Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meat for Brains

Or: I couldn't help but wonder... Can this carnivirous Swede go green?

At one point during our lovely Father's Day luncheon with J's family last Sunday, we talked MEAT. Or, more specifically, meat as carcinogen. See, J's parents have a fascinating Christian monk friend who dabbles in eastern medicine, mystery novel writing, and Buddhism. I'm fairly sure he's met the Dalai Lama. He also sends emails with Power Points attached, espousing the myriad of health benefits associated with green tea. Naturally, he is my hero.

So my ears perk up when Mom o' J tells us that said friend believes, plainly, that meat is a carcinogen, equivalent to cigarette smoke. At least meat as J and I purchase it (er, Acme brand. Chock full of hormones and additives. Get it while it's hot!).

J turns to me. "Babe, we could do it. Why don't we become vegeterians?"

Then J asserts that he doesn't eat meat at all during the week, only the processed, packaged cold cuts he eats daily in his sandwich. "I don't count that anyway."

And thus beginneth J's meat-eating vegetarianism.

I give the issue a bit more thought. Without becoming vegan, and without giving up fish, could I do it?

I decide to try it for one week, beginning Monday. I travel to Syracuse, in a filthy rental car with a busted radio that reeks of cigarette smoke (oh, I also discovered books on CD this week. Stunning.) On my trip, I am bombarded with signs for McDonald's and Burger King every 15 miles or so, and suddenly I can't stop thinking about a double cheeseburger. It consumes me as I drive on, at a ridiculously legal pace. No meat and no radio make HV... something something.

I manage to quell the fierce cravings, and order grilled salmon later that night, though I can't help but feel that my head's gone a bit fuzzy. I notice it when I am leading a meeting the next day, so when I make to leave 'Cuse, I think to myself, 81 North. Remember, you need to get on 81 North.

I successfully navigate my way onto 81 North and take a business call that lasts for, oh, 30 miles. I hang up and notice another sign for Watertown.

Oh. I say to myself. Right. 81 South.

I've got meat for brains!

I turn around somewhere near Mexico, NY, and live to fuck up another day.

Like, er, today. I wake up early this morning to return the rental car to 30th Street Station. I am even clear-minded enough to negotiate a deep discount for the deeply dysfunctional vehicle. I purchase a one-way ticket to Manayunk, buy an iced decaf, and make my way to the R6 platform.

When the train for "Cynwyd" comes, I eagerly hop onboard.

And then I learn from the conductor - didn't even realize this one on my own! - that I am, indeed, on the wrong train.

Meat for brains!

I get off the train on City Line Avenue, and resign myself to walking the three miles back home. Besides, it's a beautiful morning, and the exercise will be a great warm-up for my 8:30 AM yoga class. I may be mind-numbingly stupid this week, but by God, I am in great spirits. Am Zen-Goddess. Even my yoga instructor tells me she can feel my positive energy today.

I am so pleased with the compliment, I float home in my newly relaxed and stretched body. I prepare myself two organic eggs, which I scarf down with strawberries and a perfectly ripe plum.

I am so Zen, you see, that I neglect to look at my Treo - my one saving grace in this world - until exactly 15 minutes after I was expected at my doctor's appointment.

Hormone-riddled meat: 3
HomeValley: 0

I shan't give up though. You see, I've just listened to The Alchemist on CD and I am dangerously close to prattling on about Personal Legends and Omens and all that delightful "listen to your heart" business. You can't win, Meat! I am stronger than you!

At least through Monday. Then we'll make a game time decision to see if vegetarianism is truly a fit.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure your impromtu study has enough vailidity to conclude that no-meat = forgetfullness + loss of direction + tardiness...

I think you may need a control group and a few additional variables before you go back to blood.

Homevalley said...

Duly noted.

the_real_jc said...

oh snap!

Homevalley said...

Still meat-free... And I am getting smarter by the minute!