January 3rd, 2011

I was going to give up shopping for 2011.

I was mentally creating an elaborate list of rules determining what kind of shopping was okay and what kind of shopping was off limits and what kind of items I could buy second hand and what kinds of items I had to patch or recombine or make myself from old dish cloths or invent by mixing wood ash with bread yeast and earth worm castings or go all country doctor and develop a improper itch for self deprivation and suffering.

And then I remembered how much I hate rules…

And how much I hate suffering…

And then I remembered that I live in a house with five males  – two of them teenagers – one of them a self flagellating lover of abject misery and how sometimes a short stroll among the shops purchasing something utterly absurd and completely unnecessary keeps me from throwing myself headlong into the swirling Kansas river.

So then I decided to give up meat instead.

Because a hunk of meat never kept me from a single nervous break down.

While many an emergency ice cream cone has and since there isn’t any meat in ice cream I should be okay.  I am still going to cook meat for my family, but the things we typically eat are the types of foods that can blah blah blah blah… so I think I can handle this.

Plus, I think I will enjoy telling people that I don’t eat meat and also derive much pleasure from actively disdaining people who do eat meat.

I will still wear leather shoes and belts.

You may call me a hypocrite if you wish.

Are you going to try and make any radical changes?

How about not so radical?

Viva la 2011!


  • Jo:

    i’m going to try and only buy second hand clothes for myself & my kids (with the exception of underwear) this year. i want to try and wear more of the stuff hanging in my wardrobe and if needed repurpose what i already own.
    don’t know how i’ll go but it’s worth a shot.
    i look forward to reading about your vegetarian adventures – that is a really big challenge. i wish you all the best.

    • JJ:

      I like the idea of repurposing – always looking for handme downs – my daughter is the oldest girl since my sister – she has always been the one handing down! I have a friend who passes down clothes for my son – but hers is almost done growing – she gave me three brand new coats that I was HOPING would last for three years – my son has kicked into a growth spurt and the three coats lasted only a year and a half. And the kid refuses to wear his sisters jeans no matter how much I offer him ;) !

  • It may sound hokey, but every year I just try and make an effort to be a better person. Whether that means stop being catty at a certain moment or helping someone out if I can, that’s what I try to do. Other types of stuff just never work. I end up forgetting or making deals with myself. So, I just do it differently now.

  • JJ:

    Not making any “resolutions” this year – going to try forming new good habits! Maybe repackaging the idea will help me have more success with the whole improvement process!

  • Tracy:

    I am going to try to be less crazy this year.

    • Rechelle:

      Good luck with that Tracy. If it works out, let me know how you did it.

  • I’m laying off the alcohol. It always seems so sophisticated to have a glass of wine or a cocktail in the evening, but it’s hindering my weight loss, so back to only one a week…

    I’m curious Rechelle. Are you forgoing all meat (chicken, beef, pork, fish) or just beef? I ask because so many people refer to beef as “meat” and eat the others. Will you stay away from eggs, milk & cheese as well?

    I say, good for you! I used to not eat beef, it just tasted icky to me, but now I love a rare steak on occasion. I still have a hard time stomaching other cuts of beef, though.

    • Rechelle:

      I am still going to eat eggs, milk, cheese, icecream, etc. Just giving up beef, poultry, and probably fish too although dang it! That’s just plain hard!

      • Ooooo, yeah, fish would be hard. I LOVE fish!

        Two of my nieces are vegetarians, but still eat fish, seafood, eggs, ice cream & cheese. One doesn’t eat Jell-O. When my husband found out about the Jell-O thing, he quit eating it as well, even though he’s not a vegetarian!

  • the editor:

    I gave up eating mammals last July. I still wear leather, consume dairy, and eat fish and birds- at least some birds. I’ve started only buying organic chicken and non-farmed fish. When people ask if I made the change for moral, health, or environmental reasons, I say “Yes”. I don’t feel more self-righteous, healthier, or deprived. I guess I do feel a bit “greener”. I miss corn beef and brisket, but that’s okay.

    I gave up shopping malls years ago.

  • eclecticdeb:

    Note to self: When Rechelle comes for dinner, don’t serve the “Bacon Ice Cream” for dessert. (Don’t mock what you haven’t tasted …it’s REALLY good!)

    I’d have a tough time giving up all meat. Heck, I’d have a tough time just giving up bacon! Good Luck!

