My Love Affair with Meat Hits a Rocky Patch
Sometimes in relationships flaws become too glaring to ignore, which either leads to compromise or goodbye. That is now the case in my long love affair with meat.
I’ve made sacrifices over the years. My dates with the bad boys (red meat) aren’t nearly as frequent now.
I’ve often given the cold shoulder to processed paramours like deli meat and sausage. But I’ve always wined and dined poultry and seafood to my heart’s content. That, too, may soon change.
A lot of bothersome behavior has tugged at my heart recently, which has me considering separation. Meat, once at my beck and call, is now hard to track down. And our dates aren’t as cheap as they used to be with meat, poultry, fish, and eggs leading grocery store price hikes, as USA Today reported.
Meat is also hanging in some risky places before it gets to me, with COVID-19 widespread in processing plants across the U.S. There are also factory farms, which some studies warn are potential breeding grounds for future pandemics.
It’s not the first time I’ve considered walking away. Vegetarianism crossed my mind a lot last summer. My friend Laurie and I discussed it over dinner before attending a concert featuring Rob Zombie, who made the leap in 1982, according to the animal rights group PETA. Laurie dumped meat that night and never returned. I vowed to do the same once it vanished from my fridge and freezer, but temptation got the best of me, and when it was gone I went back for more.
But things have changed. It’s becoming harder to continue justifying my ongoing relationship with meat. The pandemic has led me to consider what is essential in my life. Getting meat to my plate not only puts workers lives at risk, but also my own.
Cutting back or eliminating meat entirely from diets brings many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and many cancers, according to the American Heart Association. I hope sending meat packing will get rid of my ongoing fatigue and chronic pain, too. Or at least give me a fighting chance with it on most days.
Breakups are difficult. Jumping ship from meat to veggies too abruptly can cause headaches and gastrointestinal unrest, and even affect mood, which is why I’ve been taking it slowly. In the past, my leaving has been an empty threat, but there are plenty of alternatives vying for my attention now. The only thing I have left to say to meat is, “It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve changed.”
Brighter side: We all could use a break from bad news right now. So, I’ll be closing my columns with a roundup of positivity until we are able to say goodbye to masks, hug our loved ones, and leave our homes without fear.
- Blowing off steam: Being cooped up can be boring. Several popular actresses and stuntwomen lashed out for us in a quarantine fight challenge. In the video, put together by stuntwoman Zoë Bell, participants are filmed pretending to punch or kick someone and then the video picks up with another participant pretending to be on the receiving end of the attack. Bell (who was Uma Thurman’s double in “Kill Bill”), Halle Berry, Rosario Dawson, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana, and Cameron Diaz are among the many cameos.
- Call for kindness: “Schitt’s Creek” actor Dan Levy recently posted a message on Instagram aimed at those not wearing face masks. “Imagine seeing it not as an infringement on your freedom, but rather the simplest, easiest act of kindness that you can do in a day. Not just for yourself, but for other people who might have autoimmune issues.” Click here to view the message in its entirety.
- Quarantine options expand: Being safe doesn’t mean being stuck inside if you are in New Jersey. Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari amusement park will open a drive-thru safari on May 30. AC Jokes held its first drive-in comedy show in Atlantic City this month and more are scheduled.
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