A lot of people are curious and ask me about why I am a vegetarian. While you may think this has nothing to do with real estate, I believe everything we do, how we live our life, and what we experience, shapes who we are and how we do business. I will preface this post by letting you know that I do not try to convert others to vegetarianism, nor do I judge carnivores so feel free to keep reading – judgement free! If I can educate others through my answers to their curiosity, I feel that I can have a positive impact and perhaps stir something in them that may cause them to at least give it a try once in a while.
Many years ago, I was in a grocery store around Thanksgiving. I started down my list and read, “turkey” – a staple in my family for Thanksgiving. As I chose my turkey and put it in my empty cart, I got a lump in my throat. What was happening to me? Unlike ground beef, It looked just like the actual animal and I couldn’t get out of the store fast enough. My vegetarian sister gave me a book to read. The book, “Eating Animals” literally changed my life. I love animals. I was, honestly, ignorant to the food industry’s processes and the laws that allow the inhumane treatment of them for human consumption. I also did not realize that, beyond the actual treatment of the animals, the hormones, etc. that are injected, go right into our bodies and have lasting effects, most of which are negative. Our environment also takes a beating because of factory farming and mass meat and fish production.
I followed the first book up with the crass, very direct book, “Skinny Bitch”. This is a vegan book that talks more about the health benefits of not eating any animal products, rather than an emphasis on the unethical treatment of animals. I will warn you, neither book is for the faint of heart, however, they are both very educational.
Most of my family still eats meat, though they are much more conscious of the quality and quantity they are eating and even eating periodic meatless meals. When I am singing in bands, dinner is typically provided for the band members before the event. More than once my band mates have looked at my plate with jealousy as they sat eating their “bandwich” as we call them. Being vegetarian doesn’t have to take a lot of time nor put a cramp in your social style. I have suggestions for those people who would like to try to eat in a healthier, more respectful way but don’t think they can give up meat entirely:
1. Meatless Mondays – Each week, plan meals for Monday that do not contain meat. Don’t worry if you are eating at a restaurant. I have never found a restaurant that does not have at least one vegetarian option and, no, I don’t eat just salads!
2. Farmers Markets – If you do eat meat, I suggest buying from a local, organic farm if possible. Most love their animals and welcome you to tour their facilities. The downside is they often don’t have much control over the slaughter practices but you can ask who they use and check them out as well. Most of the time, the quality of these meats is much higher which makes them taste better as well.
3. New Restaurants – In my area of Nashville TN and Franklin TN, new restaurants are constantly opening. There are several vegetarian/vegan restaurants. Make it a fun experience and go try them. Invite friends and everyone can try a different dish. You just might find a new favorite.
4. Veggie Cooking – Go to the bookstore, library, or online and find a vegetarian or vegan cookbook or recipe. So often I have people ask me what I eat, as if I must only eat leaves and berries. Since becoming vegetarian, I have discovered some delicious vegetables that I never knew existed. When you begin exploring different recipes, you might be surprised to find that the dishes are often, much more flavorful and satisfying than those containing meat.
Photos courtesy of taoty and nongpimmy via freedigitalphotos.net
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. Wife to Robert, “Mom” to Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.