Heavy thoughts

So. The vegetarian/iron deficient thing.

I’m vegetarian because I think that in our society (and most of the industrialised world – and growing parts of the developing world), factory farming and the cruelty that is inherent in them is not something I can conscience. I always thought that if I was marooned on a desert island with nothing to eat but a cow, I’d totally be apologising to the cow, and then eating it.

It basically came down to the fact that I have the luxury of choosing what I eat, and I have the luxury of being able to provide healthy alternatives for my family. I also had the luxury of good health.

Since being anemic, I’ve actually been concerned about my ability to care for Inigo properly. And today, I had a real scare. We were in a park, about 200m from the car park. I was sitting down chatting with some mums from playgroup (playgroup has ended for the year, so we are catching up informally just for something to do). Inigo was playing happily close by for quite a while, but after an hour or so, he started to wander further and further afield. I was comfortable that he wouldn’t go too far, but of course, eventually, he did. I got up to grab him, and he started running. I sped up, but felt like I was likely to collapse at every step. I literally could not run. I couldn’t run to save my child, who was running headlong into a carpark. I went as fast as I could, and I caught him in a disabled parking spot, just inside the carpark. Thank goodness there were no moving cars at the time, but that did nothing to calm me down. It was all I could do just to carry him back to the picnic blanket without crying hysterically.

So yes, I am feeling better. Much, much better than I was at my worst. But I’ve decided that right now I can’t afford the luxury of refusing to eat meat. I can still make ethical choices, and next Tuesday, I am going here, and I am going to eat a steak. Anyone want to join me? Fe, I am looking at you!

But I’m still going to think of myself as a vegetarian. And when my iron levels normalise, I will be again. But for now, I need to protect my family, and apologise to the cow later.

And one more thing. I read this today, and am reminded of how special the ability to give blood is. What a difference it can make to a life, to someone you’ll probably never know. And what I found out last time I gave blood, that makes my blood extra special.

The big and heavy question – should I eat animals so I can save lives? Or do I think too much? Or is it just normal to think about the big picture just after a cancer scare?

So, readers, lurkers especially, what do you think? Self indulgent pap, or good sense?

Oh – and P.S. Fe asked if this meant that I will become “a meat eater” again, and I thought about it. But my touchstone is Inigo. I wouldn’t want him to see me eating meat, and I wouldn’t want him eating meat until he is old enough to make the choice for himself. So no, this is just for now, until my iron levels normalise.

10 thoughts on “Heavy thoughts”

  1. I think it’s normal to think “big picture” after a cancer scare. Very normal.

    I also think that it’s healthy to be slightly flexible in your actions when the “big picture” is at stake.

    So, I would LOVE to join you on Tuesday! I don’t know yet when DH is taking the kids, so it may depend on that. I’ll let you know as soon as he lets me know.

    xoxo

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  2. Thanks for linking back to my blog.
    I hope you start to feel better soon and bless you for donating blood at all. That’s a wonderful gift you have given those tiny babies.

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  3. Do what you need to do, but why not seize the opportunity to eat pate! it’s made from liver, much higher in iron. delicious, tasty duck livers… omg you get to eat pate!!
    oooh or fried kidneys with onion.
    or blood pudding.
    Yum!

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  4. I hope that you stabilise fast.

    I can only imagine the conflict you’d feel (since I have no children and I eat meat), so i hope it’s fast, that you find a butcher who can get you meat that is raised as ethically as possible, and it’s not too horrible for you.

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  5. *hugs* it’s obviously a really hard decision, but I think it can be considered as medical treatment for a temporary condition. Environmentally- you could take mounds of carbon-laden over-processed supplements for an extended period, or eat unprocessed, locally produced, cruely-free meat for a shorter period and fix a medical problem.

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  6. I hope you feel more yourself soon. Do be careful though. When I resumed eating meat after eight years as a vego there were some *interesting* digestive side effects that took a few weeks to abate. Just be careful not to go hammer and tongs at the meat as your body needs a little bit of adjustment time. Meat is hard to digest when you’re not used to it.
    Good luck!

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  7. I think you’re the only one who can answer your questions, because they’re about your own personal moral and ethical views. But you don’t have to answer them today, and the answers you come to don’t have to serve you for a lifetime.

    You can only do what you think is right in the moment, based on the circumstances and information you’re presented with.

    So go eat your steak, enjoy it, feel better, and figure it all out whenever you do.

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  8. Im sorry to hear that you need to eat less ideally than youd like, but Im so pleased that youre being pragmatic and open-minded about this for the sake of your health and your family.

    Following on from what Steph said, I half-remember reading somewhere that vitamin C aids absorption of meant-based iron, so maybe have a glass of juice with your steak?

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  9. damn! cursing myself that i forgot to bring wholefood optimzer on holiday both for myself and so i could give you a sample! it’s vegan based, and has 100% of iron requirements AND it’s vegan. you might find the following conversation helpful (below), and i’m wondering if by tweaking your usually veg diet if there’s changes there that might help you. i’ll pm you on ravelry with my details, and happy to meet up with you. -kylie

    http://www.vegacommunity.com/forum/topics/iron-rich-snacks-and-meals?commentId=2967035%3AComment%3A15655

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