While my kids were away, the other thing I did was watch a butt-load of stuff on Netflix. You know, things that no one wanted to watch with me, or that I didn't want to stay up late and watch but wasn't kid friendly.
I ended up watching: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (which was excellent if you like quiet emotional movies), Horrible Bosses (which was sort of funny, in a mildly disgusting way - think American pie. Only more Stiffler and less Jim.)*, Easy Virtue (which was just awful), and some Portlandia (which was quietly awesome).
I also watched documentaries: Vegucated, Food Matters, Food Inc., and a few TEDtalks on nutrition**.
If you've been here for a while, you know that I've made some half-hearted attempts at being a vegetarian. Mostly for health reasons. And it's never really worked out. Wave a bacon cheeseburger under my nose, and I tend to forget.
After watching these documentaries, I'm giving it another shot. Not only that, I think it's going to stick this time. Along with the vague feeling that "vegetables are good for me", I've got a strong sense of outrage to back me up.
I (and I'm guessing most people) have no idea what goes on at meat producing farms. To be more accurate, I've just never really thought about it. We're so far removed from where our food actually comes from - that steak in the store has no connection to the picture of the cow on the milk - that it doesn't bother us. You think "farm", and you think green pastures and happy animals prancing around.*** I won't go into the animal treatment, because it just hurts my heart every time I think about it, but the documentaries are great - Vegucated especially - if you want to get an idea of what I mean. The environmental implications of producing meat on such a large scale are pretty frightening too.
I'm not going to be overly loud about it, but I am going to stop eating meat. I'm going to nudge my family in that direction too, because it's better for all of us in so many ways.
Typically, my kids have toast or cereal for breakfast. So, of course, the day after I made this decision, Beege asks for sausage for breakfast. And when I said we didn't have sausage, she asked for bacon. And when I said we didn't have bacon, she replied "don't we have any breakfast meat?" No. No we don't have any "breakfast meat".
It's going to be a gradual process.
*I didn't realise it at the time, but Steve Wiebe is in this movie! If you haven't watched The King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters, you totally should.
**Jamie Oliver's was particularly good.
***There is such a thing as "ethically produced meat". But no matter how well the animal was treated in life, there's still the fact that it was born and raised specifically to be killed and eaten by people. I'm not sure how I feel about that.