Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If you give a man a fish...

As a quasi-vegetarian, pescatarian, or whatever other nonsensical label you might prefer, I find it very difficult and exhausting to discuss diets with people. I don't really fit into any particular category, and that's against the rules. I do have reasons for my choices, but not strict beliefs--and I try to be as subtle as possible about my preferences due to the fact that simply HAVING preferences is like having a sign on your back that says 'kick me.'

I'm not sure if anyone has noticed, but It's so fucking difficult to know what is good to eat these days!

When I stopped eating most meats about four years ago, I thought that I was Jesus. There's something about exercising your willpower against your instinct (especially when you're young) that causes a euphoric sense of being the very first at something even if you know you aren't, and self-congratulation is not uncommon. It's a real laugh to think about how great I thought I was for becoming a 'conscious eater', especially considering that so much of what I was consuming was total crap marketed to appear as though it was 'healthy' or in any way more responsible.

In the olden days, my freezer was brimming with weird space food like fake meat stuffs and pre-prepared crap that was more expensive because it didn't include chicken. You could bet your money on the likelihood that any manifestation of protein that I devoured was processed more times than your mom. Although, in all fairness, it must be considered that half of my problem was simply due to my thorough lack of cooking experience.

Growing up, my parents were always slaving away in the kitchen and took pride in being gourmet-savvy. Their tasteful resourcefulness on a shoestring budget contributed generously to my food appreciation later in life, but looking back, it doesn't seem like anyone was holding their breath in hopes of seeing me perform even the most modest feats in cuisine. All four of us kids were not permitted to be slouching around the kitchen when the players were in action because it was a small house and we were good at getting in the way.

But, to take a break from ruthlessly criticizing my younger, inferior self, I will say that despite my first misguided efforts in being a responsible world citizen and free-thinking individual (no matter how trendy), changing my diet was the gateway into a necessity for preparing my own meals more often and thinking about where things come from. Initially, I started out by just thinking on a molecular level.

Like, there's this huge warehouse crammed with a horrifying number of living creatures that are essentially tolerating life-long torture. They can't move, and all they know of life is darkness, metal, tasteless food and never-ending noise and filth. They poop out these round things at an unnatural rate until they die a miserable, isolated death. Then, a big oil-burning truck picks up the round things, takes them to a hyper-refrigerated environment and distributes them to people like me, who put them INSIDE themselves so that they can be mushed up, absorbed, and become molecules of the human body.

AHHHHHHHHH!!!! I'd rather watch '28 Days Later'...

Ponderings such as these were only the the beginning. Later, as I continued to educate myself and also be ferociously confronted by other people of all eating persuasions, I took things even further as I realized that the main objective was simplicity in gathering the raw materials and basic ingredients. Processed food is the enemy no matter how organic or free-range it is, in my humble opinion. Especially when its created and distributed by a corporation, because corporations are fucking the world up more than anything else, period. As my boyfriend generously pointed out to me years ago in a heated argument, it actually is better for the world to eat a cow that lives down the lane than to eat Boca Burgers that are nutritionally lacking, processed, made by a company that makes meat products anyway, and on top of all this they are shipped a gazillion miles to get to you, therefore polluting the environment to boot!

Not to say that I NEVER eat Boca Burgers, but I prefer not to. It's best to not be too righteous about the information you possess, especially if you are dirt poor like me. Chances are, you'll find yourself compromising what you consider the ideal diet every now and then if you've got a hole in your pocket. Or, maybe not--I have immense respect for people who take the extra time out of their lives to be shrewd and thorough about their convictions. I personally have a finite time allotment for that stuff, but try to do what is best as much as seems sensible to me.

Yesterday I was really inspired by a conversation that I had with my mom. Apparently she's been getting into canning fruits and vegetables herself lately, which I think is so awesome. Small acts of craft and creation are what really develop a person's sense of purpose and self-worth, at least for me. Tasks that require some skill and offer no instant gratification...that is the real secret to happiness! She's also looking into 'urban chickens' which is cute to me, and I have to admit that I'm pretty jealous because I've always wanted chickens myself.

There's going to be chickens at Chateau Crone, that's for sure! And they're going to have a castle-shaped coop with a mote and a draw bridge to keep out the coyotes.


  1. i was talking about this very matter with olivia yesterday...she mentioned that it is a very priviledged situation we have going on in our culture, that we have the chance to be able to refuse certain foods at all, in the first place.

  2. I've never thought about it like that. How true, and how spoiled we are! Then again, most countries that don't have the option to refuse food also don't have the option to eat meat often, if ever.