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The Slice: That side of beef fits the back burner just fine

Editor’s note: Paul Turner is taking some time off. In his absence, we’re diving into the archives here at Slice Central. Today, we revisit Aug. 10, 2010.

Let me say right at the outset that I am not judging anybody.

Believe me. And I am not in any way suggesting that you should try this, too. Your life is your business.

There is no sermon coming.

But here’s the thing. I haven’t been eating meat this summer. And acquaintances’ reactions have been interesting.

So far, they seem to fall into half a dozen categories.

1. “Who cares?” “So what?”

This is actually the ideal reaction because it doesn’t require expending a lot of energy to change the subject.

2. “Oh, really? How interesting. Tell me all about it.”

This can be a pain. My reasons for not eating meat are my own. I have no desire to either justify myself or make a public case for my decision. The latter inevitably sounds like an indictment of others at the table.

3. Some vegetarians, vegans and vegaholics want to offer dietary advice.

That’s well-intentioned. But thanks anyway. I’m already watching my vitamins and balancing proteins.

Remember when I was going to try drinking coffee and all those Slice readers offered tips and suggestions? Well, I bagged that after about two cups. So I don’t want to jinx this experiment by appearing to have made an exhaustive study of lysine sources.

4. Hostility.

I honestly don’t have much experience with this. But I can tell you some people fully expect even a novice such as myself to be a smug, superior, holier-than-thou type when it comes to food matters. I am happy to disappoint.

5. Incredulity. “Life without steaks and burgers? Unfathomable!”

I’ve enjoyed meat for a long, long time. And for all I know, I’ll abandon this prohibition after the summer. But I do know that, even in conformity-loving Spokane, what strikes one person as unimaginable can, in fact, be imagined by another.

6. Skepticism. “Are you doing this just to have something to write about?”

That is always a fair question, especially after my weight-loss chronicles 10 years ago.

But I believe the answer is “No, not really.”

To say more than that, though, might violate my pledge to skip the preaching.

Today’s Slice question: What did you try this summer?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; email In a story with a Sandpoint dateline, the Associated Press said the lake was named “Penned Aureole.”

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