Coming Out – I Eat Red Meat

I stopped eating red meat in seventh grade (I know, so California) because I had a bet with a friend about who could last the longest without eating it. I lasted seven years, so I am pretty sure I won? I guess if I really wanted to know I could write her a Facebook note that was like:

Hey! I know I haven’t seen or tried to make contact with you since we were in middle school, BUT remember when we made that bet during science class to see who could last the longest w/o eating red meat? No big deal *hair flip*, but I lasted seven years. How long did you last?



p.s. I hope your life is awesome and I hope you don’t find this message incredibly awkward. LOL.

I started eating red meat again when I moved to a different country where eating like Dawn from the Babysitter’s Club books was nearly impossible and ridiculously expensive. Β Can we talk about how there is a successful book series about girls who really like to babysit, be dramatic and do pretty much nothing else? Why was that a thing?Anyways, I started eating red meat dishes that were “cultural” as a half-assed justification to my new eating habits. Β Let’s just say I just got a cultural pork bun in China Town in San Francisco, and it was hella delicious. I kinda hope to go back to not eating red meat because of the environmental implications of it/I am still pretty Berkeley-washed and feel insanely guilty about eating it. Sometimes you just can’t shake the Berkeley.

I am also a bit obsessed with people who have really strange eating habits. I know a girl who eats meat, but she doesn’t eat grain because she thinks vegetarians have too narrow a view of what life is because there are thousands of microorganisms in the top layer of soil. I think she has the weirdest eating habits of anyone I know, and I can respect that. I feel like it would be cool to have one insanely irrational eating habit just to be “thought provoking.” You know, eating as performance art because I am kind of pretentious and because I don’t think not liking potatoes will be enough to bring me to that level. Feel free to leave your ideas below :).


69 thoughts on “Coming Out – I Eat Red Meat

  1. Elyse says:

    Dear Ashley,

    I hope you will not regret giving me this opening, but I assume you will. Feel free to hit the “spam” button. Or delete. But you are my new favorite person. I have been hoping, praying, begging, casting spells, etc. for an opportunity to grumble about folks who have impossible, stupid eating habits. But my target reads my blog. (Note to self: NEVER tell people who irritate you about your blog.)

    OK. It’s one person. My sister-in-law. It is really only a problem during the holidays, because the rest of the year we can ignore her completely. But Thanksgiving and Christmas, nope.

    Thanksgiving in particular. Why?

    Because she is a bird loving, vegan vegetarian. No meat (duh!), no poultry (duh), no meat, cheese, eggs, fish, honey, allowed. No leather shoes. No animal products of any type.

    A bird-loving, vegan vegetarian who doesn’t cook or help. And who somehow, year after year manages to piss everybody else off. And somehow she survives.

    I am thankful. I am Christmassy. I am eternally grateful to you Ashley for letting me vent.

    Happy New Year, Ashley. I will shut up now. And I deleted a whole lot.

    Thanks. I needed that!

    1. lorrelee1970 says:

      Well..if she doesn’t cook, then she doesn’t eat. Does the survival comment mean you all are trying to starve her into changing? Because…hell yeah…what an intervention idea that would be.

      1. Elyse says:

        I am too nice, too polite, and my mother-in-law (who is a wonderful woman, even if her daughter is not) is present as well. Many years we go out.

        She would die before she changes. She needed a medicine a few years ago made from horse estrogen and wouldn’t take it. She is a fanatic and I am in the roll of peacemaker. It doesn’t suit me!

        Thanks for commenting on my comment. We do seem to chat!

        Happy, you know.

    2. elroyjones says:

      Elyse- LOVE this! I have a sister-in-law too, we don’t like her. My other brother has a wife and we all love her. Sometimes, not too often, I sing high praises of my brother’s wife in front of the reviled sister-in-law (notice the subtle distinction) but I suspect she’s too stupid and self-absorbed to get it. There! Now I feel better too.

      ashleyjillian- You make me laugh, “eating as performance art because I’m kind of pretentious…” excellent!

