G.O. For Change

Changing people, places, and things one blog at a time…

V is for Victory (and Vegetarian!): A Man’s Journey from Carnivore to Herbivore

with 4 comments


On Tuesday, April 20, 2010, I decided to become a full fledged vegetarian; fruits, and veggies, whole grains, without meat (except for eggs and dairy)…for 3 weeks. I decided to do this because, well, I never really tried it outside of a religious event, such as Lent. Here is the initial conversation that was had between my stomach, and my mind:

Garry’s Mind: Well, we are doing this! It will be great! Only fruits and veggies! We can do this!!!!

Garry’s Stomach: WHOA!! I’m sorry…. Did I just hear you say that we would be without shish kabobs, pulled pork sandwiches, double whoppers with cheese, chicken boxes, steaks, fish sandwiches, hot dogs, fried shrimp, barbecued shrimp, coconut shrimp, streamed shri—

Garry’s mind: Yes Bubba Gump, We will not be eating that. No animals will be harmed in our diet!

Garry’s Stomach: You gotta be #$%#@ kidding me! Why would we do this??!! Fruits and veggies only have one place at the dinner table…..ON THE SIDE OF A DELICIOUS MEAT!! Who the hell has a side dish as a MAIN dish??!!!!

Garry’s Mind: It’s a great way to shed pounds, shed ourselves of craving meat, and feel good in the process. There are millions of vegetarian recipes that we can try, and have fun while doing it!

Garry’s Stomach: Since when did we decide to be a damn hippie? Would you also like to change your name to Sunbeam, or Peace Star?  I can’t believe you!

Garry’s mind: Look, fruits and vegetables should be the staple of our diet, not meat!

Garry’s Stomach: *pulls out switchblade*: You wanna dance big boy?! Cause I’ll cut you!

Garry’s Mind *breaking beer bottle*: Let’s do this!!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say, I was conflicted at this point. I mean, animals are meant to be eaten right? Who has a cow for a pet? So in this journey, I wanted to shed the stigma (if only for a few weeks) that I needed meat. Here was my running timeline of my journey:

Day 2: The devil is REAL! Do you know why? Here I am, at work, and guess what I’m invited to??? A luncheon………….out of nowhere! As I peeped my head in the door, I could see the trays and trays of food. My mouth began to water as the aroma of all the different meets swarmed my senses. Must……..have…green beans? I went back to my desk.

Day 3: Today might have been the hardest day……EVER! I felt like Pookie from New Jack City……it just keeps calling me…..it keeps calling me. Armed with my veggies, and nuts, I battled the day.

Day 6: I feel pretty good, I haven’t really had any cravings for meat, and I feel a little more energetic. I did feel tired after the day was over, so I may have to get a PBJ sandwich in my feedings.

Week 1:

Day 1: I feel very good; I’m sweating more when I’m doing physical activity, and I am really doing okay with my food selections, and am not really hungry for meat. I decided to extend my journey to a month! My stomach immediately sent me a text asking me if I was a terrorist. He will be fine. I wonder if vegetarians realize that most “vegetarian meals” at places that specialize in meat (I’m looking at YOU Five Guys!), usually are just the toppings of the sandwich? I mean really, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions are the only ingredients in my veggie meal? Really??

Day 2: I ate a Burger King Veggie burger today. My stomach texted me…. Since this may be read by kids, I’ll spare you harsh language. Needless to say, flame broiled veggie burgers are NOT flame broiled hamburgers.

Day 4: I talked with my buddy Troy on the phone about my herbivore endeavors; He patronized the HELL out of me, and informed me that I was not as far in this journey as I thought! That’s what friends are for! I decided that I would try tofu today. I was excited! I really looked forward to trying the tofu, and experiencing vegetarianism at its core. Folks, let me tell you something that I found out very early after eating 2 pieces of tofu………………………..ITS BITE-SIZED PIECES OF HELL!! Never, and I mean NEVER in my LIFE have I ever tasted something that IMMEDIATELY messed up my entire mood! I literally wanted to punch someone in the FACE!! Tofu is THE WORST…EVER!!!!! Remember in the movie “Dreamgirls” when Jimmy Early wanted to make a different type of album, and Jamie Foxx’s character said no, and Jimmy immediately pulled out some drugs and was about to use it?? That was ME!! I wanted to wash out the taste of tofu in my mouth with a chicken wing!! I wanted to jump back on the meat wagon so bad! I felt like I was on one of those made-for-TV movies, and I was one of those inner city youth who had to take care of themselves,  all their life, and was disappointed by one of the people who I had let into my heart. I texted my wife, and had only had 2 words for her: FU*K TOFU. I talked with one of my vegetarian buddies who asked me “who told you to eat tofu”? See—meat eaters don’t have to worry abut that, the meat we eat, we already know about, and if we don’t, we usually ask someone, who can make a point of reference. A while ago, I ate venison for the first time; I asked someone how it tasted. Their response “taste like steak”—see that! Great point of reference! I now judge people by if they enjoy tofu. If someone ever offers me tofu……POW! Snap- kick right to the throat! I wish there was a hate group for tofu…I would join.

