House Crazy Sarah is somewhat of a vegetarian. Although she eats a fair amount of salad, she loves to drown salads in cheese. She consumes copious amounts of cheese, and pays for it later when her intestines throw up inside themselves.
House Crazy Sarah will even enjoy the occasional burger, but only if it is smothered in cheese.
House Crazy Sarah will eat a little bit of chicken (no fish or sea creatures – that’s gross) but only if she can’t recognize that it is flesh from a dead animal. This means: no visible bones, no gristle, no blood, and for the love of god, no visible tendon things! If House Crazy Sarah sees raw meat when it is, well, in the raw, she is prone to gagging and then is adversely psychologically affected to where she certainly cannot eat it after it is cooked.
You may be surprised to learn that House Crazy Sarah comes from a rural upbringing where her family raised and slaughtered their own chickens. But rather than desensitizing her, it seems to have implanted a deep trauma within her sensitive soul. Chickens really do run around with their heads cut off!
You may also not know that House Crazy Sarah was married to a Mexican man for 12 years.
So Imagine House Crazy Sarah’s horror when, as a newly married young woman, her visiting Mexican mother-in-law purchased a large whole dead chicken. It was from a carnicería down the road in Pueblo and it was intended to make menudo soup. The chicken was bad enough but Mexican-M-I-L also bought some of this long white shiny blubbery stuff which she said would be the base of the broth. She called it “tripe”. When House Crazy Sarah asked her then husband what tripe was and he told her “cow stomach”, her brain rotated backward in its case.
House Crazy Sarah’s former mother-in-law used the entire chicken in the soup. Her memory even recalls a beak bobbing around in the stew, but that may just be her over-active, vegetarian imagination.
“You no like? Why you no eat?” Mexican-M-I-L asked when House Crazy Sarah turned down a bowl of the soup.
“It’s just that, I’m kind of… like, a vegetarian.” House Crazy Sarah explained.
“Why Sarah? I make chicken menudo just for you!”
In Mexican Mother-In-Law’s mind, chicken wasn’t actually meat, so she had gone out of her way to make a vegetarian soup for picky, ungrateful Sarah.
When House Crazy Sarah found out that cheese was made with rennet – enzymes secreted by mucous membranes that line a calf’s fourth stomach – she was mortified. Baby cows were being slaughtered for the rennet in their stomachs just to make cheese!?! House Crazy Sarah immediately quit eating cheese and transitioned over to vegan cheese which was both rubbery and dry and left a weird aftertaste. She did that for about half a year, then she fell back into her old ways when a hot, bubbling cheese pizza pressured her to overturn her better judgement.
Now she tries very hard not to think about where or what animal her food comes from because if she did, she would only be able to eat twigs and leaves. Twigs and leaves would be okay for a while, but that would get old and boring and House Crazy Sarah needs to keep her taste buds entertained because she’s not a cow munching grass all day and she needs some variety in her diet.
Namaste. (Or whatever pseudo, part-time vegetarians say.)
If it helps, some rennet comes from non-animal sources, and soft cheeses (like cream cheese) don’t have rennet at all.