I am a “other-people’s-leftover-meat” vegetarian…

Does that sound gross?  Let me try to explain myself.  You know how some people say they are ovo-lacto-vegetarians?  And some

"Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit" - Kitchen Confidential

other people are pescatarians?  Well, I am vegetarian, except when the steak/carnitas/rotisserie chicken/Peking duck is ordered by an oink partner and he/she can’t finish it/offers me some/the meat is really amazing.  See, if I’m not buying/ordering the meat, I’m not adding to the demand for it.  And if I’m helping someone clean up what they couldn’t finish, I’m also preventing waste.  It is really a double whammy of goodness that I am performing for the world.  Plus I still reap the benefits of a reduced meat diet.

I already hear my millions of readers crying foul: “But two days ago you just put up a poll about who has the best burger in Santa Monica!!!”  Listen, I loooove me some meat.  No question about it.  And there was definitely a time in my life when I myself couldn’t fathom being vegetarian, when I in fact thought it a silly, unnatural, pretentious air to put on.  First of all, how could a few people boycotting the consumption of animal flesh truly make any difference?  And then, why would anyone want to deny him/herself the pleasures of said flesh anyway?  For most of my life, I couldn’t feel full unless I had some animal protein in my meal.  But, recently, a number of factors converged to make me reconsider.

First of all, I decided to stop ignoring the fact that raising animals for meat is a tremendously significant producer of greenhouse gases (not to mention water pollution, antibiotic resistance, increased introduction of hormones into consumers, yada yada yada).  Second of all, corporate farming really treats the animals like shit.  Which sometimes results in prematurely dead animals.  That end up on my plate.  Third of all, meat farming is too big of a luxury for the global population: we could feed a lot more people if we freed up the pasture land for plant-based agriculture.  Fourth, meat-heavy diets are usually also cholesterol-rich and fatty (and, evolutionarily-speaking, probably not well-suited to humans).  But, MOST IMPORTANTLY, I’m getting too old for meat.

Yes, there really is such a thing.  The more I age, the more I feel my stomach working really hard to digest the burger/fried chicken/meat loaf/carne asada.  I often develop a stomach ache even before the END of the meal.  And let’s not even get into the gas cramps that rear their ugly heads when I attempt to sleep after such a feast.

So, over time, I’ve developed this new brand of vegetarianism.  It offers me the best of all my worlds.  The truth is, I don’t have ethical reasons against eating meat.  And deprivation of anything only makes me crave the thing more.  So, I honestly think eating only meat cooked/ordered by others is a practical but significant way to cut down on meat consumption that has long-term potential.  And it allows me to get all smug about the fact that I’m “doing my part”.  You may adopt it too, just remember to PayPal me 25 cents every time you blog about “your new diet”.