I've sounded the rallying cry for my fake meatloaf (aka Neatloaf) recipe before, even using it for my first-ever guest posting on the From Blah to Ta-Daa blog late last year. It's not only delicious, but freezes well for leftovers, and has become a household favorite for our vegetarian Celiac sufferer in the house (it's also one of my favorites as well). The other day though the unique opportunity arose to make actual real meatloaf, you know with meat. I hadn't made a meatloaf in probably 8 or 10 years. Would I still remember how?
My opposition to meat isn't a moral one*. I firmly believe that our society is too far removed from the food chain, and most people delude themselves into thinking that their plastic covered package of grocery store meat WASN'T a living breathing animal that was slaughtered and butchered in (most likely) deplorable and disgusting conditions, but that's a rant for another time. My light intake of meat was a bit environmental (meat production at every level has severe environmental impacts), more health related (eating too much of anything, including meat isn't good for you), and also financial (it's cheaper to eat like a vegetarian).
* I feel the best way to express gratitude and appreciation for God's creatures is to sample them all - ostrich, lamb, emu, elk, bison, octopus, sea urchin, rabbit - I say bring it. I don't want to get all Lion King on you, but there is a circle of life and eventually my physical body will break down and feed other plants and animals and/or Sasquatch. If they're gonna have a chance to eat me, well I should be able to eat them. It only seems fair.
I do most of the cooking and it's much simpler when cooking for a vegetarian to not make two dishes every evening, one with meat, one without. That would be time consuming and logistically annoying, and I don't miss meat enough to do that on a regular basis. So my meat consumption only occurred when dining out or at home with the occasional grilled venison sausage gifted by Alycia's Dad as separate meal addendum just for me.
Alycia's parents regularly gift various meat products: local bacon, ground beef, venison bacon, venison sausage, steaks, etc. It's entirely possible they feel guilty about their daughter foisting her West Coast liberal hippie vegetarian beliefs upon such a wholesome, statuesque, red-blooded, meat eating American such as myself, but I've never questioned their motivation, just happily taken the free meat and enjoyed it greatly.
It was two pounds of locally produced ground beef that had been gifted to me and been sitting idly in the my freezer for several months that motivated me to make a meatloaf the other day. And lo, it was good. Cold meatloaf sandwiches (my favorite sandwich) were joyously consumed for many days, and lo, it was good too.