Looking forward to end of Lent

Something funny I noticed about Lent: people who didn’t give anything up are always asking those who did when Lent is over, and those who did know exactly when it ends.

I gave up meat for Lent, so the fates insisted that I’d be asked when Lent is over 57 times through greasy mouthfuls of Double Quarter Pounder while I sat quietly munching on leaves and roots.

It’s over on Easter Sunday, people. The eighth of April in the year of our Lord 2012. So stop asking me and making my stomach growl.

My ‘stomach scorned’ growls because I am most definitely a carnivore. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoy my fruits and vegetables, but steak is where it’s at (Can I get an Amen?). But I haven’t eaten anything that once breathed in (approximately) 46 days. And I didn’t take Sundays off.

Aren’t I great? I gave up something for six weeks that millions of people give up for their whole lives, and here I am patting myself on the back. Great job, champ.

I’ve always been one of those people who couldn’t understand how vegetarians and vegans do it. But now, after six brutal weeks, I get it.

It really wasn’t that bad. In fact, I enjoyed it at times. I got to feel good about helping the planet out a bit while trying some pretty delicious food and learning how to cook a little better.

But the point is, now I understand what it’s like to not eat meat—and to deprive myself of something I enjoy every day.

I’m Catholic, so Lent is a religious affair for me, but I know a good number of people who practice Lent without practicing the denominations that observe it.

I think that’s fantastic. Regardless of why anyone gives something up for Lent, it is an exercise in eye opening. That is, it tells you something about yourself or others.

This year, Lent told me I can do it. I can give up meat and not drop dead. It told me vegetarians aren’t weird or crazy, and, if for nothing else, they should be respected for functioning in our carnivorous society.

Making a sacrifice is healthy every now and then, and Lent is the perfect time to do that. But the sacrifice doesn’t have to be permanent, though I’m seriously considering giving up meat one day a week just so I don’t forget.

I’m looking forward to the end of Lent. Watching my friends tear through T-bones and munch on filet mignon has revved my appetite.

Hold my calls. If anyone needs me in the next week or so, I’ll be in the kitchen making up for lost time. At least I know I did it.

To contact Alex, call 256-765-4364 or you can follow him on Twitter at @TheFlorAlex.