Thursday, June 15, 2017


After I posted about my family ordering "meatless" options at dinner a 
few nights ago on Instagram, I have had lots of people ask why we are vegetarian.
I guess I haven't ever talked about that- I mean a vegetarian rancher?  
Who do we think we are?
Here's the story:
To make a really long story short, Mr. Nielson tried out vegetarianism in 
high school 1997 and he really liked the way he felt.  
He felt healthier and stronger, 
and what was even better he gained weight which was something he really wanted.  
When I met Mr. Nielson in 2000, he was still very vegetarian, 
(I should clarify: we eat all dairy and eat salmon), and I was not vegetarian.  
I ate meat 1-2 times a week including our families traditional Sunday post roast.
Mr. Nielson challenged me to eat vegetarian with him and 
I did, and then I miraculously lost weight.  
Additionally I also felt very healthy and stronger. 
 I also had more energy which I loved, and so I never looked back- 
(unless you count that one time when I was pregnant with Claire 
and my dad made corned beef for St. Patrick's day. Or that other time
 I ate a turkey sandwich at a park in New Jersey when I was pregnant with Oliver. 
 Both times I sorely regretted it- if you know what I mean).

We are not meat sticklers, I don't care who eats meat- including my children.  
If the Little Nies are at friends houses for a meal, or choose to go out
 with friends to dinner, they are free to choose 
what they eat- no judgment from Christian or I.

I will say, my girls have never eaten meat- it doesn't appeal to them and I suspect
that my boys probably eat meat a couple times a month.  
And Lottie has enjoyed a chicken nugget once and awhile when 
she is with grandma and grandpa,
but we usually regret that choice later too (if you know what I mean).
So when we go out as a family, we try and look for places that 
offer vegetarian dishes or find menus that can be flexible
 to accommodate non-meat eaters, and it's usually not hard to find.

So now you are wondering how Mr. Nielson can be a rancher and not eat meat.  
Mr. Nielson loves his cattle.  He loves to feed them and he loved to take care of them. 
 two different types of hay, dried distillers grain, molasses, and mineral.  
And he mixes this batch up for them twice a day for two months out of the year. 
 It smells so good that sometimes I am tempted to eat it.
When the cattle aren't eating the feed, 
they are out to pasture eating native grasses and forage.
Bottom line, these cattle are lucky, and so are the
 people who will one day eat them.
It just won't be us. 
Unless we are in a winter or famine.
Thankfully we haven't seen that yet.