      1. Elyse says:

        When the relative is an in-law, it’s so much worse. I can argue with my own siblings, parents, whatever. Not someone else’s. At least not in this family. Oh well.

        But I’m glad you vented too. Thanks again Ashley!

      1. Elyse says:

        Thank you, Ashley! Seriously, I will probably not get accused of murder any time soon.

        She is a vegan because she is a people-hater and an animal lover. I go along with the animal loving part. The people hating, nope, can’t go there. It’s more of a religion to her than anything else. She believes that animals have been so abused by man for so many years that she will save them. Of course, tell that to the bellowing cow who needs to be milked. Oh, I digress. And my blood pressure is rising!

        Happy Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to writing about this again in a year or so!

  2. lawman83 says:

    Ashley, I think you have a healthy attitude and a strong will. Giving up a regular part of one’s diet for seven years on a bet takes concentration and determination. I also think it is healthy that you do not make a fetish of a dietary choice.

    I eat red meat — meaning beef — with a clear conscience because I only buy humanely-raised range-fed beef. If you would like to read my argument that raising and eating range-fed beef is humane and ethically sound, read my post, “Let Them Eat Salad — and Steak,” Happy New year. Do you have a New Year’s Resolution? People don’t seem to talk about resolutions as much as they used to.

    1. ashleyjillian says:

      I do have new years resolutions, I was quite successful on my ones from last year! I try not to blog about holidays because so many other people already do it and I am a forced nonconformist.

  3. llaird says:

    Hil.Arious. I know a chick who has never eaten a PB&J sandwich. (I hate ppl who write hilarious like that. As if I can’t figure out that they REALLY mean it. I really mean it.)

  4. quirkyculture says:

    Okay, here is what’s weird. That we get to live in a culture that even ALLOWS us to feel guilty about what we eat. Most of the world does not have that option! For many human beings in the world, here is the question: Do I get to eat today? Yes or no? End of discussion. Love your blog!

  5. Rachael Black says:

    I’m a meat eating (vintage) fur wearing omnivore. As your commenter above noted, to paraphrase, mmmm cheeseburger!
    My daughter became a vegetarian when she was 11. She did not wish to hurt animals.

    She’s 18, in college and I doubt she will ever meat meat again (or anything with any type of meat byproducts- trust me she’s a stickler about ingredients in pre-made foods).

    Not that she didn’t love meat,sushi and ribs, and still drools when I’m cooking bacon. She has her convictions.
    I DO respect her decision but am glad she is away at college. Making two meals, or two versions was a major (and VERY expensive) pain in the ass -grin-.
    Best part: She Detests vegetables; keeping up her protein and correct vitamins was always a challenge.

    good for you and your seven years!
    ~Little Miss Non PC

  6. Farfalla says:

    I was vegan for years. I was a total bitch and no one would invite me out to eat. I did macrobiotics for a while. This is the technical school of diets. Eat what you crave and keep moderation in mind. Then your anti-anxiety prescription meds will be at a minimum.

  7. Sameer says:

    For 20 years since i was born i was a vegetarian. When i finally got around to eating chicken in college, i moved to red meat soon and i sure as hell never stopped. It’s just too tasty!

  8. Tilly Bud says:

    Vegetarians are known as ‘yoghurt knitters’ in the UK. Amusing, but a little lacking in understanding. And tolerance.

    I think we all need to mind our own business about what other people eat, unless it causes damage.

    FTR, I am an unrepentant meat eater, but I respect the views of those who think differently.

  9. susielindau says:

    I get wonky if I don’t eat meat for a while. I felt really down one time and my vegetarian friend suggested I eat a burger and it worked! The vitamin B’s are like happy pills. Moderation….
    Great post!

  10. Red says:

    I like Barking in the Dark’s idea πŸ™‚

    Stop by my Green Room and leave a link to my blog. I think Lorre, Rachael & Elyse may vouch for me. *Grins*


  11. Michael Sadowski says:

    Went off of meat three years ago, at the behest of my animal loving daughter. Lost 35lbs. among other things…like all my energy and what little remains of my libido. Feel better in general so I’m staying the course. But guess who’s bringing home cheezburgers again? Little Miss “Meat Is Murder!”

