Nerd in the Country: Re-Vegetarian
I’ve recently decided to go back to my vegetarian roots. This is something I’ve been considering doing for a while now, but was hesitant to start as it is a tough lifestyle to undertake in my current settings. Most of my Nerd in the Country posts tend to focus on the social aspects of being from a blue-collar, “redneck” town. This post isn’t about the “social stigma” of vegetarianism, but more about the pure geography of the situation, which I will get more in-depth on later in this post. Getting back on topic… I finally decided to go ahead and make the change (again) because I was inspired to do so by a friend of mine on the other side of the country in North Carolina, Bryan Sain, as he recently became a vegetarian. I have redesigned the concept of vegetarianism, as it pertains to my life, and thought I would talk about it. It leads into a couple of other things I have found a passion for in the last year or so, and thought this post could lead into a larger discussion about those things, as well.
According to Wikipedia, vegetarianism is defined as “abstaining from the consumption of meat.” I have redefined vegetarianism, but only as it applies to my life. By no means is this meant to offend any vegetarians that disagree with my assessment, and I understand that I will not be holding to principles of vegetarianism. As I said, this is as it pertains to me. I have decided that vegetarianism means (to me) that I will not pursue meat as a food source. When I prepare food for myself, that food will not contain meat. However, should the setting arise that I am not preparing my own food (family meals, meals in which I’m invited as a guest, etc.) I will eat what is offered and hopefully a vegetarian option is offered. I’m doing this because my choices should not impose upon the lifestyles of the people around me. I know I have family and friends that will read this article and will start adding more vegetarian options when I will be in attendance at a meal, simply because they don’t mind doing so to show their support and respect for me and the choices that I make. I know others will not, and I will not attempt to impose that on them, as I used to when I was a vegetarian before.
“Meat is Murder!”…
… I used to scream at passersby. That’s right, I used to be one of those militant animal rights types. I staged protests on the campus of Western Oregon University and used to thrust those crazy posters showing skinned animals and the like into the faces of strangers. I used to be a proud member of P.E.T.A. My militant stance ended up causing friction with my family and friends, but, most importantly, it caused friction in my marriage. I realized that I was, essentially being an asshole to the people I was closest to and I put it aside after a few years.
About a year ago, I became passionate about organic foods, fair trade and local products and became more focused on a greener lifestyle. As any person that is passionate about those subjects can attest, becoming passionate about one of those things generally leads to a passion for the other things. Becoming more aware of these things made me start to think about vegetarianism again. This time it wasn’t coming from a militant stand point, but more from the angle of wanting to do my part to make the world (albeit, very slightly) a better place for other people and myself. Sure, one person doesn’t have a huge effect, but the best way to assure that your voice counts is to put your money towards the products and companies that you want to support.
Inspired by a Musician, even more than His Music
I was texting with a friend of mine, Bryan Sain, who is the drummer for a metalcore band from North Carolina called Deception of a Ghost. I met him via Twitter a couple of years ago after I started working for Bullet Tooth Records, the label that Deception of a Ghost is signed to. Recently, I saw that the band is on tour and is going to be coming through Oregon in November. I shot Bryan a text letting him know that if him and the guys want to stop by my house to grab a shower and a real meal, they would be welcome to. Throughout the process of the conversation, I found out that he had recently become a vegetarian and that this was going to be his first tour as one. As you may or may not know, touring tends to be pretty challenging on any person’s diet, much less a vegetarian. That led me to the thought that if he could go veg on tour, then I should be able to do it without being on tour!
Vegetarian in the Country
My only gripe about adopting this new diet is that this area is not very conducive to a vegetarian that is looking for organic, local/fair trade options. The nearest place I can go for groceries is the cooperative in Corvallis. I like shopping there, and I’ve seen other places (Whole Foods and the like) that are more expensive, but I can’t just pop in to the coop as it’s a 25 minute drive away. Safeway has organic options, but I am still handing my money over to a gigantic corporation that may not be all that interested in fair trade or local producers. Sure, everything I buy doesn’t fall into all of those categories, but some of it does and most of it generally falls into two. Even at the coop, that is about the best I can do. I’m really hoping the coop will open an Albany store.
This leads me to ask a question of you, dear reader. What are your thoughts on (vegetarian diets, organic foods, and local and/or fair trade) these topics? Do you participate in any of these? Why or why not? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter or Google+! Feel free to click any of the links here to find out more about any of the stuff I talked about.
Posted on October 25, 2012, in Geek, Music, Nerd, Nerd in the Country, Personal and tagged albany, alloy matt, bryan sain, deception of a ghost, diet, fair trade, geek, lebanon, matt jacobs, nerd, nerd in the country, oregon, organic, peta, vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.