Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 49: Chicken for my soul?

I didn’t eat chicken for six entire weeks. That is the longest I’ve gone without touching chicken.

In Maharashtra (India) where I come from, we follow the lunar calendar. And in the month of Shraavan (around August), we do not eat meat. There are some religious reasons, some superstitious and some scientific reasons. Fish breed during this time so people don’t want to fish. The monsoon season takes place around this time, so people don’t want to fall prey to water-borne diseases.

A lot of the people around me asked me why I was doing this, why I was not eating chicken, why I was going on this apparent starvation mission. I was actually doing this, quite simply, because I felt like it. I wanted to test my limits and see how far I could go. I chose the month of Shraavan because I just wanted some external reason to follow this too.

The first two days of my chicken-refrainment were quite bad. The only thing I wanted to eat was chicken, mainly because I couldn’t eat it. After that, things got much better.

I am proud to say that I never felt the need to eat chicken during the entire time. I am living in the US and I was worried I wouldn’t find vegetarian fare in most places. I’m very happy to say that I survived, never starved and ate quite delicious food in a lot of places. 

After six weeks, I ate one of my favorite chicken dishes. Unsurprisingly, it was fast food: a deep fried spicy chicken burger. I expected fireworks in that first bite, feeling some amount of satisfaction. Weirdly, I felt nothing at all. Eating chicken did not make any difference to my life. I rather think I’m better off without it.

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