In June 0f 2013 I wrote this in my journal:
Definitely leaning towards vegetarianism. “The average age (longevity) of a meat eater is 63. I am on the verge of 85 and still work as hard as ever. I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die; but I simply cannot do it. A single beef-steak would finish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it. I am oppressed with the dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism. ” George Bernard Shaw
Told [one daughter] and she said to wait until after we visit her because she’s planned meals that have meat. Sent [husband] a link about the bad stuff in meat and he is onboard with it as well. [Other daughter’s family] stopped by with Father’s Day cards and gifts. I made oatmeal coconut cookies. Gave [daughter] our ham and bacon. She said she’ll save it for next week when we go back to eating meat. haha.
Today was a total vegetarian day. I don’t know how long I can last with meat and fish still in the freezer and our beach trip coming up, but I want to do as much as often as I can.
My experiment with being a vegetarian lasted about 3 months. Once again I immersed myself in the literature, watching a video called “Planeat,” read Forks Over Knives by Caldwell Esselstyn, My Beef with Meat, by Rip Esselstyn, The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability, by Lierre Keith, In Defense of Food, An Eater’s Manifesto, by Michael Pollan, had in-depth discussions with avowed vegetarians I knew, but by July 15th I recorded this:
I went to Costco and bought 2 chickens for Rachel. They were roasted and looked and smelled good and I thought, “I should get one for our dinner tonight,” then I remembered that I don’t eat chicken anymore. haha. I guess I’m taking the slow route to vegetarianism!
I decided I wanted to live more in moderation. Today we rarely eat red meat, getting our protein from fish, beans and eggs (I could never be vegan because of eggs but buy them from my friend who has chickens and whom I know raises them humanely) and try to have a more plant-focused diet. I take my cue from Doctrine & Covenants 89, which Mormons refer to as the Word of Wisdom, which reads in part:
10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—11. Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. 12.Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; 13. And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
14. All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth; 15. And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger. 16. All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—
18. And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; 19. And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; 20. And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
A careful study of these verses lend weight to vegetarianism (for how often now are we in times of famine?), but as it is also given for the “weakest of the saints,” they too, can find justification in eating meat “sparingly.” After all, one can be 100% vegetarian and have an unhealthy diet consisting of Twinkies…
What we eat is a personal decision. As I pay attention to my body and how it reacts/deals with what I put into it, I fine-tune the optimal diet for me.