I became meat-free about a year ago, although I have dabbled with it before. I gave up eating meat for the following reasons: my dog Rigley (I wouldn’t dare think of eating him so why other animals), I got involved in animal rights, and I read the book Skinny Bitch (highly recommended, it will open your eyes) It is a step I had wanted to take since college but I had very limited options considering I am allergic to soy.
What are you anyway?
I do not call myself a vegetarian since I still eat seafood on occasion, which technically means I’m a pescetarian. I do not call myself a pescetarian because people wouldn’t know what that is anyway. I normally just state that I do not eat meat, which is simple and to the point. I do not eat fish often (a few times a year), but I simply eat fish for convenience. I know it’s a horrible excuse, but not every restaurant is veg friendly. I believe I will be fish free at some point in my life.
What do you cook?
I cook veg friendly meals for myself and meat friendly meals for my husband and our friends and family. Sure it’s more work but I made the choice to go meat free but they didn’t.
I do not cook like most vegetarians. I actually do not have much contact with other vegetarians, so I’ve had to come up with my own recipes and my own versions of what being meat-free meant to me. I only eat tofu in moderation since I am allergic to soy and I’ve actually never made anything with tofu. I do not eat meat look alikes since most of them contain some soy and a lot of them are processed beyond recognition. How else do you get that stuff to taste like a hot dog, bacon, or chicken? I do not eat TVP (textured vegetable protein) or seitan. I do not try to make dishes that have meat like- appearances.
I grew up eating meat and actually loved it. I have a Polish mom and an Italian Dad. I love the traditional recipes that they taught me and they almost always called for some sort of meat product. So for me I try and recreate traditional family dishes and other meat dishes without meat for me while cooking the meat versions for my friends and family. It’s been an interesting journey to say the least, but to date I have been pretty successful.