As I may have mentioned before, for Lent, my church is encouraging its members to fast from something every Thursday, to end on Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter). For me, I have chosen to fast from meat every Thursday, in which I only eat vegetarian foods on Thursdays. It is a spiritual practice to make myself more aware of what I am putting into my body, recognize spiritual solidarity with my animal neighbors, and help the environment by not contributing to the meat industry and its associated mistreatment of animals and carbon footprint via transportation of products, etc. At least for that one day a week. I will likely continue the practice after Lent by participating in a movement called "Meatless Mondays", which was begun more from a health standard, but also can be viewed with the same aforementioned spiritual standpoint as well - my decision to continue it on Mondays is primarily one of semantics (the name is easy to think of, and therefore, remember to practice), and the fact that Mondays are typically less busy days in my schedule and therefore may have a little more time to put more effort into my cooking.
This practice is one of many along the continuum of omnivore (on one end) and vegan(on the other). It is called Flexitarianism, in which either one is primarily vegetarian, but eats meat occasionally, or is generally a meat eater, but also engages in vegetarian eating on occasion. There are varying levels of Flexitarianism, and a practitioner does so for various personal/spiritual reasons. There are also Pollotarians, who eat poultry but not red meat, and Pescetarians, who eat seafood, but not red meat or poultry. I don't know that I can ever see myself becoming full-out Vegetarian or Vegan, but I find this Flexitarianism is at least a good start or middle-ground, and a good addition to my spiritual practice as Druid, Panentheist, animal rights supporter, and environmentalist. I can't recycle very well where I live, so this is something small I can do with what resources I have available to me. To assist with this, I stumbled upon a book at Books-A-Million, called Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarian . This is actually a big step for me, as to date my cooking has been confined primarily to things like Chef Boyardee, Banquet, and other basic TV dinners, with the exceptions of MorningStar Veggie Burgers I occasionally buy. Hopefully this will help me to develop healthier eating , as well as teach me some basic independent living skills that weren't very well reinforced in my college years.
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