February 19th, 2008

krazy koati

Everything is sunny side up

(I should probably note: I started out writing this a while ago, but other things came up.) My mother had announced, catching me by surprise and not catching my father at all because he didn't hear it, that she was going to try giving up meat for Lent. On reflection, she may have been telling me so I would know when ordering pizza for future two-pizzas-for-one Tuesdays that I would take care to make one purely vegetarian selection. I don't get much feedback about it other than my dad's assurance that I order much better pizzas than he does.

I haven't thought about Lent, or giving things up for it, in years, thanks to a falling-off of religious sentiment after I guess I was an altar boy long enough to experience pretty much all the major masses the Roman Catholic church offers outside weddings and funerals, and you know, once you've done the whole set who needs the repeats? I don't know if you Protestants have a tradition of giving things up for Lent, but I remember I'd put a lot of careful thought into this and then swiftly forget what I had thought to give up. While I'm not religious I do appreciate the wisdom in occasionally trying to make a modest but noticeable change in your life and going for forty days without something you enjoy seems proportional and responsible to me.

My mother's choice of giving up meat kind of resonated, since I have concluded I should eat more vegetarian. It's a matter of compassion, ultimately. While I don't believe the people who grow food animals particularly intend to be cruel, I also believe that kindness isn't an urgent consideration, and however kind treatment may be there's still that killing part. So I thought it might be good to try going about six weeks without meat.

A short while after this I realized I'd had for lunch the leftover sausage pizza from the day before Ash Wednesday. Well, I'm not striving for perfection here, and if I'd known I was going to try resolving I'd have saved the onion slices instead. The next day I realized I'd made a dinner of tuna salad. I might eat less meat if I don't try avoiding it.

Trivia: Aaron Burr's jurors debated 25 minutes before acquitting him of treason. The other indictment -- high misdemeanor -- took fifteen days of deliberation. Source: Union 1812: The Americans who Fought the Second War of Independence, A J Langguth.

Currently Reading: A History of Pi, Petr Beckmann. Pi, the number, in this case, and it's a curious book: the author can go from a standing start to a weird screed in under two paragraphs, so if you ever wanted to see an explanation for how the Egyptians might have devised their estimates of π interlaced with reaming out the League of Nations and the United Nations for their failure to produce meaningful calendar reform, hey, there you are. He's also passionately upset with the Roman Empire, Communism, and Aristotle, more or less in ascending order.