So it all started last Monday, Jan 16, when I decided to do “Meatless Mondays” in 2012 for the fam. I had bought a vegetarian cookbook at Half-Price Books and wanted to try it out so I picked a Bean Enchilada recipe to try for our first Monday. Now I should add that I often cook a meatless meal probably at least once during the week, but I just wanted to be a little more intentional for the new year. The enchilada’s were great, I thought. Mike had his traditional critiques to offer, but he did eat it. Zach protested by picking out some cheese and filling up on corn cake. In normal fashion I took some of the enchilada leftovers for lunch the next day.
Cut to last Wednesday. As I was eating dinner I realized that I had not eaten any meat since last Sunday! Huh, that’s weird. I didn’t even miss it. That got me thinking. How long could I do this? Could I go meatless?! I am a huge proponent of eating real food that is for sure. I’m a big believer in Michael Polan’s writing about eating real food. Could this be the next step?? You know Polan’s, “eat mostly plants” thing. I decided to just try to see how long I could comfortably go without meat and without missing it or feeling deprived. That is one thing I will not do – I will not have rigid rules that make me feel deprived.
So it is now Tues, Jan 24 and I’m still meatless! I proclaimed this to my family last night as we were sitting down to eat our tilapia and Mike called me out. “Wait a second, how is fish not meat?” Hmm. I looked at him with a blank stare. Wait a sec, I thought. Is my whole experiment null and void? Have I been duped?! I looked down sadly at my tilapia and thought logically through this…yes, a fish is an animal…yes, it has babies…maybe it is meat!!! While I was in mid thought about this, Mike had already pulled out his phone and started googling definitions. This is what we discovered…
Is fish considered meat??
Well, yep. According to this article, I’ve been convicted. Fish. is. meat.
But let’s dig a little bit deeper and define some things…
Definitions: What is a vegetarian? When most people think of vegetarians, they think of lacto-ovo-vegetarians: People who do not eat beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish or animal flesh of any kind, but do eat eggs and dairy products are lacto-ovo vegetarians (“lacto” comes from the Latin for milk, and “ovo” for egg). This is the most common type of vegetarian in North America.
Lacto-vegetarian is used to describe a vegetarian who does not eat eggs, but does eat dairy products. Many Hindu vegetarians are lacto-vegetarians who avoid eggs for religious reasons while continuing to eat dairy.
Ovo-vegetarian refers to people who do not eat meat or dairy products but do eat eggs. Some people are ovo-vegetarians because they are lactose-intolerant.
Pesco-vegetarian – or “semi-vegetarian” is someone who does not eat red meat or poultry but eats fish.
Okay, that is me, I guess. At least me for the past 9 days and counting. Whew, I’m glad there is a name for it…now I can proceed.