Add this to your favorite list of oxymorons (alongside “military intelligence,” “jumbo shrimp” and “airline food”): Brian the Vegetarian. I’ll just give you a few seconds to re-read that last line and pick your jaw up off the floor.
That’s right, folks. For the month of April, I’m going to be a
hippie vegetarian. No beef, no chicken, no fish, no pork, no lamb, no shellfish, no ostrich, no bison, no duck, no venison, no alligator, no chocolate-covered fried grasshoppers, no nuthin’. And no, it’s not an April Fool’s joke.
Why? I dunno, why not?
Actually, the Why Not side of the scale is pretty hefty so I’d best stick to the Why:
- Mostly just to see if I can do it. It’s a great exercise in will power to take something I eat and thoroughly enjoy every day to see if I can do without. If I can go an entire month on the meat-is-murder bandwagon, I’ll get a smug sense of self satisfaction that should totally be worth the sacrifice. If I can do it, anyone can. Maybe I’ll get invited to tell my oh-so inspiring story on Oprah! (“Please welcome BRI-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN”)
- It’ll be a healthy dining experience. Going meat-less pretty much all but eliminates the opportunity or temptation to zip through the drive-through. I’ll still be able to get my protein through a multi-vitamin and non-meats such as peanut butter, almonds, the occasional veggie burger (GASP!), etc, but the calorie count, sodium intake and fat content should take a nose dive. I pause here to note that my favorite, french fries, should totally be on the table (at least at most places). However, since making healthier dining choices is a goal of the experiment, I should probably abstain from fried starch sticks this month as well. In 30 days, maybe I’ll bite into a plump, juicy bacon cheese burger and be totally disgusted its the texture and flavor and thus be prompted to make a permanent reduction in my red-meat consumption/shift toward leaner meats like pork or chicken.
- I’m a grown man, and should not harbor a phobia of tofu.
I briefly considered going all out and weaving hemp underwear, stopping showers, and quitting my job to tour with Phish. In the end, Megan – who is joining me on this Vegtastic Voyage – tells me replacing steak with grilled eggplant is enough change for now. Broad and (mostly) incorrect stereotypes aside, I didn’t take a whole of convincing.
We don’t plan on doing tofu/veggie burgers/“not dogs” every day or anything, probably just one or two experiments to check them off the list. Most of the food will be plain old boring fruits and veggies and nuts, but we do plan on trying a couple tofu recipes, and will probably be choosing quite a bit from that exotic (and expensive) section of the freezer case at Hy-Vee. (Note: We consulted our local vegetarian expert for a ruling on cheese/milk: “While I wouldn’t drink milk and ever so rarely eat eggs unless they were in cupcakes or whatnot, not having cheese means you really aren’t living a good life.” Words to live by. Since we’re going meat-free out of curiosity and for the heck of it instead of moral or ethical reasons (we’re certainly not doing becuase PETA or Paul McCartney asked us to), I have no problem with this logic. It’s also good to know that cheese and cupcakes are still in play in case of emergency, so long as said cupcakes aren’t topped with bacon.)
Do you have any ideas? A special recipe for vegetarian chili? Share! I’ll also accept your carnivorous recipes for a May Day feast, although I’ll just tell you upfront the clear front runner is bacon-topped cupcakes.