Becoming a Carnivore—5 Reasons To Start Eating Meat in 2012!

Via Jamie Ginsberg
on Dec 31, 2011
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What pushed me over the edge this week? It started with a recent commitment by Waylon Lewis to go vegan for a year.

Parker Bean as Photographed by Simone Jowell (Vegan) of Cleveland Groove.

Yes, it is a New Year’s Resolution and a particularly extreme one (makes doing yoga six times a week seem relatively easy).

The argumentative rebel side of me bristled just thinking about Waylon getting 500 people to comment pressure/support him into being vegan. “Anything for web traffic” I snickered (although this type of year challenge is one of the reasons I like Waylon).

[ed’s note: I stated several times that I wanted to make a big stink about going vegan, not make a merely private decision, in hopes that my decision would inspire others to consider their diet. Whether we all go vegan or not isn’t my business, but getting all of us to be more mindful…was my goal. You can read my reasoning here. I tied it to comments, not views, for that reason. All that said, yes, it’s my business to connect with readers, so I’m fine with our site reaching 900,000 unique viewers a month, boom! ~ Ed.)

On my mat yesterday with one of my favorite yoga teachers, Parker Bean talking about extreme resolutions people make for New Years, I looked at my reflection in the pool of sweat on my flat black lululemon mat. Staring at myself in low plank with muscles gently shaking, I saw someone who wants to lose the battle against moderation, a rebel in the yoga world who with the transition between Low Plank and Upward Dog made the decision to eat meat in 2012. As I exhaled into Downward Dog, I smiled, deciding to eat meat again was strangely liberating.

Something about Vegans always irritates me, oh right…Cheese. It is my achilles heal. I can go weeks at a time eating a veganesque diet and cheese shows up and takes me out. The honey thing irritates me also, because I love the sweet side of life and I don’t really think of bees as being harmed in the production of honey. A conversation with my friends at Breathe Yoga, where they have an incredible kitchen and serve amazing food really started me moving towards eating meat again. They serve all locally sourced food at Breathe Yoga and the combination of delicious food and an inspired approach to the dirtiest word in the English language, MODERATION. The concept of knowing where my food comes from is very attractive to me and far sexier than how many calories or how much fat is in my food. 2012 is the year of where, not what…it is the year of sexy and dirty, not pious restraint and control…2012 is the year of being comfortable, even when life is messy.

I was a vegetarian for the last 8 or 9 years and today is my last day. I am returning to being a carnivore in 2012. It has been brewing inside of me for the last year or so and a series of events over the last year have inspired me to get over myself and eat meat. This last run as a vegetarian started as a political protest to Mad Cow, angered by the government cover-up of Mad Cow in America, I decided to use my buying power as a small but effective protest against the meat industry. Along the way I became a yogi and slowly started to reduce my impact on the planet. The ideas of Sharon Gannon particularly resonated with me (Get her book on Yoga and Vegetarianism)and her definition of “doing the least harm possible.” I am still committed to this and will continue to integrate this philosophy into my yoga/life. The movie Food Inc. reminded me that every time I spend a dollar, I am voting on where our food comes from. I am ready to start voting local.

Looking at the vegan chicken salad, vegan pizza and vegan frozen chicken sticks at whole foods yesterday after yoga, I laughed out loud (yes, I know this is a sign of craziness-but so is spending your Friday lunch sweating on and with 65 people at Cleveland Yoga). Is eating random soy products from who knows where any better than eating a hamburger made from a cow raised by a local farmer? No, I will not be ordering pepperoni pizza from random pizza place. Yes, I will be picking up sausage at my local farmer’s market for when I make pizza in 2012. It is not easy to get local meat, but it is my new way of living.

5 Reasons To Start Eating Meat In 2012

  1. I love eating meat, it is delicious. We eat 3 times a day, this is way too much not to indulge in and truly enjoy the process. Just thinking about a bacon blue cheese burger gets me kind of excited. Live a life of love and enjoy what you eat along the way.
  2. Good-bye random soy products, hello locally sourced meat. Knowing where my meat comes from is a compromise that I am going to try living with. Instead of being a vegetarian or a vegan, I am labeling myself a locavore.
  3. Supporting a local farmer is a great thing to do. Farmers come in all shapes and sizes, some do vegetables and some do meat. I am going to meet the meat – slow my life down enough to meet the farmers who raise the meat and understand where my food is coming from this year. Your Organic BlueBerries from Chile are more damaging to the planet than my steak from the local farm. I think.
  4. You can be even more high maintenance at restaurants. Instead of asking if there is chicken stock in the soup, I will now ask where the chickens were raised that was used in the chicken stock. I will send the waiter back to ask the chef if the hamburger meat is from the same farm as the steak and if it was a grass fed cow.
  5. More Sex – Maybe Even Better Sex. This is going to take some research, but if it is true, I think a lot of vegans and vegetarians are going to start eating meat.

