My Lent Experiment: A Failure?

Easter is this Sunday, Lent is almost over, and I am craving meat.

It’s pretty serious.  Yesterday, I felt like having fried chicken.  Last night before I fell asleep, I was fantasizing about eating barbecued ribs.  And right now, I’m thinking about how good a a lunchmeat sandwich or a hot dog would taste (the fact that the meat is processed is not bothering me).

In short, it doesn’t bode well for any kind of future as a vegetarian.

Even worse, I cheated three times.  I ate three dishes with meat in them, three times when I was having meals with my family, and they tasted so good that I didn’t even feel guilty about it until long afterwards.

From both a religious standpoint and a gastronomical standpoint, the experiment was a failure.  I didn’t stop eating meat for all 40 days, and while the vegetarian dishes I made were good, they weren’t enough to satisfy my huge, overwhelming animal-protein cravings.  Yet I’m not giving up.  I can recognize that I’m not ready to give up meat completely, but I can still reduce my meat consumption.  If I cook one meat or fish dish per month and make enough to serve three or four people, that means I’ll be eating meat for about three days a week, which should hopefully be enough for me.  Moreover, I can stop eating processed meats: no more salami or deli turkey sandwiches for me. (By the way, if anyone has some vegetarian sandwich recipes, please send them to me.  I love sandwiches.)

So even though this experiment was not a success, I still managed to gain something from it.  I gained recipes for delicious vegetarian meals.  More importantly, I gained a new understanding of my dietary needs, weaknesses, and willpower.

If anyone has some tips for reducing meat consumption, or stories about becoming vegetarians, I’d be happy to read them.

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About juliadeniro

I'm a budding food safety scientist who's going to start a Master of Public Health at Ohio State University this fall. I want to be a food safety sanitarian or inspector for a government health department.

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