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Experiment’s end

December 10th, 2007

After three months, the experiment has ended.

Batta was in town for business this past weekend, so we hung out on Saturday in San Francisco playing tourists.  After visiting Alcatraz, we met up with Voda and some other Rose alumns for dinner at Destino.  Destino is a tapas restaurant, and the menu was what finally forced the experiment to end.

You see, for the past three months I have been… a vegetarian.  I’ve rarely been eating meat for the past few years, so when an incredibly long line for beef hamburgers at a “welcome grad students” picnic conspired with hunger to drive me to eat a Boca burger, I decided to take the plunge.

My motivation wasn’t health or ethical concerns as much as it was the challenge.  I wanted to see what it was like, to see how others treated me.  I decided that I would continue the experiment until forced by social pressure to deviate.  One other thing — I wouldn’t tell anybody what I was doing, but I would answer truthfully if asked directly.

I figured that somebody would notice what I was doing, but nobody — not one person — ever brought it up.  If they noticed that I shied away from burger joints and avoided pepperoni pizza, they didn’t mention it.  I perceived no difference in treatment.

The tapas finally did me in.  Virtually all of them featured some sort of dead critter, and the group was sharing everything that was ordered, so seeking only the veggie options would have been unworkable.  And so, for the first time since mid-September, I enjoyed the taste of beef, chicken, and fish.

What’s next?  For efficiency reasons, I’m going to continue to emphasize plants in my diet, but I’ll make exceptions for certain holidays and traditions.   Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to slip off my leather shoes and go to bed.

  1. December 10th, 2007 at 09:25 | #1

    It makes you wonder if all the vegetarians who are sick of being confronted with their dietary habits, wouldn’t be bothered at all if they never brought up their lifestyle choice in discussion.

  2. December 10th, 2007 at 09:38 | #2

    Yeah, tapas are tough, you really have to go with other vegetarians or people who are mindful that you’re vegetarian. I think your current location has a lot to do with the lack of attention to your dietary changes. The Bay Area is one of the best in the world for vegetarians. Back at Rose, it’d be much more noticeable, and difficult.

  3. December 10th, 2007 at 10:34 | #3

    The average American consumes 3,774 calories? A DAY!? And here I am difficultly trying to increase my caloric intake to 2,500. What the hell is the rest of America eating that I’m not?

  4. wojo
    December 11th, 2007 at 17:50 | #4

    George – someone must be stealing your gov’t rationed dietary lard-o supplements…watch your back man!!!

    congrats on trialing the vegetarian lifestyle. i don’t think i could manage one for long – although i certainly could go without a good deal of the meat i consume in place of other things…it’s just that some items i enjoy eating are not replaceable with non-meat foods.

  5. Stacy
    December 11th, 2007 at 21:57 | #5

    I just don’t think it’s as drastic a change as people assume it will be. One of my employees said he “could never be a vegetarian,” but I challenged him to consciously not eat meat for a single day, and he was shocked that it wasn’t hard and he wasn’t starving!

  6. Whitney
    December 11th, 2007 at 23:38 | #6

    Any good recipes to share? My sister’s vegetarian.

  7. keacher
    December 13th, 2007 at 12:56 | #7

    As Simon, my roommate, pointed out, the task was probably made easier by the fact that I usually cooked for myself, so other people generally had no reason to care what I was doing.

    My location probably made a difference. I imagine the task would have been far more difficult in a conservative place like Wyoming.

    Not sure about the caloric intake — I was thinking it was closer to 2,000 calories per day. Maybe the 3,774 figure is what’s driving the obesity trend?

    Sorry, I don’t really have any recipes. Things like pasta, vegetables, fruits, breads, and nuts made common appearances in my meals.

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