People often think I'm vegetarian. I'm not sure why this is. Perhaps they are buying into a stereotype? Because of course the girl who drives a Prius with the "Buy Fresh Buy Local" and "Coexist" stickers, doesn't wear leather, and buys from socially conscious companies would necessarily also be a vegetarian. But nope, sorry to dispel the myth: I am happily a meat-eater.
Why? I could go into biological and evolutionary reasons: that our teeth and digestive systems were designed to process meat. I could go into nutritional reasons: that meat contains essential nutrients that our bodies need that are hard to find in other foods. None of these, however, are why I eat meat. I eat meat because I enjoy it. It tastes good.
I don't eat pork. Pigs are more intelligent than dogs, and we don't eat dogs, do we? Cows, chickens, and fish are sufficiently stupid for my consumption.
So I've established that I love meat. I don't have to eat it all the time, and I certainly have been known to eat many meat-free meals. But it would be hard to go without it for a long period of time. Which is why I'm giving meat up for Lent. Since I was little, I give up something that would be a challenge to give up for a full forty days in the run-up to Easter Sunday. This year it's meat. I know I'll be able to do it, but it means no Thai green curry with chicken, no sushi, no chicken taquitos at Chevy's, and no burgers. I craved beef in India because very few people eat beef, what with the cow being sacred and all. But I made it through, and I'll make it through a meatless period just the same.
In the few days before Wednesday, when Lent begins, I plan to eat mussels over pasta, roast chicken, tuna noodle casserole, and finally, I'll have a nice, big hamburger to celebrate Fat Tuesday. And then my adventure as a vegetarian will begin.