View Full Version : Problems with touching meat


BellaVita
02-28-17, 10:30 PM
Disclaimer: I don't judge those who eat meat, just so you know. :)

At about six years old I stopped eating meat, because I couldn't force myself to eat it. I would sneakily throw chicken nuggets out of the car window. I gagged strongly when I tried beef once.

The texture really bothered me.

Over the years this has morphed into something much worse.

I can't even come in contact with meat or something that has potentially even touched meat.

I scoop my dog's food out with a small bowl, and must always wash my hands immediately after. When I am going to put her bowl back in its spot after she has finished eating, I must pick up the bowl every time with a piece of tissue. So that I don't touch it.

I'm only OK with my dog licking me or touching me with her nose after she has had some water after she ate her food, to wash out her mouth. I will furiously wash any spot she has touched me with if she hasn't had her water after eating because of the disgust and fear of her having just touched meat (dry dog food).

If my husband eats a meat sandwich, he has taken on the habit of rinsing his mouth in the bathroom after. Because he knows I wont kiss him after he has eaten meat. I won't even let him drink out of my water bottle after he has eaten meat. And I tell him to make sure he doesn't touch the meat part of The sandwich.

If meat touched the kitchen counter, I place a cutting board on top of the counter so that my own food that I am preparing doesn't touch a place that meat has touched.

There are other ways this affects me, but I think I'll stop there.

I don't know why this has gotten so bad. I think part of it is a combination of my initial disgust/dislike of the texture of meat, and also [Trigger warning] when I worked with elderly people many years ago I once saw a lady die and then I developed a phobia of dead people and dead things. But, that fear is not nearly as bad for me now.

But I just can't stand the thought of thinking I am touching a cow's/chicken's/other animal's dead body. It grosses me out and fills me with disgust. And fear.

One day I would like to be able to prepare my husband a meal that has meat in it. I don't know what steps to take or how to mentally get past this so that I can get closer to achieving that. I don't know how to mentally get over this problem of touching meat.

aeon
02-28-17, 10:43 PM
Disclaimer: I don't judge those who eat meat, just so you know. :)

At about six years old I stopped eating meat, because I couldn't force myself to eat it. I would sneakily throw chicken nuggets out of the car window. I gagged strongly when I tried beef once.

The texture really bothered me.

Over the years this has morphed into something much worse.

I can't even come in contact with meat or something that has potentially even touched meat.

I scoop my dog's food out with a small bowl, and must always wash my hands immediately after. When I am going to put her bowl back in its spot after she has finished eating, I must pick up the bowl every time with a piece of tissue. So that I don't touch it.

I'm only OK with my dog licking me or touching me with her nose after she has had some water after she ate her food, to wash out her mouth. I will furiously wash any spot she has touched me with if she hasn't had her water after eating because of the disgust and fear of her having just touched meat (dry dog food).

If my husband eats a meat sandwich, he has taken on the habit of rinsing his mouth in the bathroom after. Because he knows I wont kiss him after he has eaten meat. I won't even let him drink out of my water bottle after he has eaten meat. And I tell him to make sure he doesn't touch the meat part of The sandwich.

If meat touched the kitchen counter, I place a cutting board on top of the counter so that my own food that I am preparing doesn't touch a place that meat has touched.

There are other ways this affects me, but I think I'll stop there.

I don't know why this has gotten so bad. I think part of it is a combination of my initial disgust/dislike of the texture of meat, and also [Trigger warning] when I worked with elderly people many years ago I once saw a lady die and then I developed a phobia of dead people and dead things. But, that fear is not nearly as bad for me now.

But I just can't stand the thought of thinking I am touching a cow's/chicken's/other animal's dead body. It grosses me out and fills me with disgust. And fear.

One day I would like to be able to prepare my husband a meal that has meat in it. I don't know what steps to take or how to mentally get past this so that I can get closer to achieving that. I don't know how to mentally get over this problem of touching meat.

I recognize and validate your goal for your husband, but I just want to say that I donít think you have a problem except to the degree you think so.

I mean, why would one naturally be comfortable handling decaying flesh?

I have this to a minor degree, so it doesnít really interfere with things, but it makes sense to me, and I never get bothered one bit prepping/cutting vegetables or fruits.


