Yesterday I signed up with our Fellowship's 40/40/40 challenge. We are taking 40 days around Earth Day to make a small change in our lives that benefits the planet and I chose to forgo meat for that time.
I hope that this challenge will encourage me to eat more mindfully. At every meal I have to make the decision to eat foods other than meat. I will have to really think about what I am eating, what it really is, and where it comes from. I have tried to do this before, but I hope that signing up and being accountable with encourage me to stick with it. I have restricted, but not eliminated, meat in my diet in the past, but difficulties in feeling a family and the lure of bacon always had me backsliding. I will still eat dairy and eggs and some wild-caught fish; a vegan diet just seems to great a switch to make all at once.
The children are not at all excited about this. Their diet is not restricted, except that I'm sure I'll be cooking a lot less meat, but they can have it at school or when I am not home. Still, not fans.
I also like the idea of pursuing a Lenten-type path for 40 days to see what benefits might be there. Evangelicals don't practice Lent so it was never part of my childhood. I was intrigued this year by the growth people found in a Lenten fast, but I didn't want to add another Christian-based observance to my calendar. I'll keep you all posted as to how that goes.
Suggestions from meat-free folks out there are more than welcome. One note though, I want to avoid fake food. I would much rather eat beans than tofu hot dogs or the like. Tofu is fine as tofu. I only have a handful of vegetarian dishes that I make so I would love to learn some others so that this 40 days doesn't end up feeling like 4 months.