a priest's musings on the journey

Monday, July 16, 2007

Becoming Vegetarian

Soooo, I've been contemplating becoming vegetarian for over a year, and today was DAY ONE of a meat free lifestyle. I've made the decision for nutritional, health, and ethical reasons. I began to consider vegetarianism after hearing a confession of a man last Lent, in which he asked God to be merciful to him for eating a hamburger. The compassion that he possessed for all living things was so powerful and holy. It was one of those moments when I could physically feel the Divine Presence.


My own Lenten practice has included fasting meat for the days of Lent. In addition to losing weight, I have experienced greater spiritual and mental clarity during my Lenten fasts.

Eventhough I was pretty sure fasting meat was the right decision for me, I was unable to committ to a vegetarian lifestyle. After all, meat tastes good, right? Yesterday the Holy Spirit finally convinced me this was the right choice for me to make. My son and I were driving when a cat darted out in front of us. I swerved to miss it, and thankfully did. Zac said, "Thank God you didn't kill it. You would have broken one of the commandments." "Which commandment?" I asked. "The one that says you are not supposed to kill." I thought a second and said, "But, Zac, God meant not to kill people." Without a moment's hesitation Zac replied, "He said not to kill."

It was another one of those Divine Presence moments, and I knew Zac - in all of his simplistic, even literalistic undertanding of the Bible was right.

So, Ive decided to become a vegetarian. I'll still eat eggs, dairy and honey- and probably occassionally fish for now- and I wont preach and judge people who eat meat. This is what I feel is right for me. You have to do what is right for you.

I'll let you know how things go on this journey- and when I yield to temptation, I'll turn to many of you for support.

Thanks for reading!!
:: posted by Padre Rob+, 6:45 PM

12 Comments:

my sister did this a few months ago. for years she has been concerned about the ethical treatment of animals. she doesn't talk much about it, and when she's at a function serving meat, she'll eat it without saying anything, but on her own she does the vegetarian thing.

i really respect her for it.

and you.

god be with you as you enter into this commitment.
Anonymous Jared Cramer, at 7:55 PM  
Jared,
Thanks for sharing your sister's story, and thanks for your encouragement.
Blogger PadreRob+, at 9:18 PM  
Out of the mouths of babes!

The Orthodox Church fasts from all meat and dairy during Great Lent and Christmas Lent. I have always had a hard time with this as I love meat. But this past Lent, thanks to the Holy Spirit, it was a little easier. Hang in there Padre!
Blogger Fr. Peter, at 5:01 AM  
See my blog - thought of you this evening. I like vegetarian food but I rellay do like roast lamb, steak and pork too! In Christian tradition we were given all of these things for us to develop. How we have misused the earth and its riches!
Blogger John the organist, at 2:20 PM  
Fr Peter
Thanks!!
Blogger PadreRob+, at 7:13 PM  
John
I do love those things as well... You temptor LOL
Blogger PadreRob+, at 7:16 PM  
Welcome to veggie-land!

I cheat once in a while with fresh fish and even less often with lamb from the local sustainably-raised lamb people in our region (Rising Meadow Farm, they sell their meat at the Triad Farmers' Market) but mostly I am a vegetarian -- used to be a strict one, now the occasional fish-a-tarian -- and would be happy to share experiences, recipes, good local sources of food, etc.
Blogger Jane R, at 5:08 PM  
Bonne chance.. Just monitor your protein intake and make sure you are taking in the right kind of protein.,
Blogger toujoursdan, at 12:39 PM  
You obviously started to send me a message on my blog and stopped! Self censorship? Eating fish and chips? A secret hamburger at dead of night when Zac is asleep? Naughty!
Blogger John the organist, at 1:52 PM  
Good for you, Father! I gave up meat over 3 months ago now, and it was one of the best things I ever did for myself. Not only do I feel healthier, but I can enjoy my food more now knowing some animal didn't have to suffer and die for me to get it. It was a little hard at first (I basically lived off of seafood and chicken) but I've made do. Let me know if you want any suggestions of tasty foods; I know all the best meat substitutes by now.
Blogger Chris, at 2:33 PM  
thanks Chris,,, I might take u up on that
Blogger PadreRob+, at 8:26 PM  
It was nice to discover another ethical vegetarian Episcopal priest tonight.

If this doesn't get posted, that's OK.

Hope things are going well with your veggiehood, and that you can find alternatives to the types of meats you like. There are brands out there that (to me) taste like the real thing, for example Lightlife Smart Strips (chik'n strips) and Gimme Lean ground sausage; Gardenburger Ribletts & barbecue Chik'n (sp?), and various types of veg Polish sausage, bratwursts, etc. I even found a vegetarian salmon at the local health food store. Some of the alternatives (including veg hot dogs) have more protein than the real thing, and no cholesterol. I use the veg "ground round" on pizzas, in hash, spaghetti, chili, etc. Those are transitory things that help make meal-making easy just by substituting.

If interested, visit my blog.

There's a world out there looking for people like you.
Blogger Sue, at 6:28 PM  

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