WHAT'S FOR LUNCH? NOT MEAT, THAT'S FOR SURE | Valentina Duracinsky: WHAT'S FOR LUNCH? NOT MEAT, THAT'S FOR SURE

November 5, 2015

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH? NOT MEAT, THAT'S FOR SURE

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Kady and I were in the back seat of my mom's car while Ricardo, my mother's boyfriend, drove us to Los Termales de Santa Rosa after an afternoon in Salento. It was already dark outside, and we were  a bit lost finding our way to the hotel. I requested we listen to yet another iTunes U lecture featuring Michael Pollan as the guest speaker. This one was a conversation between Michael and John Mackey, the founder and CEO of Whole Foods. Mackey's speech included a five minute PETA video (and we listeners got all the awful audio) showing all the horrific behind-the-scenes at factory farms, the disgraceful treatment of chickens, cows, pigs... We all listened in silence, and suddenly I got the urge to cry.

Most of these kind of documentaries and talks are pretty damn serious and sad, but this just made something in my head click.

I cried in silence in the back of the car and realized that I just could not put another piece of meat or poultry in my mouth without knowing where it came from, and if it came from a place where it had a decent life. 

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So it's been about three weeks now since I've had meat or poultry. I was a "vegetarian" when I was twelve. I think it lasted for two years, I can hardly remember. I say "vegetarian" because that's what I said but my dad made me eat fish (which I loved anyway) since I didn't eat enough other kinds of protein.Then I stopped because it was difficult going to friends' houses, the parents never understood. Vegetarian, WTF is that? I could read on their faces. I also no longer knew why I was doing it. Pescatarian is what I am now (and what I was back then, really). I've always liked seafood more than meat anyway, plus it's a hard transition to go from eating everything to eating tofu, tempeh and beans. 

Is it perfect? No. We have huge overfishing problems, and mercury and extinction and whatnot. It is definitely not the PERFECT decision. But there is no perfect decision, no easy decision. I did what felt right. I started out saying I would eat animals if I knew where they came from and if they were treated well (say, the chickens at my farm in Colombia) but part of me has no desire for it at all. We will see where this takes me. 

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It's not just factory farms and slaughterhouses. In fact, if I really cared about all animals, I would give up everything! Because the story behind eggs and milk, well folks, it ain't that pretty either. But I would be miserable without cheese, my friends. And a 100% vegan diet just doesn't suit me. Yes, there are health benefits, and environmental benefits, and animal rights issues to be dealt with, but I can make some compromises. 

At home, I will definitely look into where my milk, cheese, and eggs come from. I can easily be vegan more than 50% of the time. But not 100%, that's just it. 

At the moment, I can be pescatarian 100% of the time, vegetarian 85% of the time and vegan 50% of the time. I will look into more ways to help myself, the animals, the environment and others but right now this is as much as I can do, and what I feel comfortable with. It's pretty funny to note that I have already been an almost-pescatarian at home for a long time. All these pictures are from three to eight months ago and note that they all have either just vegetables, or vegetables and fish! 

From top to bottom: kale and smoked trout (i think) salad with radish and figs • cheese and avocado toasts with side of grapefruit, orange and mango • salmon and avocado • tuna and radish endive boats with delicious Tajin seasoning • butternut squash with mozzarella, smoked salmon, red peppers and carrots • chiaggia beet & goat cheese salad with kale • salmon with side kale walnut salad • caesar salad with surimi, beets & turmeric

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