I eat meat. There… I said it. If you are a regular reader of my column, or have attended my cooking classes or shows, this will not be a shock to you. I eat meat, I always have eaten meat, and from whatI can predict at this time I will always continue to eat meat. This is not only my choice, but also the choice of the population majority worldwide. This is just something we have done, and for the most part we will continue to do so.
Does this mean that most people will always be meat eaters? Or does this mean that I don’t acknowledge and/or respect people who practice veganism, vegetarianism, or other diet regimens that I don’t follow? Not at all. I recognize the fact that we as people are not all the same, and we are gifted with the ability to make our own choices in the lives we are living. This what makes us all so wonderfully unique and interesting.
So, why then, do I feel compelled to tell you that I eat meat? In the years of my Chef career I have had numerous people on many occasions try to convince me otherwise. Telling me such things like that by eating meat we as humans are “destroying the planet” or are becoming “riddled with disease”. I have even encountered people picketing barbecue events with signs that had slogans like “Stop the Violence, Save the Animals”. Again, we are all entitled to our own opinions, and should be respected for them – not just me, and my opinion, but everyone’s. However, I feel less strongly about this when opinions come at me in a condescending way… like I am doing something wrong and I need to be saved. I don’t need to be saved, and in the same breath I will tell you that I am not here to save you either.
Therefore, this blog entry is not about positives or negatives of any dietary preferences. I am not here to preach my ways of life, or the reasons behind it, to you. For what it’s worth, I would like this to be a message to love one another, and a reminder to share what you are passionate about in a manner that is not directed at others in a patronizing way. I really do respect people who are enthusiastic about their opinions, but please find a forum that will relay your beliefs in a way that people can discover them if they choose to do so.
I also want to mention that even though I eat meat, I care about the treatment of animals. Go online, and I am sure you will be able to find past examples of inhumane practices in the slaughter of animals, but that doesn’t mean that because I eat meat that this doesn’t appall me. There are also many good examples of animals treated ethically. I think we all have the moral responsibility to research what is behind the scenes of what we are eating, no matter what it is, and make the best choices for each of us as individuals. There are many industries (not just the food industry) that we all support based on our actions, lifestyles, and spending habits, and the more informed we become, the better it is for all.
So, if you want to try a different lifestyle, or even become an advocate, go for it. Let’s just remember an old cliché: You will catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar. Until next time… Happy cooking with whatever is in your pan, oven, or on your grill.