Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Vegetarian that Tried Some Meat

First things first, I want to warn you: Some of the pictures in this entry are graphic.  Like, really graphic.  Like, dead animals and blood graphic.  So go back now if you aren't into that sort of thing.

I have been a pescetarian for some years now.  (I have been trying to rid my diet of fish and seafood as well, but it is really hard.  I have been doing extremely well though, only eating fish when eating sushi, and I rarely get sushi.)  I fully understand that making the decision to cut meat out of my diet demonstrates the privileged I come from.  I can chose what I eat and actively exclude things available to me.  Not everyone can do that.  In fact, some people can't imagine saying no to meat if it is put in front of them.  Granted, some of these people are red blooded 'Muricans, but some of  them eat anything that is put in front of them because there are no choices in what (or when) they get to eat.

Most vegetarians will tell you they don't eat meat because it is mean to kill animals.  This is not why I don't eat meat.  I understand there is a natural food chain, I just don't think the status quo of the food chain is sustainable (and frankly, it's kind of gross), so I chose not to participate in it.  It might also be interesting to note here that one of my current jobs is working customer service at store that sells hunting (and fishing and camping) supplies, and I sell hunting licenses like a pro.  (Don't ask how I got the job.  It was a Christmas Miracle.) 

All that being said, the past few months have sparked an interest in hunting for me.  It started with a 25 hour trip out to Gilai Bomba in Tanzania where we got left to journey out to the school Peace Matunda had built for the village.  After we came back (and waited for about 4 hours), Scott and I got to witness a dead wildebeest being pulled out of the back of the jeep.  This is not something I normally witness, so I got really excited about the novelty of it all.  I wanted to help, so I did.

Helping skin the 'beest

Scott was possibly more disgusted than I was

Although I was probably the most enthusiastic vegetarian to ever help skin a wildebeest, I really didn't want blood on my clothes and shoes.  I got pretty good with hand washing my clothes, but I was really worried I wouldn't be able to make those blood stains go away.  And even if I could, I would feel like my clothes would forever be tainted with wildebeest blood.  Here I am holding up his head, but I was really worried about dropping it and getting blood on myself.  Hence, the face.

Don't drop it!
When I got to Tanzania, I decided that I would try a bite of meats I had never had and would probably never have made available to me again.  It was a once in a lifetime deal since my justification for being vegetarian doesn't really hold strong when we are talking about shooting gazelles and dik-dik that are roaming around.  I tried a small bite of dik-dik, gazelle, goat (which you can read about in the Fredship Story), wildebeest ribs, and (on this trip out to Gilaibomba) wildebeest heart.  Yes, I wanted to say I ate that wildebeest's heart because it makes me feel bad ass. 

Wildebeest heart, liver, and kidney
People ask me if I want to start eating meat again now that I have tried the piece of the food pyramid I have been missing out on all of these years.  It's actually really easy for me to not eat meat, and it really doesn't even sound appealing to me, even after trying it after these years.  I want to stay a person with an open mind and always be willing to try new things, so I tried the meat.  So in my quest to never say no and stay adventurous, I became the vegetarian that tried some meat.

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