I had been avoiding red meat and pork, since my diet is part of my devotional practice that I can control pretty easily on my own.

I’ve been doing great, even when my husband wants to go to barbecue places, and when we go to restaurants where the only thing I can eat is coleslaw. It has been a great source of focus.

Today, though? Not so much. I’ve been having a rough week. I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch, and ended up ordering from the takeout menu instead. I quickly selected something I thought would be safe for me, meats-wise.

It turns out that it’s full of bacon. Rather than avoiding it, I’m eating it, because I’d taken a bite of bacon when I discovered this. I feel like today is an I-need-to-eat-this-accidental-bacon day.

And I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a few relapses when adopting a more restrictive habit. I don’t miss beef and pork. I don’t think about them or crave them. But if I’ve paid for a sandwich that has pork in it and I discover that halfway through because I overlooked it on the menu, I won’t waste that sandwich.

I may go all-veg for the rest of the week, though.

(I would also like to get a definite answer from the universe about this path. Yes or no. One or the other. I know that answer isn’t going to come, but it would help a lot.)

About HappyGoth

By day, I'm a graphic designer. By night, I'm a knitter. I'm doing my part to keep Hotlanta stylish. I imagine that if you don't already understand the title of the blog, you're probably confused and perhaps slightly annoyed, but never fear - I do have a reason (and it's a good one). Having gone to hear Stephanie Pearl McPhee, and then having been inspired to blog about knitting, I found myself wondering what to call the blog. I recalled a conversation I had with Mouse and the Chicken Goddess about why it is a Bad Idea to anger knitters - this conversation was following SPM, aka the Yarn Harlot telling the assembled throng about Those Who Do Not Understand Knitting and Therefore Belittle It Much to the Chagrin of Others, or TWDNUKTBMCO, which is not the acronym she used but is the one I'm using because I forgot hers - that is, we are numerous and we all have very pointy sticks, easily transforming into an angry mob. Therefore, knitters = angry mob.
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23 Responses to Backsliiiiiide

  1. mouse says:

    I know I’m not helping but are you sure that it wasn’t turkey bacon? I’m surprised at just how many places use turkey bacon in their sandwiches- you might actually be ‘safe’. I agree with you, I would eat the sandwich as to not have it go to waste but be more mindful of what I’m ordering from that point on. I am glad that you aren’t being too hard on yourself- mistakes happen, especially when this isn’t something you’ve been doing for your whole life!

    • HappyGoth says:

      Oh, no. I’ve ordered this before and it’s very distinctly applewood bacon, the pig kind.

      I should’ve known better and asked for them to leave off the bacon; the sandwich would be delicious without it and the restaurant is the sort of place that fills those sort of requests. This will teach me to be more vigilant in the future and not order while distracted!

  2. kodanda says:

    Bad Hindu, no Moksha for you!!! 😛

  3. aham says:

    I am a born again veggie,i was a veggie for most of my life,but turned non-vegetarian for 4 years or so for health related reasons, but since the last 2 or so years havent had meat(except a one time mistake of having a meat sandwich),but what you are doing is commendable being born in a society that is predominantly meat eating,you’re doing exceptionally well, i know its not easy to do what you are doing and to be honest i feel so much healthier being a veggie and i will remain a veggie for the rest of my life.

    • HappyGoth says:

      Thanks! I do feel like I’m doing pretty well, as long as I’m not too hard on myself when I make a misstep (like the time when I ate a pound of crawfish on a day I had initially intended to fast). It’s part of being human, but I also know that if I’m diligent and persistent I’ll eventually do it without thinking.

      It’s interesting that you started eating meat for health reasons. I think a lot of the time folks in the U.S. see meat as a right, and don’t think about why they’re eating it or where it comes from. Part of what i like about this is that it’s helping me make wiser choices about the foods I eat (accidental bacon notwithstanding).

      • aham says:

        Interesting that you fast, how do you fast, i mean do you take milk/fruits or u eat a small amount of food or you dont eat anything, there is this concept of Ekadashi which comes twice a month and sometimes 2 days in a row and some people abstain from food on these days for instance my parents dont have anything,just a drop of water( i mean just one drop) and they dont eat/drink anything for a day and if ekadashi comes 2 days in a row my dad does the same no food/water or anything for 2 days, i cant do it,i have tried the one day fast once and did it,its not so easy i should say.

