I know, I know-- Ham is not normally that big of a deal. Perhaps it's a bit more exciting than chicken, but it's certainly not something to write home about, right? Unless, of course, you're like me, and you haven't had anything to do with ham or any other meats for more than HALF YOUR LIFE!! Seriously. I've *officially* been vegetarian since I was twelve, but if I had been given the choice when I was 8 months old... I probably would have been vegetarian back then, too.
So how the hell did this ham end up in my oven, then? Well, a couple of weeks ago, Marty and I trekked into Vancouver so he could have a live blood analysis done. The results were not good. Specifically, instead of having rich red blood cells wrapped with thick black ropes of protein, Marty's blood was a weak pinkish-blue shade and sported hardly any evidence of protein.
See the difference between healthy (above) and non-healthy blood (below)? I was sad to see that Marty's looked more like the bottom picture than the top one.
Anyway... We've been vegetarian for years and years, and even though we're pretty good at getting our alternative sources of protein (huzzah for legumes!), Marty's body wasn't absorbing nearly enough. The doctor even went out of her way to e-mail Marty a few weeks after his appointment to remind him that (quote): "Your body is grossly lacking protein". Hence the ham.
Both of us are a little nervous about what will transgress... we're trying to do this scary thing together, partly for moral support, but also because it's way more practical for people who live together to eat the same things. I know that a big part of my identity is tied up with the fact that I've been vegetarian for so long, and it seems so strange to me that I'll be cutting into a slice of meat in about a half hour from now. But on the other hand, a teeny tiny part of me is suddenly starting to crave meat. (!!!) Maybe I'm just trying to psych myself up for it... because I had an extremely hard time taking the ham out of the plastic and putting it in a tray to cook. I even got ham juice on my hands-- YUCK!!!!!
Well, I guess it won't be the end of my life to end my meatless streak. If I don't like it, I don't have to eat it again. I think I'm actually more afraid that I will like it and that my days of being a vegetarian will be over.