Cheers,
Ian

peripatetic
02-28-17, 11:07 PM
b, since there's a mental component to what you're describing being challenging... i would suggest looking into exposure therapy. also because, if memory serves, you have ocd? or maybe anxiety .... if the latter, i would say try CBT, if the former, try exposure.

if you think this is related to your likelihood of being on the autism spectrum, i know many on the spectrum have sensory issues as a concern. i don't know what the strategy is in that situation, but i suspect luna might have some ideas for you based on her experiences with her granddaughter.

much love to you,
xx

BellaVita
02-28-17, 11:15 PM
b, since there's a mental component to what you're describing being challenging... i would suggest looking into exposure therapy. also because, if memory serves, you have ocd? or maybe anxiety .... if the latter, i would say try CBT, if the former, try exposure.

if you think this is related to your likelihood of being on the autism spectrum, i know many on the spectrum have sensory issues as a concern. i don't know what the strategy is in that situation, but i suspect luna might have some ideas for you based on her experiences with her granddaughter.

much love to you,
xx

Yes I am diagnosed with OCD and anxiety. I bet a lot of my issues would benefit from being addressed with exposure therapy. Although the idea of it sounds overwhelming and scary.

What started out as a texture issue, has now turned into something bigger that I think more has to do with the OCD and anxiety.

Thanks for your thoughts!

dvdnvwls
02-28-17, 11:57 PM
Just for the record, I wouldn't mind permanently being a "You want meat then YOU cook it" kind of couple. :)

But I do see that the kind of aversion you've developed is interfering with much more than just that little detail.

Lunacie
02-28-17, 11:58 PM
Life has changed so much in the last 80 years or so.

People used to lovingly tend to their dead in their own homes, cleaning them,
dressing them, showing respect.

And they used to do a lot more raw food prep before cooking. Even just 45 years
ago I learned to cut up a chicken and didn't give it a second thought.

I think I have more trouble with sensory disorder than my autistic granddaughter
does. :eyebrow: It's only since she turned 13 that she's gotten picky about food.

Bella, this sounds like an OCD issue to me. I don't have any experience with that.

Fuzzy12
03-01-17, 01:36 AM
Bella, the majority of my relatives share your exact sentiments. They will neither touch meat nor eat from dishes in which meat has been prepared. The extremely traditional ones won't even enter houses in which meat is prepared. The idea of eating or coming into contact with meat is abhorrent to them. The only difference is that they fully believe that they aren't supposed to so there is no conflict in their mind. Their behaviour and sentiments are considered perfectly normal in their society and are not only accepted but also expected of them.

I don't eat meat (for different reasons to my relatives). I don't share your aversion but I wouldn't feel comfortable preparing meat for my husband or anyone else either. Neither does anyone expect me to do this.

This might not be a big comfort to you since it does cause you distress and conflicting thoughts but just know that your behaviour or sentiments aren't that odd or uncommon. You are sharing them with tens of millions of people. The cause for these sentiments might be different but I guess that the feelings of aversion are rather similar.

It's different with pets of course. You have to give them what they need (though a lot of people on my community do make their dogs vegetarian, which is a bit questionable I guess) as you are and while your method is probably slightly difficult and distressing for you it is working. You are taking good care of your dog in spite of your aversion.

You could try exposure therapy but the trick with exposure therapy is that the exposure has to be so gentle and mild as to not trigger any stress response or distress. It's probably something that's best done with the help of a professional.

You could try starting to handle fake meat products (like those from soya or Quorn) to get used to the texture and idea of handling with them.

salleh
03-01-17, 03:07 AM
Bella sweetie, I share that aversion to a way lessor degree.....when I was about 19 or 20, I lived with a bunch of surfers, and had a deal with one of them ....he's buy the food if I cooked it ....one day he came home with a package of chicken legs, and I didn't think a thing of it until I started picking them up and breading them .....and the feeling of bone under the flesh weirded me out so strongly that I threw them down and haven't been about to touch any raw meat since then .....

.....I can touch stuff like hamburger, but not directly, I have to use waxed paper or saran wrap to deal with it .....and I have a limited menu of meats I will eat....or cook ....and while it has taken me more than 40 years to reach this point, I don't eat a lot of meat .....

