Yesterday I talked about how my monthly challenge for January—giving up alcohol—had gone. I finished by saying that, “next month will have a much tougher challenge.” Now that a day has passed, that “next month” is this month, and the tougher challenge has begun: I have given up eating meat.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from talking about this with friends and colleagues it’s that everyone is sure they know exactly what that means, but many people are wrong. So here are some clarifications:
- Poultry is meat.
- Fish (including shellfish) is meat.
- So are insects, although giving up eating those won’t be a stretch.
- Eggs are not meat.
- Gelatine is not meat.
Those last two are important. I’ve deliberately stated this challenge as not eating meat, as distinct from going vegetarian. I don’t want to spend a month reading ingredients lists looking for gotchas. I just want to push myself into exploring new food options by denying myself the ones I usually tend towards.
One day in, I’m feeling optimistic. There’s a risk in the first days of the month that I’ll forget about the challenge while on auto-pilot at the cafés in work, but if I manage to pay enough attention to stop myself grabbing some meat out of sheer habit I think I’ll manage with this one just fine.