Today marks 350 days since I began the process of converting to a vegetarian diet.  I was slightly wary about how  to make it through the holidays with my vegetarianity still in tact since family tradition dictates turkey, ham, and other meat-based dishes.  I am happy to report that I managed eight holiday functions without consuming mass quantities of sentient beings.

I do have two minor infractions to report. The first occurred at lunch with a colleague. The restaurant didn’t disclose on the menu that the spinach and artichoke dip I ordered contained bacon. I was two bites in before I realized my error. I traded it for a salad.

The second incident was entirely intentional.  I succumbed to peer-pressure and tasted a sliver of a scallop following a lively (if not ridiculous) debate over whether the creatures are sentient beings. I really didn’t know much about scallops, but I didn’t think they had eyes or brains or moved around much, so I reasoned that it was maybe ok because it was sort of like eating a vegetable.  I learned later that scallops have up to 100 “eyes,” and though while lacking brains, they do have a nervous system and most get around just fine.  They’re part of the mollusk family and snails are their cousins.

Image used courtesy of marine biologist and SCUBA diver, Rosanna Milligan. To see more of her amazing work visit

Ish.  Not quite so appetizing when it’s smiling at you with its 100 eyes.