Did you hear Mark Zukerberg’s recent decision? I learned that he routinely takes on significant personal challenges, but when I first heard his decision to only eat meat that he killed himself, I immediately flashed to the picture of a bored gazillionaire just trying to spice it up a bit! Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com cites categories for people who fall into part-time vegetarian status. Hill lists one category,“The Assassin,” which like Zukerberg, includes people who only eat meat they first hunt! Hill outlines his own struggle with conscience, since as a certified “green guy” he considers a vegetarian diet better for the planet; however, he just can’t quite go all the way.
So, in a speech presented at a TED conference and published as “Weekday Vegetarian” he describes his compromise, a decision to only eat meat on the weekend, and he offers a range of categories including The Happy Mealer, people who only eat sustainable meats, The Vampire, meat-eating only after sunset, and The Holier Than Thou–meat only on Sunday.
Although I don’t claim to be a vegetarian, I happen to really enjoy most “meat substitutes” and so it’s not hard for me to shift to a predominantly plant-based diet. I’ve been a part of the Meatless Monday Campaign for a long time, and have gradually extended that into most of the week. Why consider this at all? I don’t have any one answer, except to say that my tastes have certainly shifted and I generally feel better. But I think I need to find a new category of my own. Maybe my category could be The Ill At Ease—someone who eats meat only in social situations when a vegetarian option is not available. I prefer making my choices optional when other people are hosting a gathering. And actually, I’m a little self-conscious with the entire discussion, sensitive to how much privilege is associated with even having the abundance of choice!
A new fresh awareness of privilege played out purchasing a Subway sandwich. I was next in line behind a young woman, fascinated at her confidence as she deliciously chirped the most specific instructions to the sandwich artist, requesting “just heat the meat but don’t toast the bread,” and “can you put mayo on only one side of the sandwich?” She was ordering several to-go items and each one had variations I’d never heard before. The impatient lunch crowd was not short on eye-rolls, heavy sighs or under- breath remarks, but I was truly impressed with what seemed a rather ordinary, every-day example of the privilege of abundant choice!
One of Zuckerberg’s statements is that he thinks it is important to be more aware of where his food comes from, and although I cannot even imagine his extreme-of-choice, and I almost cringe at the vocabulary associated with “conscious eating,” I do think a measured response is to count it a privilege to have choice in the first place. So with much gratitude, I do observe a few simple challenges of my own, and think you may enjoy learning more about The Meatless Monday Campaign, too.
If you, or someone you care about is interested in learning more, I suggest going directly to Meatless Monday | one day a week, cut out meat and learning more. You might find it intriguing…I did. And then I regularly follow this interesting site, Have Fun • Do Good: meatless monday, with many helpful suggestions. Simple food for thought.
And for such abundant supply, I encourage a week of gratitude.
- Meatless Monday: 10 Vegetarian Summer Pasta Recipes (blisstree.com)
- 10 Minute Meatless. It’s Not Just For Mondays Anymore. (eclecticedibles.wordpress.com)
- Meatless Monday: 10 Family-Friendly Vegan Dinner Recipes (blisstree.com)