What’s better than a beautiful, nature filled trip to Alberta? Not much, as you can see from this post and this one. Hiking, rock climbing, hanging out in Calgary’s Prince’s Island and visiting Drumheller, the dinosaur capital of the world were all on the agenda.
Then a very interesting thing happened while driving back to Cowtown.
We passed a bunch of really cute cows.
Now, I don’t know about you but I am pretty well completely removed from where (and who) my food comes from. If I eat a steak, it is either shrink wrapped in plastic at the supermarket or served to me on a white plate in a restaurant. I hardly ever think about the animal I’m eating or the misery of factory farms, the slaughterhouse or even the environmental consequences of my food. I’ve always eaten as little meat as possible but it’s been years and years since I’ve seen or really thought about cows.
This family of cows had a bunch of cute and playful calves among them, so I thought I’d get out of the car to snap a few photos. When I first walked toward them they looked startled and ran away but eventually let me get pretty close. Close enough to see two young cows playfully butting heads and another one happily skipping along a pond. Then I looked into one of the adults big brown eyes and she looked back at me curiously. And, all of a sudden, this thought popped into my mind: “They’re not food.” and wouldn’t leave. I looked again at the calves playing with each other. “They have no idea what’s in store for them.” I thought and promptly burst into tears. Eventually I got a hold of myself, said goodbye to my new friends, the cows, and walked back to the car. Then I burst into tears again.
Strange things happen when you meet your meat. I haven’t had even a smidgon of beef or dairy since that experience and, you know what? Other than the odd craving that lasts a milli-second, I don’t miss it at all. And when I get that slight craving, I think of the youngsters playing together and skipping beside the pond and, guess what? The craving goes right away.
Since I’ve been home, I’ve embraced chickpeas with a passion and I’ve been incorporating them into my diet almost every day. They’re full of protein, fiber and yumminess and I’ve been making hummus, bean soup and salads with them.
Here’s a simple salad that gives you a taste of what I’m eating now. With a bit of brown bread on the side and some fruit for dessert, I feel like I’m dining like a queen.
Tropical Dinner Salad
- Big bunch of mixed greens
- Sliced mango
- Shredded cilantro or Italian parsley
- Diced red onions
- Cubed tangerine or orange
Dressing – all ingredients to taste
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dijon mustard
Yummy. Healthy. Cruelty Free.