Vegetarian: A person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious or health reasons.
I have never been a big meat eater, but ever so often, growing up on an island of mostly carnivorous people, you are inclined to adapt such customs.
Meat is bloody and fibrous (which is kinda nasty), but it can also be very flavorful when done right. Not to mention the diversity offered in preparation when you feel like chowing down something from an animal. A lot more than can be said about its kitchen counterpart, the Vegetable.
I started leaning towards a more Vegetarian diet over a year ago. One that excludes red meat, but for a few reasons I cannot fully give up on the white meat of Chicken. I have tried, trust me, and it is hard. Here’s why…
Chicken is so damn diverse
Who wants to eat the same boring food everyday? Not me! After all, you only live this life once. Chicken is real good when seasoned right and cooked perfectly. If Monday you feel like frying, Tuesday stewing, Wednesday baking, Thursday grilling, Friday roasting, Saturday barbecuing and Sunday poaching, you can do it all and more. You might be able to do all this with Vegetables, but it is not as flavorful and interesting.
Chicken is full of protein
I only fancy the breast meat on a fowl. Not a fan of the dark meat parts such as the thigh and legs, ewww! Weird, I know! According to the USDA there is about 43g of protein in the breast alone. That is a lot of amino acid (the building blocks of protein) to fuel your body, provide the recommended daily dosage and get those ab muscles growing. Vegetables have some protein yes, but nothing near the amount needed to supply your body. Which means you will have to turn to supplements or substitutes, which just complicates an already complicated life.
Chicken is easy to prepare
Got home from work and tired? Chicken can be done in 10 minutes. Have to pack for your early morning flight but feel hungry? Chicken will be ready in 15 minutes. Chicken is so easy to prepare. It is fast, absorbs flavor well, and does not require much attention once in the pot. Vegetables are quick too, but for something that comes from a grounded bird, it sure knows how to honor time.
Being strictly Vegetarian is time consuming
It is so easy to walk into the store, go straight to the fridge and pick up a case of Chicken breast, than to go into the Vegetable aisle and ponder over fifty different greens, yellows and oranges. Then, when you go home, have to brainstorm over how to prepare an interesting meal out of them. You have to be really dedicated to Vegetarianism to actively seek out different types of vegetables and exciting ways to prepare them every time hunger strikes. Eating Chicken does not make you an evil person. Can you imagine if Chicken was not used as a form of food, we would have more Chickens than humans. Some creatures were meant to serve as nourishment and I think the Chicken is one of them.
Most Vegetarian substitutes are overly processed
The whole point of turning Vegetarian in the first place is to stay away from the additives jammed into meat (such as steroids and hormones), keep our bodies clean and abide by some moral high code. However, I see it as counterintuitive to crave a meat substitute if you became Vegetarian to get away from it to begin with. Have you ever seen the number of ingredients printed on the package of a Vegetarian substitute product such as Facon or Tofurkey? A ton! 41 in Facon alone! Now isn’t that far worse than eating a Chicken with maybe a single hormone shot needled in the rear end?
After all this ranting, you may think I am trying to create an argument against Vegetarianism. Actually, the contrary. I know eventually, maybe a year or three from now, I will become a full fledged Vegetarian. But, for the time being I will continue being a Vegetarian who savors my Chicken breast, because it tastes damn good!