Doing Without: A Meat-Free October

September is winding down.  If I choose, I can celebrate on October 1 with a stiff drink or a beer, but I’m beginning to think I should stick with September’s commitment to doing without alcohol.  At the very least, I should minimize the amount I consume, in the hope my deprivation will eventually show up on the scales and around my waist.

NoMeatWhether I continue to go teetotally without booze or not, I will march forward in October with another test of my self-discipline: no meat. Perhaps it would be best to define what I mean by “meat” as I prepare to launch into my month doing without it. defines the word as follows:


  1. the flesh of animals as used for food.
  2. the edible part of anything, as a fruit or nut: Crack the walnuts and remove the meats.
  3. the essential point or part of an argument, literary work, etc.; gist; crux: The meat of the play is the jealousy between the two brothers.
  4. solid food: meat and drink.
  5. solid or substantial content; pith: The article was full of meat, with few wasted words.

I have no intention of giving up plums and peanuts, so definition number 2 is out.  I cannot bear to give up my argumentative nature, so number 3 is out. Solid food?  Not unless I have a flare-up of Crohn’s, thank you, so number 4 is off the table.  And can I imagine myself “pithing off?”  No, so let’s ignore number 5.  So, I’m back to number 1.

Yes, that’s it. No animal flesh.  Well, wait just a minute; should I consider an oyster an animal?  Well, of course, but…does it have flesh?  Hmm.  I’m thinking, should I define meat to mean four-legged beasts?  You know, like sheep, cows, pigs, goats, and so on.  Or should I include fish and other creatures of the deep?

When I went into this, I am sure I was thinking about “no meat” in what I consider the traditional sense, i.e., no cows, pigs, chickens, fish, goats, etc.   So, that’s what it will be.  I’ll eat tempeh, tofu, sprouts, beans, dal, etc., etc. for my protein.  Oh, and I might fudge a little and eat pre-chicken from time to time; I really enjoy deviled pre-chicken.  But maybe I won’t.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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5 Responses to Doing Without: A Meat-Free October

  1. I’ve done that, Juan. And you’re right, it makes a remarkable, and fast, difference. For October, though, the idea is just no meat…carbs will come later. If I keep this up, it won’t be long before I’m on a diet free of meat, alcohol, carbs, and coffee. I’ll become tall, thin, and my mind will be as smooth as silk…the Zen-master!

  2. jserolf says:

    Consider the alternative: a carbohydrate near-free diet — no bread, no pasta, no rice…not tortillas or loaf bread! In a month’s time, you might be amazed at the difference.

  3. Like everything, it’s only temporary… 😉

  4. druxha says:

    Darn, after reading Jim’s clever discovery on pre-chicken definition, you’d be closer to a Lacto-ovo-vegetarian! 🙂

  5. druxha says:

    First let me say, congratulations in advance for your accomplishment on the September prohibition, John! It sounds like you might become a temporary Flexitarian/Semi-vegetarian, a term recently coined to describe those who eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally eat meat, i.e., pre-chicken?

    Have to say, of all the abstaining you’ve done over the months, the most difficult for myself would have been leaving the java!

    Good luck to you in October…¡Salud también!

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