....but those few moments, that occured so many decades ago, still stand vividly in my imagination .....and still make me shudder

Fortune
03-01-17, 06:33 AM
I know of other autistic people who have a sensory issue with touching meat. I'm not really equipped to say your particular issue is OCD, autistic, both, neither, or something else, though.

stef
03-01-17, 06:38 AM
I have this slightly; I guess it's just sensory for me but I totally understand!
I'm not a vegeterian but I hate handling it. *shudders*
This might go back to when I was pregnant, actually.

I avoid recipes involving cutting up meat. I mentioned this once here somewhere and Lunacie suggested, use tongs to handle raw meat (which I had forgotten about until I saw this thread :) )

Fuzzy12
03-01-17, 06:53 AM
I have this slightly; I guess it's just sensory for me but I totally understand!
I'm not a vegeterian but I hate handling it. *shudders*
This might go back to when I was pregnant, actually.

I avoid recipes involving cutting up meat. I mentioned this once here somewhere and Lunacie suggested, use tongs to handle raw meat (which I had forgotten about until I saw this thread :) )

Or gloves...

pdawg93
03-20-17, 08:07 PM
I make every effort to avoid handling raw meat. I don't mind it when it's cooked. I have no idea why it bothers me so much.

Lauralight
07-07-17, 12:41 PM
Oh, raw meat texture grosses me out!

WheresMyMind
07-07-17, 02:00 PM
I mean, why would one naturally be comfortable handling decaying flesh?

Cheers,
Ian

Why would one naturally be comfortable living inside a box made of chemically-treated wood, plasterboard and enveloped with a complex array of wires and pipes carrying hazardous substances?

Very little of what we do is "natural" - we are not born with the ability to read and write...and humans existed long before such a thing existed, so by definition, it is not "natural". And yet, if a person has a fear of reading and writing, we do indeed, suggest there is a problem to solve.

Generally, if a thing is common in the culture in which we live, and fear of it prevents us from socializing with the people we want in our lives, then it would be considered a problem to solve.


I've come across a very different take on this recently. I've been reading/listening to lectures on how human civilization developed, and in particular, belief systems. Everybody has a belief system - science and atheism are belief systems, with all elements in place to define them as religions.

It seems that the earliest belief systems came about due to the "awe and tragedy of life". If I am not awe-struck by the miracle of being one of the few fortunate masses of particles in the cosmos to experience, if only briefly, life, then I fail at being observant. Oh, what an awe-inspiring concept! And yet, for life to survive, life must end. Everything we eat was once alive - we eat dead plants and dead animals. How can this possibly be acceptable? Early humans, in cultures so geographically separate that they could not possibly have met each other, all came to a conclusion - life is a cycle. Things live, things die, more things come to life due to being nourished by dead things. The sun dies every evening and is reborn every morning. This was the original concept called "death and resurrection". Human culture was developed by imitating nature - we bury our dead because ancient humans observed that burying plant seeds created new life.

So, it's as natural as anything possibly can be. if you've considered, deeply, how we nourish ourselves, then you know that you are always dealing with formerly alive things, whether plant or animal.

In a very broad sense, separating plants from animals is a convenience that allows some people (by no means a majority) to "feel better" about consuming dead things. Who are we, as humans, to decide that plants have less right to be alive than animals?

In Western Society, much of this is driven by the millennia of dominance by 'westernized' religion - I'm not here to blame any belief system. The more broadly spread belief systems did not treat animal and plant life as two separate entities with different levels of value/nobility. In fact, there's an ancient belief system, Jainism, which believes so strongly that all life is sacred, and to be "good", a person must behave so as to do least harm...that they periodically die out. They wear masks on their mouths, for fear they might inhale microscopic organisms, killing them. They walk using the fewest footsteps possible, since walking involves, again, killing things too small to see. They will only eat fruit after it has fallen from the tree, they won't pick it.

So, what is "natural"? Beats me. Even though I life on food-producing land, I seriously doubt anything growing here was planted by nature. So, it's not "natural" in the form I'd like to use. So, I end up being concerned more with what the local culture deems as "normal". Not that I follow all norms - I spent 30 years myself as a strict vegan, and today have very little meat in my diet. And I find many cultural norms, especially the addiction to materialism and technology, rather concerning in a long-term human survival sense.

Just musings, really....I draw no conclusions, but merely encourage deeper thought into concepts we use so frequently, such as "natural".

GL

WMM

namazu
07-07-17, 04:59 PM
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