Festivals, cute critters & decisions I need to stop talking about and just make.

21 Jun

 There’s a lot I love about my Southern city, but one of my favorite things about summer in Richmond is the festivals. As soon as the weather starts warming up, we start having festivals. We’ve got so many festivals, in fact, that you could probably go to a festival every single weekend of the summer if you really wanted to. We’ve got festivals for just about every type of food you could ever possibly want and, this weekend, it was all about the vegetables. 

Vegetables are, and always have been, my favorite food group. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a big fan of snacking on broccoli and cauliflower and lettuce and carrots and green beans and other assorted types of rabbit food. BUT, I still eat meat. Every other day I think, seriously, about giving up meat. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. 

As a household, we only eat meat maybe once or twice a week. If that. I can easily go weeks without meat without even trying. I like beans and have mixed feelings on tofu but feel like I could learn to enjoy it, or at least not hate it. It wouldn’t even be that much of a change. 

 There’s always a reason to wait. I didn’t want to go veg right before our cruise because I wanted to enjoy delicious moo-cow. And now, there’s the Independence Day party we’re throwing in just a few weeks and I can’t rationalize spending a bunch of money on beef (that we’ll get from Whole Foods and that won’t have added hormones in it) and not eating any of it. Bottom line: I like meat. And I like veggies. I can’t decide if I want to be someone who only eats “happy meat” or if I want to be someone who condemns the entire business of eating critters and just says “hell to the mother f’n ” on meat and go full, balls to the wall, vegetarian. 

 Part of the problem, and it’s not really a problem at all, is that I grew up on a farm. We had happy animals. Our chickens were free range, in the true sense of the term. They went wherever the hell they wanted to go, ate the corn out of horse shit, chased snakes in the creek and did whatever the hell they felt like. At night, we herded them back into the barn so they wouldn’t get eaten up by bobcats. Even in the barn, they had plenty of room to do whatever is they wanted to do at night. They were well-fed. They lived happy chicken lives. And then we ate them. 

For me, when I think about chicken, I think of the chickens I had when I was growing up. I think about how good they had it and it’s really easy for me to not think about the horrors that the chickens I’m eating these days suffered. But, given the wonders of movies like Food, Inc., I can’t play dumb anymore. I know the treatment of these critters is horrible and it bothers me. A lot. 

 All in all, the VegFest was a good experience. Lots of good food and neat vendors and lots and lots of non-profits to talk to. I’m not sure when I’ll do it, but I do know that, probably before the end of the year, I’ll be making the change to full-fledged non-meat-eating vegetarian. Again. 

As we were leaving, we saw this guy: 

 He made it pretty apparent how he feels about vegetarianism and wants everyone to know that Richmond squirrels are damn delicious. I named him Irony and prayed he wouldn’t peck my eyes out or claw my scalp off as I crawled toward him with my camera.

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9 Responses to “Festivals, cute critters & decisions I need to stop talking about and just make.”

  1. Liz June 21, 2010 at 6:33 PM #

    There’s always seitan and wheat gluten if you don’t like tofu. Delicious!

    • Terra June 23, 2010 at 6:44 PM #

      Why does everything allegedly healthy and non-meaty have to sound so weird? 🙂

      • Liz June 24, 2010 at 7:19 PM #

        They sound weird because they aren’t highly commercialized and backed by high-monied, high-powered corporations. 😀

        Think about how weird the idea of milk is. Seriously. Humans drinking the milk of a different animal. It’s just weird. It sounds totally normal though because that’s what we’re taught is normal and “healthy.”

  2. CuppyCakes June 22, 2010 at 3:53 AM #

    I’d love to be a vegetarian just because I work so closely with animals…
    But I just can’t do it. I’m screwed enough health-wise without taking away a food group.

  3. Stacey Paradise June 22, 2010 at 8:03 AM #

    Dammit, I always miss the festivals! Where do you hear about the dates of the festivals? Clearly I need to find some resource that will alert me to their existence!

    I have such mixed feelings on the vegetarian thing. These days, Billy and I eat a lot less meat. We started by having 2 vegetarian days and now it’s up to 4. I don’t think we’ll ever go full-fledged vegetarian, but I like how I feel better without so much meat in my diet. We do make an effort to buy organic, free-range, hormone free meat whenever we can.

    See you tomorrow! Ahh!

  4. Aly June 22, 2010 at 8:35 AM #

    Ooh. Is that an eagle? GORGEOUS. Those birds fascinate me. I am too fussy to be a veggie, as much as I’d love to be.

  5. rachel June 22, 2010 at 10:12 AM #

    the best festival we have around here is the 4h fair. haha. 🙂

    i was a veggie for almost 10 years. it’s not easy, but it’s not hard either. i was just kind of bad at getting all of the vitamins that i needed and wound up in the hospital with a serious b12 deficiency, anemia and in need of a few blood transfusions. good times. now, i’ll eat the occasional chicken… but that’s about it.

  6. Margaret June 23, 2010 at 9:37 AM #

    Re: mosquitoes – Put up a Wren bird house. They eat the mosquitoes.

  7. LiLu June 23, 2010 at 3:55 PM #

    That is an AWESOME (scary!) picture you got of Irony!

    I could never give up meat, personally… I’m a meat ‘n potatoes kinda gal, always will be. But I truly respect those who can. 🙂

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