Herr Fleishman, der Fleisch ißt

That's a German pun in the headline.

When I was in a graphic design program in Brissago (Ticino), Switzerland, back in 1989, for several weeks over a summer, we stayed in two hotels owned by the Ferrari family, a lovely group of people. (One set of rooms was a "garni," sort of a B&B hotel; the other a hotel with a certified pergola, which served breakfast to guests and had a dinner.)

Mama Ferrari, a 4' 10" woman with some command of English (and excellent command of several other languages), and a superb sense of humor, was talking to me one day and couldn't recall my last name. We were speaking, I think, in German. I said, "Herr Fleishman." Since I was a vegetarian, she laughed, and said, "Herr Fleishman, der kein Fleisch ißt."

(The joke is that Fleishman as Fleischmann is literally "meat man," like a butcher. Metzger is the actual German word in High German for butcher, but nonetheless, Fleischmann might have been the Yiddish word. So I'm a meat-man, right? The word "ist" is "is" in German, but the third-person of "essen," to eat, is spelled ißt (isst), and pronounced the same way. So the pun is, Mr. Meat Man who who (does not eat/is not made of) meat. Ha! Okay, that took too long.)

As of a few weeks, ago ich esse Fleisch. Yup, I'm a carnivore again. (I was only a vegetarian for a couple years; I've been largely a pescetarian since 1990.)

I read Omnivore's Dilemma and went on a metabolic cleanse with Lynn. The book led me to understand how you could eat meat in a sustainable, even productive way, with humane treatment for the animals; the metabolic cleanse made me crave meat like I haven't in 18 years. The rise in concern about the toxins in fish have been part of this motivation, too. Eating the right kind of meat is probably better from a heavy metals, pesticide, and general perspective than eating most fish.

After some fits and starts, I started with chicken, liked it, moved onto turkey and ham, and then...hamburgers. The trick here is that I want to eat meat that isn't raised unpleasantly, isn't full of antibiotics, and where the cows are being fed grass, not grain. Since I live in Seattle, this is available and affordable. Lynn and I just signed up for a meat CSA, and we'll be receiving 1/8 cow, I believe, from yesterday (our first pickup) until June.

I have always believed our bodies will tell us what to eat, and mine is saying meat. I've never been an anti-meat vegetarian; death is a part of our lives, and raising animals for slaughter can be done in a way that respects the animal, our ecosystem, and ourselves. I'm back at the top of the food chain.