The Social Carnivore

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Article | 2 Comments
The Social Carnivore
So after a rather ambitious evening last Sunday, whereby I declared that I would write 3 posts per week…well…I failed. I think I may have been just a bit overzealous. A bit. So we are going to have to settle with one for the moment as the weather is stunning and I have 4 acres of yard and 2 children to contend with. I hope you enjoy this post.
Sunday’s Confessions
Well I know you are on the edge of your seat as you await this week’s edition of “Sunday’s Confessions,” right? No? Well, the biggest stumble this week occurred Sunday morning. Actually, it wasn’t really a “stumble,” it was more like a deliberate defiance of my conscience: I ate two poached eggs with bacon. That’s right. Bacon. I had the option of one egg with one piece of bacon, but I had 2 eggs with 2 pieces of bacon. The day before I had spicy chorizo on my pizza and the day before that I had a piece of my hubby’s “tropical pizza,” which we all know had some version of pig on it. As I told you in the beginning, pork is my Achilles’ heal. I definitely could have done better, but, and here comes confession number two, for some reason, I just didn’t care as much this week. I know that sounds awful, but it’s true. I think I have been pouring through so many books and articles on the topic, that I have gone from being infuriated to numb.  I don’t want to be a vegan! For the moment, I want to reserve the right to be a social carnivore. There. This is my adjective, “social carnivore.” I define this as a semi-vegetarian that only eats meat at social gatherings.
What I would like to see, is for every one to eat significantly less animal products, and to source their products from local and organic farms that respect and treat their animals properly. I want to find clever ways to reduce the use of animal products in the home that are simple and virtually undetectable by even the cleverest of carnivores, whether it be delicious vegetarian meals or egg substitutes in your chocolate cake. If we can cutback, without substituting everything animal with something soy, then potentially even the most committed of carnivores could just make some changes. In my not-so-humble opinion, animal products should be treated as a delicacy and a privilege, not a right. Maybe the answer in the end will be veganism, but even for someone who uses very little animal products, I’m not ready. This is where I am today. I believe that veganism is an extremist concept, a by-product of it’s antithesis–the overuse of animal products. The difference is that veganism is sustainable, and the other is not.
The Buddhist Loophole
I’m not a Buddhist, but when it comes to ethics, they are kinda the folks you go to. So here’s my Buddhist loophole that you may want to use the next time you are trying hard, but failing:
Did you know that many Buddhists are not vegetarian? Apparently, as long as they don’t directly kill the animal themselves, it’s ok. So if there was a meat-eating Buddhist who was generous, kind, thoughtful to others, and honest, he would be regarded as a better Buddhist than a vegetarian one who was an asshole. Just keep that in mind! So every time you indulge as a social carnivore, just remember that you are an honest, thoughtful, generous and kind person…unless you’re an asshole, then it doesn’t count 😛
If you are interested to see the results of some minor and major adjustments I have done in my household, I am proud to present the table below. I think the changes that gave the biggest return were 1) removing cereal from our diet, thus reducing milk consumption; 2) Composting, which has reduced the amount of waste; 3) Buying local produce; and 4) Reducing packaged food (e.g. biscuits, tinned beans, etc). I’m very impressed by the results:

(in a month/year)
This Month
(in a month/year)
(in a month (year))
15.5 (201) litres of milk!!!
Other Dairy
800 g/10.4 kg
1.2 (15.6) kilos of dairy!!
$820 ($10,700) at the supermarket!!
I spent $35 ($420) more towards local produce!!!
6 bags / 78 bags
4.5 bags / 58.5 bags
1.5 (19.5) bags less of paper, metals, and plastics!!
24 bags / 312 bags
8 bags / 104 bags
16 (208) bags of rubbish!!
So, what do you think? Anyone else making adjustments?
Good night! My next post (which I have already started writing), is on waste, and I’ll post it on Thursday (I promise).


  1. Katherine
    April 16, 2014

    Your blog pretty much reflects what is going on in my head. I was thinking this morning, ‘maybe I should blog about it’, but as it turns out you’re doing a fine job of that for me!
    I declared a while ago that we would eat only free range, ethically raised and preferably local meat. And we have been doing that at home. My husband has somewhat reluctantly joined forces with me (although he’s only semi got a handle on all my new ‘rules’) and strangely enough he’s been the one to keep me on track when I feel like I don’t much care today, or in your perfect words want to be a social carnivore. We’re on a dairy free trial at the moment too, to see what life is like without it and help us cut back if we decide to add it in again (from better sources). I’ve had a few slips, again mostly related to social encounters. It’s great to see someone else on a similar path. Look forward to reading more about how you’re going!

    • Tamara Ball
      May 4, 2014

      Hi Katherine! I read your comment a couple of weeks ago, and I am always happy to hear such positive feedback, so thank you 🙂 Like you, it makes me happy to have the moral support of people who are on a similar journey because I have to say that I think most people in my immediate circle probably think I am a bit nuts 😉 As much as I would like to imagine myself on this graph of constant growth everyday, it is best that we all fully accept that this is nearly impossible, that we will “fail” sometimes. The important bit is that over our lifetime that the growth trend is positive. Thanks again for your comment and encouragement. If you really enjoy writing and want to write about your own journey, I strongly encourage you to do so as it is impossible for me to think of everything 😛 I wish you all the best with your “food journey.” Write to me anytime as I am always interested in different points of view and of course if there is anything specifically that you would like for me to investigate, let me know. Best wishes Katherine. Sorry about the temporary delay in writing.


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