Seriously, you are not any more of a yogi if you are a vegan or if you give away all of your worldly goods and go meditate on a mountain in India. You are a great yogi when you are concious, when you live with your eyes wide open, when you have a choice and you make a decision based in kindness. Next time  you look down at your mat and see yourself reflected in a pool of sweat, I hope you smile and love the person you see looking back at you. In 2012, my resolution is to eat locally sourced meat. I will also share a lot more articles with you on how to share yoga with more people as well as what I learn about meat and farmers along the way. Namaste!

Parker Bean as Photographed by Simone Jowell (Vegan) of Cleveland Groove

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About Jamie Ginsberg

Jamie Ginsberg is a yoga teacher and the co-founder of Marin Power Yoga. He is a technology and education evangelist focused on using the social web to increase interaction and engagement. Jamie is a yogi (200 hour teacher training at Cleveland Yoga and Level 1 & Level 2 with Baron Baptiste) and has shot and produced videos and photography for Baron Baptiste, Yoga Journal Conferences and yoga studios across the United States. Jamie’s expertise is a rare blend of creative, business, legal and technology. Jamie has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the The University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate from The Cleveland-Marshall School of Law. Link to Jamie here and like him on Facebook.

Comments

136 Responses to “Becoming a Carnivore—5 Reasons To Start Eating Meat in 2012!”

  1. drunkandfull says:

    Jon. I believe you vote with your feet and you vote with your dollars. I'm going to support restaurants that buy local and purveyors that sell local meat this year. Every time I sit down to eat this year, I hope to share that meal with friends and enjoy the company of intelligent people.

  2. drunkandfull says:

    Braja, thanks for having a sense of humor and a lightness to boot, clearly all of that meditation is working!!! West Bengal…wow!!! I don't like the idea of death for any reason, I am pretty sure this is why we have been so far removed from the source of our food. I do not have the pioneering spirit, nor do I want to be part of the fast food nation. Thanks for commenting!

  3. drunkandfull says:

    Thanks Rachel, I will add that to my ridiculously long book list!

  4. drunkandfull says:

    Mostly valid Signe. Why? Because I am grateful people care enough to express their opinion. It is an awesome expression of freedom and passion, along with a healthy dose of mis-directed anger ;-).

  5. drunkandfull says:

    Not a dirty word!

  6. drunkandfull says:

    Nice, I would respect you even if you didn't eat meat 😉

  7. drunkandfull says:

    Rich, unlike hya, I am not prepared to kill you or eat you. Thanks for the suggestion. While small and rather depressing, we do have farmers markets here in the Cleveland area. Buying local food comes at a significant premium, whether it is meat or vegetables and the choices are limited, but there are choices!
    I am always thrown off by the pictures at the meat stands at the Farmers market, animals from the farm, currently sitting on ice in the coolers. It is just real enough to remind me that the meat once had a very real life form! I am not ready to engage in the slaughtering process, but I am ready to appreciate the end results!

  8. drunkandfull says:

    Thanks Mr.Science, Grains may be leaving in 2012!!!

  9. drunkandfull says:

    Thanks Liza, I appreciate the kind thoughts…

  10. drunkandfull says:

    Karl, how come the vegans only discuss the death of animals and not the slave labor of humans used to grow their vegetables? And why do Vegans attack people who don't agree with them? Recognize!!!

  11. chonying says:

    Sure!

  12. karlsaliter says:

    Thank you everyone who commented on this article. I came down pretty hard on you, Jamie, and have enjoyed and learned from your replies. I respect how well-informed you are, and that you are willing to engage.

    I want to explore something, and if this is the wrong place to do it Jamie, just let me know.

    How can I, as a vegan who cares deeply about raising awareness of animal suffering and its optional nature grounded in our choices, present my thoughts without instantly donning the robe of "sanctimonious jerk?"

    In most things, I wear life pretty loosely. But I want to make sure that the languageless animals
    have a voice in me. I'm coming from caring about these creatures, but based on the feedback, I think I sound like "Oh, I'm so much better than you."

