I am a vegetarian

It is not so much about not eating meat anymore, so much as it is about what I do eat. My wife and I decided about six months ago that we were going to be pescatarian or in terms of meat, we are strictly fish eaters. Most people refer to this art as being vegetarian because fish isn’t really meat.” Our reasoning was a few fold: Lex was having some health problems with red meat in particular, we had basically cut meat out of our diet anyway, and I didn’t want to make two meals each night simply because I had a propensity for eating meat that my wife couldn’t have.

As we have lived with this life change, we have also dealt with how others feel about it, often resorting to the childish feelings of if it is different, it has to be made fun of.” This is of course something I deal with daily from one person or another and I have been thinking recently about how to combat those general feelings from others, hence the first line: It is not so much about not eating meat anymore, so much as it is about what I do eat.” The questions I tend to get on a daily basis are all based on the same thing. Meat is a staple in dietary menus for every culture because isn’t that the only place to get a good amount of protein?” This sentiment often comes out in the form of, well, if you don’t eat meat, what do you eat?” That is a great question for me. It opens the door to acceptance that I all too readily jump through.

I am the cook of my household; I have fun making myself be creative every single day with my meals. I don’t have the easy fallback of meat.  This is where I rep all the cooking blogs I follow. I scour the Internet almost daily for ideas on what to make during the week. In no particular order, I turn to the following geniuses in the kitchen:

What meals will take the longest to prepare? What have we had so far this week? How will the leftovers we had for lunch from last nights meal jive with the meal I am planning for tonight?  Creativity in the kitchen is an art, vegetarian or not.  However, when you take the plunge into being a vegetarian, you need to understand that being creative just got harder.  Unless you have an endless budget to seek out new species of squash to test and taste, you have a strict regimen of peppers, onions, fungi, and the like.  How many things can you do with these ingredients? Quite a bit actually.  I suggest that you take a look at the above sites and see what I have to work with.  I would also like to use this blog as a place, similar to TweatingOut, that reviews dishes I have done and restaurants I have visited in the Indy area.  Hope everyone likes that idea!

See you next time!

Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.