to separate an egg recently and that threw her off of eggs again. GG was mentioning how it can be hard to be a vegetarian and there need to be limits at times on how strict you can be unless you want to be a vegan, I guess. She mentioned the whole animal rennet versus vegetable rennet in cheese thing as this women is eating a veggie cheese burger and she just kind of was like, huh, what? I also have a coworker who is a vegetarian and thinks she is being really good if she gets a cheese sandwich at McDonalds as there is no meat, but then she get french fries, which at McDonalds are soaked in beef tallow to add flavoring.

I know many people have a variety of reasons for choosing to be a vegetarian, for me it is just about factory farming and corporate slaughter houses and for some it is about health and for some it is about not wanting to kill another animal. The woman tonight seemed to be a vegetarian because she had issues with the killing of animals, which is all well and good, but then maybe she should not be eating cheese either, at least not out. It does amaze me at times how many things you would think are just naturally vegetarian and aren't. It also surprises me when people that I would think would think about and maybe research their decision to become a vegetarian, but don't. It is so trendy now to be a vegetarian and yet it is almost easier in some ways to be a vegan. You know you will not eat, eggs, honey or dairy in any form. This seems to get rid of the whole cheese issue, but not really the McDonald's issue, but that was big news for a while and if you are not aware of the whole beef in the french fries thing, it is not my place to tell you. We all have out reasons for being a vegetarian, but does the trendiness of the decision overcome people's being informed about their decisions?


Lisa said...

I consider vegetarianism. And then I think about how much work it would be and how much I really need a cheeseburger once in a while and then I just lay down on the floor and cry because the food owns me!

I'm glad you're going for it, Boxer!

GourmetGoddess said...

I felt really bad about last night. I know my comment instantly made her uncomfortable, and I was really hoping she would just go in depth more into her decisions. I mean, I have thought a lot about why I am not a vegetarian and never will be, and I just want to know why people really make the choices they do - or if they evan know themselves why they make the choices they do.

Mauigirl said...

I'm like Lisa - I love animals and probably should be a vegetarian on principle, (or really, a vegan) but I love me a good steak or cheeseburger. I could easily not eat chicken - find it kind of boring - or pork for that matter. But fish and red meat are my two faves. And I'd never be able to give up eggs, cheese or milk. (Yes, I still drink milk every day!)

My boss is a vegan and it must be very hard to have such a strict diet. But I admire those who do it.

I didn't realize McDonald's still had beef tallow in their fries. I thought they had finally switched to vegetable oil. I remember there was a big scandal about McD's in India or someplace, and vegetarians were eating the fries without realizing they had the beef fat in them. Terrible, it should be something they post in the restaurant.