    How do you tell someone that what they are doing is causing suffering- without telling them that they are wrong, or morally less, or whatever garbage it is that they tell themselves? I only point to actions, I never say those things, but people hear those messages from what I say, all the time.

    Maybe this is not so off topic. Can we discourse about veg/ meat diets without insecurity and animosity?

  13. […] recently wrote an article sharing my decision to return to eating meat this year, the reactions and comments surprised me. Why? Because I forgot how much anger, judgment and […]

  14. Karl – This is a great discussion to have! It wasn't until I heard Sharon Gannon use the term "least harm possible," that I actually heard an argument for being vegan. The cruelty and suffering arguments are valid, but whenever we feel that urge to put someone in their place, we have to ask ourselves what are we doing. I always remember Jerry Garcia singing "Can't talk to you, without talking to me…" and I wonder if we ever truly listen to ourselves while talking with others.

    I like that you want to speak for the animals. There is something very noble about speaking on behalf of those who can not speak. Really, do we have to tell people they are right or wrong? Can we share our knowledge with them and let them decide on their own? When does it become acceptable to tell someone they are not yogic because you disagree with them?

    I guess we are both on the right track Karl, why? Because we are sharing our thoughts in public forum…this is where conversation starts!

  15. Sue Schrader says:

    I'm a vegan because I'm not convinced I have the right to cause suffering to, and kill, sentient beings for food that I can survive without. Simple as that.

  16. Karma says:

    Yogi schmogi, you're just selfish.

  17. Lisamarie says:

    Katie, I love you! Well said.

  18. Lisamarie says:

    As a strict vegetarian/borderline vegan, I just want to say I don't tell anyone what to do/eat. I give them the facts about animals being sensient and having a right to life, along with it eating animals being UNhealthy–and no, you don't "need" animal protein and in fact it is in and of inself a potential carcinogen–and then I HOPE they have enough of a conscience to start thinking with a little of their heart and with what I know we ALL know way deep down is REALLY right, instead of all with their taste buds.

  19. vegangsterARNP says:

    ABSOLUTE fact. 😉

  20. vegangsterARNP says:

    BEAUTIFULLY SAID. ahimsa and namaste while turning off reality do not a decent person make.

  21. vegangsterARNP says:

    What we put in our bellies is our personal choice, true; as long as it isn't based on a system of slavery of other species unnecessarily. I take that very personally, and i do not tolerate people like this in my life. This is hypocrisy at its finest

  22. soopaj says:

    yes vegangster ive heard that too (here) that eating mass quantities of rescue puppies is better for your sex life… kittens too! its going to take some research but think about all the self absorbed sexy bloodlust deliciousness. as long as it is locally sourced and organic blood lust… go for it. fuck it. why not.

  23. Thank you for enlightening this woman to the basic principles of yoga. Something else to consider among many is world hunger. As Thick Nhat Hanh wrote- "Every day, forty thousand children die in the world for lack of food. We who overeat in the West, who are feeding grains to animals to make meat, are eating the flesh of these children." Bon Appetit!

  24. Lisamarie, your opinion and beliefs matter, of course. Just wondering if you ever considered name calling and telling people to grow a brain an act of kindness that will create the positive change you seem to be invested in? It's going to be very challenging for you to convince anyone that vegetarianism is about non violence if you cannot consciously express yourself non-violently. Just sayin'.

  25. karlsaliter says:

    Thanks! This has been a frustrating article to follow.

  26. Rich D says:

    Please just think about the karmic repercussions of eating meat i am just like you i have moments where i want to brake down and eat meat it has happened in the past but i finally realized that what i was really tasting was fear pain cruelty and sudden death

  27. Rich D says:

    Kim no one is judging you, if they are then there a beginner, and you know how people are when they first get into something. The longer your a veg or vegan the more you realize NOT to judge, but to just influence by your actions, they speak louder then words. Most of us dont want to see you return to a life where you have a flow of negative karma as well as we care about the animals

  28. theyogaBSpolice says:

    this is a joke, right? …oh sorry, so is this website….

  29. BidNinja says:

    Well, I believe that clears up two difficulties for me personally. How about anybody else?

  30. Caroline says:

    You do realise that the amount of destruction that happens to the Earth to support vegetation greatly outweighs that of livestock, and that is extremely harmful to many species on the planet?

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