For many days, we’ve been talking on Meaty Matters about our 9 pledge participants, volunteers who are willing to eat less or no meat for 4 whole weeks, and to tell us all about it. Actually they’ve done quite well, with only one or two slips among the whole group. But we can see that some of them are beginning to feel a certain fatigue around having to explain themselves:
Jacob loves a good beef hotdog, but felt reluctant to explain to aquaintances why he’s following a pledge that makes him cut back on eating them:
In my son’s daycare center they held a little summer party with grilled halal beef hotdogs. I picked a salad instead but chose not to talk with any of the parents about why, because I just didn’t feel like bringing it up.
Linda also seems to have run into a bit of disclosure fatigue here in her last pledge week:
I was at a reception at work today with a buffet table full of nothing but meat sandwiches and some potatoe chips. It’s one of the last days of my pledge, but I just didn’t want to make unpleasant waves by asking about whether the meat was organic. Cowardly, I know.
Sofie has been happy to discuss her pledge with colleagues and aquaintances, and asks for vegetarian alternatives in restaurants, but the shoe was suddenly on the other foot when she had lunch with her parents:
My mother had spent days preparing this family feast; meatballs, roast pork with gravy…I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I wasn’t eating meat for lunch. So I took a couple of small meatballs and managed to stay under their radar. I know my parents, and they would bring it up if I didn’t eat any meat – I just don’t want to get into the whole description of this project.
Does it all seem a bit sticky? Not for everyone. Jake seems to have glided through the whole thing:
Now in my fourth week, and I haven’t yet been in a situation, where I had to say no to food offered to me or come into an awkward position, because only non-organic meat was available. I imagine, this could have been a bit more problematic if I had been to a soccor match or something like that.
We’ll look in on our participants again after their last pledge day, to hear how they view the whole experiment and experience. And if any viewer is interested in trying it, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you our introduction to the Meat Pledge Project, with instructions, spreadsheet, and questionnaire.