I have a very strange relationship with meat. I’m not sure how to explain how I feel about this food category. I guess in a way I’m like a little kid refusing to eat their vegetables without much other reason than “they look weird!”
I was a really picky eater as a kid, though now I’ve outgrown nearly every picky eating habit – except my weird feelings toward meat. Actually, if anything, I eat way less meat nowadays than I did as a kid (kid meat being things like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, sandwich lunch meat)
When I look at a piece of steak I think, “Cow goes moo.” Even though a slab of steak is so far removed from its original home, I still associate it with cows, and cows are cute and scary and wonderful and I don’t want to eat Bessie.
When I look at a piece of chicken I think, “Yum!” Especially if I don’t have to cook it and its white meat/chicken breast. I’m weirded out by brown meat and anything with bones and grizzle and any piece that resembles a former body part. There is something comforting and edible about homogenous chicken breast meat. No surprises.
And fish. Oh man, such a strange thing. I think I ate some fish sticks back when my age was in the single-digits range, but at some point I just turned away from them (just like I stopped eating hamburgers at age 3).
In my play kitchen I’d put pieces of plastic neon-green lettuce in the toy frying pan. I’d cook up a mean sauteed lettuce. At the time I thought I was being innovative – who cooks lettuce in a frying pan! – but now that I’m an adult I can see that the magic of cooking lettuce was only magical because my parents never put lettuce in a pan. Now I do it all the time (and I imaginary fist bump my 3 year old self for being so vegetarian and forward looking without even knowing that it was not abnormal – though being “normal” has never ever really been a goal of mine).
So yeah, meat. You can take it, I’ll leave it. Token gestures to the chicken gods, occasional pig prayers (skinny slices of bacon cooked until burnt, no-surprises sausage – familiar, mostly homogenous), and the rest will be lettuce for me. Warm up that skillet!