I have passed the halfway mark on a month-long experiment to eliminate meat from my diet. It isn’t for economical, health or humane reasons. No. The inspiration comes from a three-day music festival and a French mathematician who died in a duel in 1832.
Last August, I was talking to a friend of mine who organized a three-day music festival on the Sunshine Coast. While the festival had access to an entire park, the event was restricted to a fenced in area.
“People need restrictions to feel free,” she explained to me. In previous years, she had allowed people to roam free but the attendees didn’t feel “free.” They had concerns, worries and buried their enjoyment behind restrictions. It wasn’t until she put up fences that people felt “free” to relax, enjoy and even participate.
Which reminded me of a tale about a brilliant mathematician who fell for the wrong dame.
Evariste Galois was born in France in 1811. While still in his teens, he was able to determine a necessary and sufficient condition for a polynomial to be solvable by radicals, thereby solving a problem standing for 350 years. He mentally mulled and stewed over algebraic equations. It’s what he did.
Well, until he fell in love with the fiancée of an artillery officer at the tender age of 20. When the officer found out about his affections, he challenged Galois to a duel.
Worried that he would perish in the duel, Galois wrote down all the equations, thoughts, formulas and theories he had been stewing on. He wrote 60 pages on ideas he had struggled with for years and new ones that occurred as he wrote with a mad fury.
He wrote up until the final moment prior to the duel. Which he lost and later died from the wounds suffered.
Has this every happened to you? That you don’t find inspiration until you are on deadline? Backed into a corner? Confined? Restricted?
It was this reason that I went vegetarian for a month. The truth of it was, I felt like I had made every dinner or meal thirty-two times over. I was lacking inspiration for meal planning. That’s when the idea hit me. Put a restriction on it. No meat.
Since January first, we have made our own refried beans, falafel burgers, sweet and spicy cauliflower bites, and eggplant paninis. We have found alternates for our favorite game day treats and happy hour favs. Soy crumble tacos, veggie homemade pizza and mushroom with broccoli pot pies were just a few of the highlights thus far.
But mostly, we have revamped our go-to dinner options. We tried something new. We expanded our culinary skills.
The most surprising result of our little experiment was that we are thinking about continuing the vegetarian lifestyle. While we may have wings for the Super Bowl, I don’t see meat taking center stage in our kitchen after this 31-day experiment.
What restrictions can you institute to pull out the creative side in you?