Day 5: It’s amazing how people will push their ideals on you. For example, I told a buddy of mine what I was doing, for him to immediately write it off, and offer me a chicken box….. Is this what Christopher Columbus and everyone else do when they “discovered” America? Write off people’s ideas?? (On another note, isn’t it CRAZY that America was bought for 2 “Girls Gone Wild” beads, and a half-eaten Snickers bar, and a copy of “Mad Magazine?)

Day 6: I realize that Subway has good veggie pizzas, along with other selections that are great! Subway- Eat Fresh! (Ps. Subway— CTC- cut the check!)

Week 2

Day 3: I started noticing how often people eat in television shows, and movies. I and the missus are watching “Sopranos”, and I mean really Tony? Every scene you are eating?! Sheesh! (Note to self: must make baked ziti this week)

Day 5: I wonder if vegetarians feel as though the world doesn’t want them to avoid eating meat. I went to McDonald’s this morning, and ordered an egg mcmuffin, with no meat. I asked the cashier to confirm my order, the drive-through teller, who asked the cook to confirm there was no meat on my sandwich. They all stated that it had no meat. As I pulled away, I began to unwrap the sandwich, and as I went to take a bite, something stopped me and said “why are you that trusting with McDonald’s employees? As I looked between the two slices of English muffin, what did I see? Canadian bacon. Wow. I wondered about that as I had my sandwich exchanged for a new one; had McDonald’s knew that I was going vegetarian, and wanted to stop me? I just chalked it up to incompetent service and moved on. (or is that what they WANTED me to think?)

 Day 5.5: Subway had veggie patties!!!! They are actually quite good. Way better than Burger King’s flame broiled WHATEVER burgers. (ps. Subway… cut the check)

Day 7: Dinner tonight? Fried eggplant. It was very good! I enjoyed this dish with a side of Marinara sauce. Oh yes…….

Week 3

Week 3 Day 1: I attended a retreat that lasted throughout the week. It was set in a Jewish community, and it was really great. I learned a lot about myself, and it really was an awesome experience. I am forever appreciative of the lessons that I learned, and cannot have felt more rejuvenated. (Mr. Robert Leigh Pruitt, II is truly a gift. If you are a fan of my blog, or are reading it for the first time, please take a moment to visit Mr. Pruitt’s website, at www.robertpruitt.com, and pick up his new book, Out of the Box: Sharing the gift you are with the world!

Day 2: At the retreat, they fed us a lot of vegetarian dishes. Today’s dish: Eggplant Parmesan. It was good. Some of my retreat family was not enjoying it as much. “Cant win them all” I thought.

 Day 3: Soy Tacos! This was my first meat/non-meat sighting. I enjoyed it. I received an email from my stomach stating that “things weren’t working out” and we should “start seeing other people.” Good times.

Day 5: Tofu…….. As I stood there, with my newfound thinking, I thought of Robert L. Pruitt’s quote, “God’s got jokes.” “Oh yes….he does” I thought. I grabbed a couple of pieces, and as I sat down and ate the first piece, I thought, “hmm…these aren’t that bad…I cannot categorize these as pieces of hell!”

Day 6: As I went home after the retreat, I realized that I learned what I needed to in my journey as a vegetarian, and like all great stories, I was done with that chapter. I honestly had great time learning about myself, and the stigma that we put on eating meat/not eating meat. Some may think that this was done because I desperately wanted to get back to eating meat, when really, after the first day, I was okay. In me being okay with having salad over steaks, corn over chicken, and produce over pork, I realized that the issue wasn’t with choosing something that came from the ground vs. something that was born, but more if I was willing to make a change on something that I am comfortable with, and didn’t want to disrupt it. So if I am willing to change something that I was okay with, imagine what would happen if we put the same effort into stuff that we KNOW we have to change?

As always, thanks for reading.

Ps. If anyone has seen my stomach, tell him I left the spare key underneath the welcome mat.


Written by Garry O'Neal Jr.

May 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Garry I really think your doing an amazing job with the blog, with your LDI members and everything that you put your mind to.Your motivation should rub off on the rest of the world.I’ve said it before you should just test your hand with the politics for sure.Your a genuine asset to the community,and I personally know that you’ll make a change. Question how do you have time for all of this? Fatherhood,changing the world? is that what that SUPERMAN G IS ABOUT???? Keep up the good work and dont let the stomach win and remember to BREATHE….


    May 17, 2010 at 10:23 am

  2. I hate tofu too lol!. I did the same thing but with sugar since i’m a sugar addict. that 1st week is always a killer cuz ur body is so used to having meats and processed foods that u become accustomed 2 getting ur ‘fix’. I unfortunately relapsed, but will get on that wagon soon

    Green Afro Diva

    May 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

  3. Omg Garry you are hilarious! I love the knife between your stomach and your head! Seriously I’m so proud of you for standing in decision, I know it wasn’t easy. Thank you for taking us on this journey with you. As always it was very well illustrated. By the way I loved the Eggplant Parm!

    Iesha the Butterfly

    May 18, 2010 at 8:59 pm

  4. I am always proud of you. God has given you a blessing in Communication (both written and spoken word). Thank you for coming over to the dark side and seeing that it is not so bad. I am still waiting on the book! Question: If someone answers that they enjoy Tofu, will you still not hire them?

    Goddess Sphinx

    May 19, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: