I suppose, now that we’re already several days into this week’s adventure, it’s high time that I took the trouble to tell you all about it.
Here, then, is Adventure #2: abstain from consuming meat for one week.
I know what you’re thinking. What’s an uber-trendy, ultra-modern thing like vegetarianism doing in a blog about old fashioned living?
Hunting (insert manly grunt here). Meat (reprise grunt). Steak (HOOAH)! That’s much more timeless, isn’t it?
Well, the way I see it, yes — and no. My Grandpa Mac hunted. (Word to the wise: my sainted grandparents are going to show up a lot in these posts.) He hunted squirrels and rabbits, mostly. He hunted to put a little meat on the table for his wife and six children. He hunted because, for a poor miner/millworker/farmhand in rural Alabama in the 1940s and 50s, meat was prohibitively expensive.
Meat wasn’t an everyday kind of thing on my grandparents’ table then. It’s greens and cornbread that were the timeless staples of their bygone larder. And beans and rice and cabbage. Garden vegetables. Orchard fruits.
For them, meat was a special thing.
I’m reminded now of a story I heard once; I don’t remember where. (Sorry, footnote lovers.)
A recent immigrant to the U.S.A. from Europe was writing to his mother back in the old country. “It is a wonderful country!” he wrote. “We eat meat once a week.”
“What kind of lies are you telling?” said a friend who happened to be looking over his shoulder. “You eat meat nearly every day.”
“Yes,” said the man. “But in the old country, we were lucky to get meat once or twice a year. If I tell my mother we eat meat every day, she will never believe me.”
The folks who came before us would probably be entirely unable to comprehend the amount of meat that we eat today. Not only the frequency but also the sheer size of our portions would no doubt seem to them a shocking innovation.
So, for one week, our family will be going meatless. It won’t be all beans and rice, but it will, no doubt (and has already, in fact) be an eye-opening experience. More on that in a few days. . .
Curious to know how we fared? Check out the recap.