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[quote] [b]robotom wrote:[/b] So, living in a foreign country always gives rise to strange questions about fasting... I don\'t mean place like canada or western eurpope - or europeanized western style countries.... but I mean, honest to goodness foreign countries.... the question of the evening (I guess it\'s morning where most of you are)... Is pig skin meat?..... it\'s like a football (footballs are made of pigskin)... you wouldn\'t consider BBQ football to be meat, because it\'s a football... but here, you CAN eat bbq pig skin.... how about blood sausage? it\'s just gives rise to the kind of silly practice of \\"eating a hamburger is wrong, but eating a hamburger with a tofu patty made to taste remarkably similar to meat is acceptable\\".... is it? is it better to eat meat and feel bad about it? is it better to eat veggies and feel triumphant? is it better to not be concerned if it\'s meat or not, and just eat in moderation? just, in a foreign country, sometimes, or, rather often, there are eating customs, and lack of orthodox culture, that make such questions come to the forefront.... for example... Korea has a strong drinking culture... and it could be extremely rude to deny a small drink from your superior... or not accept their invitation to BBQ dinner - no matter if it\'s the fasting season or not... you could find yourself out of business, quite quickly.... whether from being fired, ostracized, or just lack of clients from your lack of hospitality. so, the epistles this week, and the previous, were quite meaningful to me, and maybe others, as well... please forgive us, who have little choice in our menu.... we don\'t mean to make discomfort for those of you eating only bread and water I guess I had no real direction for this thread... except to share some difficulties about fasting - and about some occasional (or maybe frequent) exceptions you have experienced, or exhibited by the saints themselves... not as a means to circumvent our call to the fast... but not to despair of our shortcomings.[/quote] For the most part (last I checked), if someone offers you something non-Lenten it\'s okay to take it. That is, if it would be considered to rude. I really think it depends on the spirit of it. Yes, I would consider blood sausage \\"meat\\" because it comes from an animal (no meat, no dairy -- I think it would just go with that theme), as well as pig skin. As it is said in the Gospel, when you\'re fasting, keep it \\"secret.\\" Don\'t boast. So I would say it can be worse -- at least in some ways -- to be prideful about one\'s fasting than to eat meat and then feel guilty (or, if you\'re a vegitarian like me, guzzle milk or whatnot). Being prideful like that is a sin, whereas breaking the fast is not (not a grave one at least). I mean, yes, there have been cases where fasting is nearly impossible. I was in Russia (Siberia, specifically, and doing work) over the summer, didn\'t know enough Russian, and felt rude enough already by saying I can\'t eat meat (again, vegetarian) that it would have been far, far, far too difficult to keep the Dormition Fast. For the most part, veggies had dairy (at least where we were); it was hard enough to get things without meat. Likewise, if you\'re a young child (nursing or whatnot) or in too poor of a condition to fast, the Church says that not fasting is, well, fine. Essentially, you do what you can.
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