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To veg or not to veg?

July 8, 2013

Somebody asked me if I had any dietary preferences today, and I hesitated. I ended up saying, “Vegetarian?”

For the past year or so, I have been craving the taste of meat less and less. Instead, I crave tofu and chickpeas and beans and noodles. And potatoes – I love my potatoes.

I was already prepared to embrace vegetarianism on Saturday, when I saw The Ghosts in Our Machine at Cinematheque.

This film, unlike many other animal rights documentaries, takes a positive approach to convincing you that animals deserve our respect and attention.

Instead of showing us the horrific treatment of animals in farms or labs (like PETA videos do), we are treated to a series of video portraits of various animals in cages. Each beast gazes into the camera, so that we really get a sense of the personality behind their eyes.

I fell in love with animals. I fell in love with pigs and chickens and cows (especially cows).

The film doesn’t completely push vegetarianism or veganism upon the audience. It shows us that there is a way to allow an animal to live a full and happy life, even if they are living on a farm.

But the implication is that it is way too difficult to know what companies are mistreating their animals. It seems that all of them are, even organic farms.

All this boils down to my recent decision to opt for vegetarian meals 80-90% of the time. I can’t quite cut out meat yet (partially because I want to try the meaty dishes in the Exchange, so I can talk about them on here). And honestly, who doesn’t love a good strip of bacon from time to time?

Regardless, I will be making a concerted effort to cut down on the meat in my meals, and dairy too (though cheese is really hard to let go of).

The first place I am headed is the Culinary Exchange, since I got my meal card on Friday. I read the list of salads with excitement (a spinach salad with artichoke hearts, a Caesar salad with a house-made dressing!). The cream of mushroom soup I had over the weekend was fantastic. I can’t wait to discover more items to enjoy.

Mondragon will be another place to frequent. To be honest, I forgot that this cafe/bookstore has a grocery store in it. How perfect! I could purchase fresh veggies and their southern-fried tofu strips to make a wicked salad, and I could eat more dragon bowls. I could eat dragon bowls EVERY DAY. Dragon bowls are the best. I love dragon bowls.

Dragon Ball

I don’t have a picture of the dragon bowl yet… so enjoy this image of a Dragon Ball. Image by Layz88 on DeviantArt.

I think I will make a list of vegan and vegetarian options in the area, so that any student living in residence in the future can consult it if that suits their lifestyle. READERS, I need your help! Please submit ideas for restaurants.

This is not a promise to become a vegetarian, but just to try it out.

I’m going to go get a dragon bowl now…