It is the 12 of any day of the quarantine. On the fire there are the vegetables that cook: I'm trying to make a curry with coconut milk, who knows if it comes out. Every two or three days I try a different recipe, I have time. All, none excluded, are vegetarian.
I have eaten meat and fish all my life. I love eating, I'm Tuscan so beef is part of my culinary tradition, and since I live in Milan I'm a fan of ethnic cuisine, sushi in the first place. I am single, I live alone, and I never loved cooking for myself: my typical week was lunch outside the bar accepting meal tickets, dinner at the restaurant at least three, four times and the rare times that I was at home or delivery or a varied menu based on salad in a bag and canned tuna. In my house there was never anything except tuna: I could literally be Rio Mare brand ambassador , I swear.
Yet for a couple of months I have radically changed my diet: I have become flexitarian (or at least that's how people who follow a diet like mine seem to define themselves: we know that people love labels, and if this facilitates communication I adapt).
What does it mean to be Flexitarians? It means continuing to eat meat and fish, but limiting them to two, three meals a week. In other words it means having a vegetarian diet but without occasionally depriving oneself of meat .
The reason is very simple, and is not related to any particular episode. I didn't see any shocking documentaries, read a book that made me change my mind, listened to an illuminating speech. None of this, there is nothing sentimental about my choice. The reason is that, for work, I started reading the reports on climate change, getting informed about environmental issues, taking note of the global situation. And seeing the reality of things, without being able to ignore them, to question my life.
The situation on the planet, climate change, are also my responsibility. They are also a consequence of my actions. And as such, I have to change my life to be part of the positive change. In particular, the consumption of red meat produces an unimaginable quantity of emissions, in proportion much more than those deriving from a transoceanic flight. And since I want to continue traveling and seeing the world , I just have to change my diet.
Why not become a vegetarian then? Why not take a definitive step, instead of this hybrid that seems to demonstrate that I don't have enough motivation to make a truly revolutionary choice?
Because I understand that living in a sustainable way means adopting a model of behavior that can be maintained over time . And that it is better to take a step than to stand still impaled.
Personally, I know I would not be able to do without absolute meat. There will always be times when I will return to Tuscany and want to eat a Florentine steak, and others when raw ham will be the comfort food I will need. There will be sushi dinners, and lasagna with meat sauce in my life. I could not do without it, because if I did I know it would last a little and I would give up everything: I am not determined enough to be so radical, and honestly I don't even think that it is needed. You don't need 100 people who make a sustainable life at 100%, it takes millions who make this path imperfectly trying to do their best.
In the last three weeks I have eaten vegetarian every day, lunch and dinner, except last Friday for lunch. I was craving ham, and you cannot understand how beautiful it was to eat a raw muffin and mozzarella. Sitting at the table in my house, I felt like I was at a Michelin star.
I will do it again when I feel like it, without guilt and without obligations, because my diet does not forbid them. And this, paradoxically, is my biggest incentive to avoid them: since I can eat them, I eat more by choice, not by constraint . It's a beautiful, beautiful feeling. And believe me, if miss tuna & salad has made it, everyone can really do it.
What does it mean to live sustainably?