It is been over seven years since I have eaten meat.
Today is the day that I am going to reintroduce meat (well, fish first) to my diet.
I am not doing this because I want to; I am doing it because I have to.
Just this past week I received my official invitation to serve in the Peace Corps. I will be leaving for Paraguay on March 5th, 2015.
I am not being forced to eat meat before my service there. I am not going to eat meat because I am afraid of being malnourished while I am there.
I am, however, choosing to eat meat in order to be culturally sensitive. I will be working among people who are not as financially fortunate as I have been; therefore, if they offer me meat (which is expensive to them), I do not want to turn it down.
In addition, I feel that food is one more way in which you can better get to know a culture. I sometimes feel that I have missed out on something while traveling. For instance, in Spain – I never tried proper paella or chorizo.
A lot of people have asked me my reason for being a vegetarian for the past seven years. It is because I do not agree with the meat industry in the United States. I do not agree with stuffing as many animals into a confined space, so we are able to enjoy their flesh. I do not agree with the over consumption of meat, especially in America. I do, however, think hunting is acceptable.
As I reintroduce meat into my diet I will be extremely careful about where I the meat is coming from. I will always be conscious of where meat comes from, and I urge you to do the same.
Here is to being culturally sensitive and trying new things. Wish me luck.