      • HappyGoth says:

        I tried only having water, but found it difficult to think straight on those days. Normally I’ll do just fruits and milk if I’m being very serious, or no-egg veg if it’s a busy day.

        It is very difficult to do a total fast. I’m pretty sure you have to practice and grow accustomed to it.

  4. kodanda says:

    I know for myself I have been trying to hold down a sattvic diet. It is quite hard. Being single and mostly cooking for myself or occasionally for my house mate and his children (when they are over), So I typically cook the majority diet (when cooking for the house) or convenience (when cooking for just myself) wins out. I do find it great that my house mate has taken an active interest in my diet. In fact tonight instead of getting beef meatballs he has gotten some veggie balls. Also the eating beef has almost disappeared here, if they do eat beef they go out for it. 😀

    • HappyGoth says:

      That’s really great of your roommate! It’s hard cooking for yourself like that, and I’ve found that dining out is much more challenging, but honestly I shouldn’t be dining out all the time, anyway. Most of my friends have been very accommodating (to a really comical extent; they apologize when they eat beef around me). My husband eats what I do, except when we’re out at a restaurant. He really likes barbecue brisket.

      As for Ekadashi, I picked up a B.A.P.S. calendar at one of the local groceries. There are some holidays on it that I don’t recognize, but Ekadashi days are well-marked and appear to correspond well to other Hindu calendars. I did some web searching, too.

  5. kodanda says:

    On Ekadashi, I have been wanting to follow this, but I never seem to know when it is.

    • aham says:

      Here is a link where you can find basic information about which day is ekadashi,however this is not followed by everyone,different people follow different Panchaang(hindu calendar).so if you are following a particular sect and would like to follow it only,then you might get it from their website,if not this is fine.

      Click to access cal.pdf

      • HappyGoth says:

        Aha. That answers my question about the B.A.P.S. calendar vs. other Hindu calendars.

        I wonder what a person who isn’t following a particular sect does. Is ekadashi irrelevant if you aren’t part of a sect? How does that work?

  6. Barani says:

    Historically conversion into Hinduism has been a multi-decade or multi-generational work in progress.

    One gradually starts taking up Hindu habits. One cannot become a vegetarian over-night, until the family and friends have also started becoming vegetarian

    Consider what happens when a non-Hindu ( beef-eating ) tribe comes in contact with Hinduism

    It takes them some decades to give up beef. and usually they make no more dietary progress even after thousands of years.

    The path to vegetarianism happens over centuries and it is a step by step process

    Caste rank depends on how close a caste adheres to vegetarian norms.

    First give up beef
    Some centuries later, give up pork,
    some centuries later give up lamb,
    some centuries later give up chicken

    Some centuries later give up fish

    some centuries later give up egg

    No Hindu is a vegan. Drinking milk is a religious duty

    Kashmiri brahmins eat fish, chicken, lamb

    Saraswat and Bengali brahmins eat fish.

    95% of South Indians are non-vegetarian
    95% of kerala non-brahmin Hindus eat beef ( due to recent back-sliding )
    50% of North Indian Hindus are non-vegetarian

    Primarily Brahmins, Vaishyas and Jains are vegetarians

    The rest depends on religiosity

    In addition, there is a concept called Apa-dharma, meaning in times of stress, rules can be bent.
    I have heard that the scriptures allow eating of dogs during a famine.

    Also some decades ago, in 1947, during Partition riots, muslims tried to forcibly convert Hindus to islam, by making them eat beef at sword-point. Once these Hindus escaped to India, they dumped islam and went back to Hinduism
    Once the threat was removed, thousands

    • HappyGoth says:

      This is really interesting! I know a few Hindus who eat some meat, but I know some who don’t, and was a little confused. I read that initially Hindus didn’t have as many dietary restrictions, but as other faiths became prevalent (Buddhism, Jainism, etc) it began to incorporate dietary restrictions based on new concepts such as ahimsa. Maybe I’m just following the logical dietary path! 🙂

      I’m curious to hear what the rest of the comment was; it appears to have been cut off.

      (and I agree that it’s quite a bit more difficult to adopt vegetarianism if the people around you aren’t vegetarians)

      • Barani says:

        The Gurkhas who are kshatriya hindus eat goat and even buffalo and yak
        Every week at home they sacrifice goats to Kali and eat the meat.