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    I’m not into resolutions as having to give something up. Sounds Lent-ish to me. I prefer to think of what I want to improve on and look forward to. And I’m TOTALLY looking forward to this year. Kids are all in school full time, so I’m ready to reclaim some of my time and interests. My children (and husband) are old enough that I can tell them “I love you, but buzz off and go entertain yourself” when I’m in the middle of something.

    This year: Turning 40 next month and taking my first trip to Vegas with my best bud – awesome! Lost 10 lbs. this month, so going to keep that going – awesome! Plan to read more, watch more good movies, spend more time in the garden, start knitting lessons this month and take more weekend road trips to see new things.
    Also plan to put up with less BS from people. I have better things to do and better people to spend time with.

  • Good luck with this goal! I gave up meat for about 10 years as a teenager/college kid. The pull of bacon, chicken wings, and gravy just became too much for me.

  • I’m challenging myself to spend only $100 dollars a month this year on groceries/toiletries/take out for our family 4.

    The family of 4 includes 1 very high maintenance husband who thinks just because he gets up and goes to work everyday that he can buy whatever he wants, 1 teenage boy who no matter how much food he consumes still looks pale & malnourished, 1 teenage daughter who runs cross country & track and sleeps all the time and then there’s me…

    Since I have OCD (undiagnosed of course) I think it’s totally possible!

  • Nanc in Ashland:

    I was going to join the 21st century and give up using a paper calendar and go all electronic but I got two lovely wall calendars and a Moleskin notebook calendar for Christmas, as well as, a box of disposable fountain pens. Ironically, I write about technology for a living! I have no words of wisdom about coping with giving up meat since my doctor said I need to eat beef once a month or so and dang if I haven’t felt much better since.

  • M.R.:

    I became a vegetarian in 1979 for environmental and political/socio-economic reasons. After all these years, I am a vegetarian just because I am a vegetarian. A friend gave me a cartoon from the New Yorker – Two women eating dinner in a restaurant. One is saying “I originally became a vegetarian for health reasons, but then it was for moral reasons. Now I just do it to annoy people.” :-)

  • The egg thing last August finally pushed me over the edge to vegetarianism. It was like a switch got flipped in my head. I studiously avoid anything with eyes and eggs (except when the eggs are in a baked good), but still do cheese and milk. Seriously, no ice cream? Nahgonnahappen.

    I still have leather shoes, a leather jacket, and a killer fur collared hand-me-down coat from my mother-in-law. Since I got them all “pre-veg” I don’t feel guilty or hypocritical either.

    By the way, thanks so much for two book suggestions for Christmas! The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas went straight to my Kindle, and I got Amy Sedaris’ latest as a gift for an avid crafter on my list. It got passed around a lot on Christmas morning!

    • JJ:

      Because of the egg recall? Here is the thing – we are seeing recalls in every category. So, unless you homegrow EVERYTHING you eat yourself, you could wind up with something tainted. Our food industry is at a pivotal point and we need to be more aware of what companies are getting away with and demand accountability. Rechelle brings up the subject of being responsible in the area of public education – being involved , making our schools better by being in the know, etc. We need to do that in a lot of areas and our food supply is one of them. If you can, watch Food Inc. Very interesting – right down to the basic seeds. Companies are messing with our food supply and it all comes down to profits.

  • I'm Rhonda, and I'm here to help:

    I’ve decided to keep it simple this year. My resolution is to get my life in orderish.
    I suspect I won’t loathe myself when next December 31 rolls around because I’ll have accomplished my goal! Yeah me!

    • Tracy:

      “Orderish” sounds good. I need to try that too.

  • Spinny:

    Is bacon meat? I could give up meat if bacon wasn’t considered meat. Can we all agree to put bacon into it’s own special “awesome food that is awesome” category?

    Because otherwise, I could take or leave meat.

    • Rechelle:

      Giving up bacon is going to hurt… bad. But it is only for a year. If I make it, at the end I will assess the damage from severe bacon deficiency and decide if it was worth it.

  • I am giving up not drinking and eating what I want! Yeeha! Same as the last 30 years!

  • Priss:

    I think your resolution is terrific. If bacon or any other meat calls too strongly during the year, try reading any of John Robbins’ books. I’ve been vegetarian for ten years but still cook meat for my son and husband since they are uninterested in this path. There are times when it seems more trouble than it’s worth to eat differently from them. If I read The Food Revolution or Diet for a New America or Healthy at 100, I’m back to being sure that it is very much worth the trouble.