I have just a few more days until October starts, and then I begin my newest experiment - going Hindu. To be more specific, I'm going with the version of Hinduism that forbids the eating of meat. Oh, and that's it. I don't plan on praying to Vishnu, Ganesha, Krishna, etcetera. (Well, maybe Ganesha. He's got an elephant head. Does Jesus have an elephant head? Not really.)
As I've mentioned before, my original plan was to start slow. I was going to give up meat on Fridays (Catholicism) for a month, and then I would go Kosher for a month. Following that, I'd go Hindu, and then I'd wrap it all up with Ramadan. Things took a turn though when I discovered that Ramadan was starting in August, and now everything's turned around.
I don't think that I'm going to bother with the Kosher and Good Friday things after this. After all, I'll be pretty Kosher by default for my Hindu month. Obviously, I won't be eating pork, but I also won't have milk with steak or chicken dipped in egg batter. Oh, and shellfish is off the menu as well. I think that I'm killing two birds with one stone with this. As for Good Friday, that will feel pretty anticlimactic. I was also thinking of giving up beer for Lent, but how big of a deal is that considering that I didn't drink alcohol for a month? (Okay, I cheated on two of those days, but that's still impressive, I think.)
If I were to give myself a grade on my Ramadan experiment, I'd give myself a C+. Considering that I felt that an F- was a likely result, that's pretty good. As for being a Hindu, I think that I'll do a lot better. After all, I can still EAT. Not only that, beer is just fine and dandy. (Okay, there are some versions of Hinduism that forbid it, but they also forbid spicy food. On the other hand, there are versions that just say that you can't eat beef. I'm aiming for the middle here.)
I think that it will be easier for me to do this than it would have been ten years ago. I enjoy a lot more vegetarian foods than I used to. Also, I don't like meat as much as I once did. Don't get me wrong, I still eat it. However, I used to like eating steak, and now that just rarely appeals to me. I'll eat it if it's served to me, but when I go with my in-laws to Black Angus, I wind up getting the Ahi Tuna instead of some red meat. While I still crave a good burger (I eat more buffalo burgers than beef burgers) once a week, there's still going to be a lot of food that I like. Vegetarian burritos are good. I also like pizza with artichoke hearts, onion mix, and jalapenos. I figure that I can also make some yellow curry but just use tofu instead of the usual chicken. And let's not forget falafel - I've made that a couple of times now, and it turned out pretty good.
In other words, I don't see any reason to score anything less than an A. I suppose that if some friends invite me over to dinner, and they're making meat, I wouldn't want to be rude about it. Still, my friends know about this whole thing, so I doubt that they'd try to sabotage it. Plus, by the time Thursday rolls along, I won't even have any meat in the fridge, so even if that breaks down on me, I won't have the same excuse to quit early like I did with Ramadan.
What's also going to be fun about this is that my wife is on board. We've been talking about it quite a bit, and the consensus is that it's going to be a lot tougher for her than it will be for me. I'm not exactly the biggest veggie lover, but I'll eat stuff like eggplant Parmesan. Kirsti's not having any of that, and she hasn't been too interested in falafel. Maybe when she gets sick of eating the same thing day-in and day-out, she'll be more willing to give it a try.
Oh, and I think with this one, I'd like to issue a challenge to all of my carnivorous (omnivorous, really) friends out there. Can you Namaste It! with me for a month? I double-dog dare ya! You wouldn't want to have bad karma now because you accidentally ate a relative who was reincarnated into your cheeseburger, would you?