Archive for the ‘Vegetarians’ Category

DSC04282Sitting at the breakfast table this morning, my little boy listened as I talked to my wife – and mainly to the Sesame Street coffee mug  – about Michael Vick’s return to professional football.

The night before, as I finished a sluggish treadmill session, a text message popped up on the Blackberry that simply read “Michael Vick to the Eagles.”

For the next couple hours, followers – you don’t have friends on Twitter – traded messages about the newest member of the Eagles. A few took shots at me, perhaps, because I had the great timing of tweeting no more than an hour before the Vick news broke that I hoped “the Eagles kill the Patriots dead tonight.”

This morning, Donovan – I swear I didn’t name him after Donovan McNabb – asked, simply, “Who are you talking about Daddy?”

I told him “Michael Vick. He’s a new player on the Eagles.”

He asked me if I liked Vick and I answered, quickly, “sure buddy.”

I don’t regret my response for a number of reasons. First, it would be impossible to explain to a four year old the grizzly details of a dogfighting ring that landed Vick in a federal jail for 2 years. Puppies were murdered and forced to fight, and kill, each other. It all took place on property Vick owned.

But it’s more than that. I’ve been a vegetarian for 17 months, almost entirely because I reject the notion that it’s alright to kill animals. I’ve never held a gun and have no desire to ever, ever go hunting. Killing is not a sport.

So I’m clearly with the majority who know that what Vick did was reprehensible.  It was savage and, in fact, when news first broke that an NFL team has signed him, I felt sick.

But I also believe in second acts. I want my children to understand forgiveness and to avoid passing judgment when possible. If Vick trips up, he will pay the price. The National Football League will throw him out and he will have much bigger problems than whether my little boy liked watching him play. But if Vick helps the Humane Society, works with other animal rights groups, uses his star power to help local and national charities and handles himself properly on the football field, my little boy will learn that redemption is possible.

No matter the scenario, I answered the question correctly. Daddy got this one right.


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fruits_and_vegetables21The text message reached my Blackberry at 6:53 p.m. It read “making meatballs.”

And there went a fellow vegetarian.

My co-worker said cooking wasn’t as much fun as it had been before he stopped eating meat. He also pointed out that it’s impossible to connect with many other cultures without eating meat. Certainly it would be hard for a vegetarian to eat a good meal at a Brazilian restaurant near Times Square in Manhattan.

“You’re cutting yourself out,” he said.

All fair points, not that he, or anyone else needs my approval.

As for me, tonight’s dinner included a veggie burger on a roll, with pickles, tomatoes and a little ketchup. It was fine.

The truth is in the nearly 13 months since I last ate meat, I haven’t missed it much. In the office today, a catered lunch included a spread of corned beef, turkey, roast beef and chicken. There was no craving, no interest, and the knish was plenty.

The ribbing I take, the “hey how are the chick peas?” or the “you should be a rabbit” jokes don’t bother me. It’s all in good fun and I’m not so thin skinned, though losing my vegetarian teammate will sting a bit.

Life goes on for me, and hopefully for the animal I didn’t eat.

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