Nothing but a Vegetarian Disgrace
I have been a vegetarian and pescetarian (a vegetarian who eats fish) for my entire adult life and most of my whole life…but then there’s bacon.
A humongous number of people love bacon, and as odd as it may seem, some of those are vegetarians. It’s like a vegetarian dirty-little-secret club, and I’m one of its members. I know someone who had a cat named Bacon, and when asked why, she replied, “Because everyone loves bacon.”
What is it about bacon that makes us salivate? The delicious greasy smell? The scrumptious smoky flavor? Its crunchy yet chewy texture? I don’t know.
Not only am a member of this dirty club, for me the best is the fatty kind that hasn’t been cooked to crispiness. Extremely unhealthy, I know. Luckily the craving doesn’t hit me all that often, and it gets fulfilled even less often. I guess I’m a vege-pesce- baco-tarian. Today, after about 9 months in Thailand it was my first time eating bacon in this country, and it was spectacular.
Several days later…
I was walking through my local market, which wasn’t smart because I was shopping while extremely hungry. I smelled chicken roasting on the grill and saw something that looked like barbecued chicken. Like a woman possessed I asked for, “Gai yaang,” handed over my 25 baht, and made my way through the market like this is something I do everyday. I don’t think I’ve ever bought barbecued chicken in my life, certainly not in Thailand.
When I arrived home, I devoured it immediately. Me. Eating chicken. Off the bone. What? It was a fairly large piece and I polished off the whole thing rather quickly. Since it’s from the local market, the chances of the chicken being fresh, organic, having been raised in someone’s yard nearby, are all very likely. I felt fine afterwards and it tasted better than any chicken I’ve ever eaten.
Just when I thought that was the end of it…
A friend of mine asked if I was a vegetarian, and I replied, “Yes, but oddly I ate chicken this week.” He explained that he’d been preparing pulled pork since the day before, and had been slow cooking it all day. He invited me to a barbecue at his house. I said I’d try it. I’ve never eaten pulled pork before in my life, and I always try a little bit of new foods. I don’t particularly like pork if it isn’t bacon, but this was different. I served myself a small sampling, and after a few bites went back for more. Yep, it was a tender, barbecued-smoky delight. How did I feel afterwards? Completely fine.
I know, it doesn’t make any sense and I can’t give any reason for it. I love animals and could never kill one, and I usually never want to eat meat. I live in a Buddhist country, and although there is vegetarian food available, I have not met one Thai person who chooses to be a vegetarian. They think it’s strange. I don’t have many good explanations for that either.
The way I see it, my body must need something it’s not getting…and I’ll leave it at that.