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.