Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Meatless Mothers Day

I bet the title of this post has you confused. It'll make sense shortly.  Let me start from the beginning.  I've never been a fan of hunting.  When I see people post pictures online next to an animal they killed, sometimes just for the sport of it, I cringe. My mind just doesn't process the desire to shoot an animal for the heck of it. A beautiful buck's life is worth more than a dozen likes on facebook.  An antelope deserves more than getting an occasional glance from you as you pass by its stuffed head in your living room.  Don't get me started on people that hunt exotic or endangered animals. What selfish, arrogant pricks those guys are.  But, I digress. It makes me sad to think about animals dying for trophies, which leads me to the next scenario. Some hunters will justify their actions by saying they kill animals for food.  "I use all the edible parts of the deer, so it's not like I killed it just for fun."  Let me make sure I understand - you had a desire to eat a certain kind of meat, so that made it okay to kill the animal.  Was that the only food source available to you?  Do you live in the wild and procure ALL your own food by hand?  I doubt it.  There were most certainly alternatives.  

So, that has been my stance on hunting for many, many years, but I never took it any further than that. A couple months ago, a possum mom and baby decided to take up residence in our yard. It wouldn't have bothered me much except that I worry what diseases they might carry, and my dog wouldn't stop confronting them.  I feared a fight was imminent.  One day, Meezy informed me that the baby possum was hiding under the control box for our electric gate. He said, "I was going to kill it, but I knew that would make you mad."  I was shocked!  "You were going to kill it?!? How?"  He said that he probably would've found a large stick and beaten it to death.  Oh. My. God. (I know most guys reading this would have chosen the same route he did, so I understand the majority of my disdain for this approach is related to my gender).  I told him how I couldn't believe he would have it in him to literally beat an animal, a baby no less, to death.  There were alternatives!  I grabbed a small stick and scooted the possum out of our yard, into the alley.  Boom, problem solved, and everybody lived.

Fast forward to Mothers Day weekend, and we were making the 5.5 hour drive to Amarillo. I had lots of time to let my mind wander, and it wandered back to the possum scenario.  I thought again about how I definitely wouldn't have had it in me to kill a possum, and I certainly wouldn't have condoned Meezy doing that either.  Uh oh. That raised an interesting question for me.  If I don't condone other people killing animals, how can I allow myself to benefit from it?  And thus began the meat dilemma.

Was I any better than a hunter? I let someone else murder an animal, where I don't have to watch, so that I can enjoy a burger.  Man, I'm cringing just writing that.  An animal had to lose its life just so I could have 5-10 minutes of my brain telling me I was eating something yummy. It's very easy to ignore all the steps that happen before that burger shows up on my plate. Ignorance is what made eating meat so easy before. At any point in my life, I guarantee if I had to stand in front of a cow, and watch it get murdered, I would not feel comfortable eating its meat. With that said, just because I don't stand in front of it for that doesn't mean I should have a different response.  The same action still takes place, whether I'm there or not.

And that brings us to meatless Mothers Day.  I made a decision in the car, on the way to Amarillo for Mothers Day, that I would become a vegetarian.  Wouldn't you know it, we had a big cookout to celebrate the holiday.  Lol.  I enjoyed a meatless burger, and it actually wasn't bad.  There were plenty of side dishes without meat for me to partake in, as well.  It's been a month since I made the big change, and I'll honestly say it hasn't been too difficult.  There are plenty of options for me to eat, and most things are still good without meat - salad, nachos, queso, enchiladas, pasta, fried rice, sandwiches, etc. I do miss loaded queso - that was probably one of my most favorite things in the world. But, it's for the better.  I don't feel the guilt, and I actually think I'm becoming healthier.  There are a lot more leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables in my diet now!

Do I restrict Dutch from eating meat? No. He can make a decision about his diet when he's older.

Do I prohibit meat from being purchased in our house? No. Meezy is his own person, and my feelings don't dictate his actions.

Are you preaching to me? No, I don't preach about this. Just because I decided to be a vegetarian doesn't mean anyone else should feel like I'm pressuring them to do the same.  It is a completely personal decision, just like religion, politics, etc. I'm only writing about it because it's a substantial change for my life.

Do you think you'll make a difference in the world? No, I don't feel like me not eating meat will make even the smallest difference in the world. It is completely the result of me not wanting to feel guilty about what I eat, and where it comes from.

Are you vegan? No, I am not vegan. I am still figuring out what I feel about where dairy products come from. The animals aren't killed, but they are bred strictly for production of products for me. Many aren't kept in humane conditions.  Where I'm at right now is that I try to buy products that mention humane treatment, but I've got a long way to go before I'll feel like a responsible dairy consumer.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sorry, Seat's Taken!

That 4th lounge chair gets filled this December!  We're expecting our second child, and we couldn't be more excited.  We decided to get some family pictures taken that could double as our announcement.  Special thanks to RGE Photography for capturing our joy. Here they are:

OMG, with the cuteness

 Big Brother in training

Oh  Baby!

There will be two soon.

He's super kissable.

Dutch looks so grown up here!

One of my favorites.  Baby is waving at you!

And the best one of them all: