2013-06-20 / Lifestyles

Quitting cold turkey

Lois A. Corcoran

A sign of the times.

When I quizzed my son, “What are little girls made of?” he replied, “Sugar and spice and high fructose corn syrup.”

One thing this gal is not made of, however, is meat.

I quit eating it cold turkey, so to speak, two decades ago. This proved to be little sacrifice, since I failed to acquire a taste for it in the first place.

Habits are hard to break, though, and it took a few tries for the change to become permanent. This prompted a skeptical acquaintance to remark, “Is this a seasonal thing?”

There are varying types of vegetarianism, of course. While we all pretty much swear off beef and pork, some still indulge in fish and poultry. Others shun foods derived from anything that could once walk, swim, or fly. One such gal told me, “I don’t eat anything that used to have a face.”

Then there are those who take it a step further and eliminate all animal products, both inside and out.

“Some people take it to extremes,” said a pal of mine. “They won’t even wear leather.”

“Um, is this a good time to tell you I’m vegan?” I asked.

This is a relatively new development.

Though a third of my life was spent as a vegetarian, I weaned myself off milk and cheese only this year. Ironically, this occurred during National Dairy Month.

My sister, who influenced my decision, told me she once asked an employee if the store sold any vegan products. The clueless clerk replied, “What color is that?”

People cite different reasons for going vegan. Health is often a big factor. Others convert for the weight loss benefits, though I’ve yet to see my scale affected.

Sometimes celebrities inspire people. Famous vegans include football star Tony Gonzalez, Casey Kasem, and Bill Clinton, not to mention Weird Al Yankovic. Okay, forget I mentioned him.

I try not to go off the deep end with my diet. Even PETA advises vegans to use common sense. Insisting the chef cook our meals on a separate grill merely labels us as crackpots.

I’m not out to convert anyone either. Nothing turns people off more than being preached to by a fanatic. As my meat-eating pal says, “You eat your thing and I’ll eat mine.”

That way we both stay politically correct.

Another sign of the times.

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