  12. Diego Serrano says:

    Eating red meat is ridiculously fun since it requires so much gnawing. And if you’re not gnawing, you’re not living.
    The downside is the accompanying farts, and contrary to popular myth, farting in ones sleep is still considered farting. (Yes, even girls).
    Red meat is a slippery slope, and before you know it, you’ll be knocking back cooked cabbage and black beans and totally killing it.
    Happy New Year.
    Keep posting.

  13. El Guapo says:

    Since you are eating meat again, let me suggests a really good cut (filet ?) brushed with olive oil, coated with fresh cracked black pepper (fresh cracked – not the sawdust in the jars), Kosher salt, and a ridiculously hot pan.

    Throw in the steak, about 60 – 90 sec on a side. And. Savor. and. Enjoy.
    *I prefer mine with a good stout, but I’m sure wine works too…

  14. Linda Vernon says:

    I was a Veggi Tarian for 3 years. I was healthy, I didn’t weight too much, and my blood pressure was 103/71. Then I got hungry for meat and started eating it again. I’m still healthy, but my I weight 5 pounds more. My blood pressure is still low so whatever.

  15. Jason says:

    One of my friends only ate macaroni and cheese, bacon and slices of cake everyday of his life until he was 18. He is afraid of potato chips and wouldn’t try pizza until his 18th birthday. This is all true.

    1. lawman83 says:

      Ashley sure tapped into a topic of interest. Jason, one of my daughters practically lived on mac & cheese for years and many of her college friends seem to thrive on Ramen, day in, day out. I subscribe to the theory that no matter what some people eat, their bodies somehow make the substances they need from whatever is consumed. Those people could live on Coke and potato chips and their bodies would convert the Coke and potato chips into all the necessary proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. I tell you three times, science does not have all the answers.

      1. Elyse says:

        Science does not have all the answers. BUT, my eldest sister did actually live on little more than Coke and potato chips. In 2007 she had a massive stroke in part from build up of calcium in her kidneys (can you say “water, please”?). The stroke was also the result of high blood pressure, which the constant diet of salted potato chips (and heavily salted everything else, actually) contributed. Sadly she died in 2009, still unwilling to eat anything healthy.

        Moderation is the key. To everything.

        Sorry Ashley. I’ve done it again :(.

  16. jell jell @ I'll Sleep When They're Grown says:

    I was vegetarian, then vegan, then vegetarian again, then pescatarian. For 15 years. Last year I started eating meat again because for the first time, I craved it. Because I was breast feeding. And now, my life is joyous. There were so many things to keep up with, and meals I was left out of. I have done my time. And I figure I saved enough lives (probably not. My portion of a meal was always left over) or at least not had my hand in any of it – and that I can eat meat with a clear conscience. And BTdubs, pork buns make my heart sing.

  17. tiare75 says:

    Love this post. So much. From one Nor Cal girl/former Babysitter’s Club reader to another, your post was “hella” cool.

  18. Kellie Kennedy says:

    I do eat meat. Although I eat mostly chicken and a lot of fish. I save my rare red meats for special dinners normally when I go out to a fine rest. where they specialize in fine meats. My mother does not care for meat. turned off as a kid after seeing an animal be slaughtered on a farm…stuck with her. Ya would me too!

  19. tilocheyenne says:

    Too funny! I love this. Very humorous πŸ™‚ To those who have commented, I strongly encourage you to follow me on my blog! I am new to the blogging world–but the more follows, the better I will feel about posting. Please and thank you! It would mean so much!

  20. Healthy Freedom says:

    You don’t eat potatoes!!?? Thats a pretty good one.. πŸ™‚ I’m pretty typical… I’d live off chocolate, cheese and cereal if I could (not necessarily together). My biggest pet peeve is milk… i can’t drink it within days of the expiration date, if I purchase a new gallon, I start it and my husband finshes the old one and I can NOT drink it out of plastic – has to be a glass… we all got our quirks, it’s what makes us awesome! πŸ™‚

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