Friday, February 29, 2008

Jessie: The Wrestler and the Bushman

From Jessie Dye, Earth Ministry, Program and Outreach Director

I live with two adorable boys who could eat nothing but meat, three meals a day, seven days a week.

One is my son, an 18 year-old high school senior who wrestles. The other is a home-stay with us, a 26 year-old crew chief for Earth Corps. He is from the Namib tribe, related to the Bushman in southwest Africa. Though they come from wildly different cultures, do not look like brothers, are at different stages in life and have dissimilar family systems, they are active young men of the human species and eat like it. I’m a sedate matron of a certain age and I’m happy for the most part with light meals. They need more calories, I need fewer. I’m reducing my time in Purgatory by cooking for them night after night.

When I told these two that there would be no cows for Lent, they carefully negotiated for pizza deliveries when I work late (none for me). They asked for plenty of pork chops, fish, lamb and, in Iggy’s case, there was a plea for goat meat. My son would no more eat a vegetable than fly, never mind how well I’ve parented him. He gets whole milk and I don’t drink it. It’s a challenge each night to think up what’s for dinner.

But the truth is we can do without beef and cheese and no one is hungry. I’m actually loosing weight, and the boys aren’t demanding fettuccini Alfredo or Caesar salad. Everyone likes (wild) salmon, frozen from the Ballard Seafood fest last year, and tuna noodle casserole may not be gourmet but they eat it (as long as Brian can’t find any vegetables in it). There is really no sacrifice to them as long as they are full. The world’s cows are better off and producing less methane. Chickens and pigs are better use of feed to calories, and I don’t need cheese. Life is good.

The boys like action movies and adore video games; they love dogs, loud music and soccer and the two of them gang up against me! But that’s a story for another day.

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