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.