        Hindus of all castes accept that animals have souls. Hinduism allows eating of meat, providing the animal is beheaded in 1 stroke ( jhatka ). Sikhism ( a protestant form of Hinduism ) specifically bans kosher or halal meat.

        Vegetarianism entered Hinduism after 500 BC, due to teachings of Jainism and Buddhism.

        Original vedic Hinduism had goat sacrifices and horse sacrifices.

        If you look at Indian restaurants, they offer tandoori chicken.

        *The rest of the comment was thousands of Pakistani Hindus who had been converted to islam at sword-point in 1947 and made to eat beef, dumped islam and returned to Hinduism once they got to India.

        There is a heirarchy of sin of meat-eating

        Beef to Pork to Lamb to Chicken to Fish to egg

        Bengali brahmins eat fish

        Many non-vegetarians also are veg for 1 or 2 days a week.

        My advice is to move gradually and sustainably to lacto-ova-vegetarianism and you may find that you still have to eat meat or fish. The only key meat to avoid is beef.

      • HappyGoth says:

        I’m doing it one step at a time. While I appreciate the history of the Hindu diet, I’m pretty focused on modern Hindu diets. However, I am not going to let it take over my life; I believe that in several texts we’re also cautioned not to focus on food except as nourishment, so I will focus on it enough to continue to develop good habits, but I’m not going to let it run my life.

        (I don’t eat beef at all, any time. That one was easy!)

  7. Sarojini says:

    Don’t feel bad about it. I make mistakes as a vegetarian.
    Infact, I shall share TWO mistakes I made this week. I had a little bit to drink earlier this week and was offered some greek yogurt by my friends. Well, I completely forgot that yogurt has gelatin in it. >.<
    And last night, I went out to the local thai resturaunt; ordered myself fried tofu with peanut sauce and some red curry. Well guess what I found out after looking up the ingredients? Red & green curries contains FISH/SHRIMP paste. Blegh! DX
    I'm sure I'll continue to make mistakes, even though I feel like I've broken a vegetarian commandment! However, I believe that is part of evolving as a vegetarian, becomming more and more aware of what we're putting in our bodies. 🙂

    • HappyGoth says:

      I had totally forgotten about Thai soups; that’s a big stumbling block (I really like Tom Yum). Oh, well. I imagine there’s an alternative out there that works. Perhaps some experimentation is in order!

      As for the yogurt, we eat Fage Greek strained yogurt pretty exclusively, and it’s totally vegetarian. I will have to be careful about some cheeses; a lot of the ones I find quite tasty contain rennet. But like I said, I’m not going to let it run my life. As long as I continue to develop better habits, I’m doing well, I think.

  8. Sarojini says:

    Also, I’m not going to bite my tongue on what the invidual above me said about meat eating and leave you with these links:

    They’re a bit long, but totally worth the read. 🙂

  9. aham says:

    About different sects having different systems i probably think thats because of avoiding an ekadashi(fasting day) coming on a day important to that sect,so sometimes a day is skipped or adjusted,B.A.P.S people probably will have their own important days which for other sects have no importance so a different calender is used,however common festival dates are not changed like raam navami or vaikunth ekadashi and the like.

    and about following ekadashi, as far as i am not concerned i focus more on why than the when, for me having my own personal calendar is fine, the point of ekadashi is putting the body without food for a day,which many believe cleanses the body,ekadashi simply means the 11th day, so ekadashi is still very relevant without a sect,fasting makes one realize the importance of food and makes one appreciate the food better and not to waste it,thats how i see it although some might disagree.

    • HappyGoth says:

      ekadashi simply means the 11th day

      Aha! Thanks! I couldn’t figure out how that was being determined. I like the idea of doing a fast based on when it’s spiritually important to you to do a cleansing. Sanatana Dharma or no, I’ve moved away from doing things because I’m told to and more because it’s spiritually meaningful, so this makes a lot of sense. The endeavor to becoming more vegetarian is also an endeavor to buy locally farmed, organic foods and to eat responsibly, just as I’d behave responsibly towards people. I think that a person can practice ahimsa by choosing to do certain things as much as they can by choosing not to do certain things.

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