A few years ago, I wrote a sermon titled "Confessions of an Unrepentant Carnivore." Ironically, I never had a chance to deliver the sermon after the church's schedule changed.
Don't get me wrong. The point of the sermon wasn't anti-vegetarian or anti-vegan. Actually, the sermon was more about pointing out weaknesses I saw in some animal rights arguments. I have long admired people who lived without consuming meat, but just didn't see a time in the future when I could make a similar commitment.
Well, the irony of my unborn sermon has come full circle. A month ago, I decided that the time had come for me to make a commitment to healthier eating and to contributing one more small voice to those arguing that better, more efficient, and more humane ways exist to feed our population than currently employed tactics. My initial efforts have consisted of merely seeing if I could do this thing without going into beef withdrawal. Surprisingly, I honestly have not missed meat at all.
Now, I find the vegetarian substitutes for meat humorous, in that they often try to look like meat. I imagine some manufacturers hope to fool our long-time omnivorous taste buds into believing that that lump of soy protein is really a chicken nugget. But, I actually have not needed much faux-meat in my initial endeavor. As one raised in a household where fresh let alone raw vegetables were rarely served, there has been much I could do to expand my diet with new products. I even cooked my first kale and liked it (hmm, sounds like a Katy Perry song...).
So, I don't envision much tofurkey on my pizzas, but can see more varieties of other vegetables and cheeses. As for my vegan friends, be patient. I'm asking a lot of my badly nourished body now, without taking away milk, cheese, and eggs. But, the day may come because I can envision a time when we take a new look at our seven Unitarian Universalist principles and see the logical conclusion of combining the two framing principles. When we consider the inherent worth of all members of our interdependent web, then we must consider making all of the changes necessary to truly respect all life, and not just human life.
For now, however, let me have my homemade egg muffin sandwich...even if I now make it with spurious sausage.