Right first before full time vegans shout at me because there’s no such thing, and meat eaters proclaim I’m the antichrist, hear me out.
First time I became a vegetarian I was a teenager. I’d watched a program on TV about how and where our meat came from, how the animals were dispatched and was repulsed. Poor mum had to come up with veggie ideas for my meals (even if I could cook, mum bless her hated anyone in the kitchen whilst she was in there, it was her domain) and this was the mid 90’s, vegetarian choices were, limited. A baked potato with cheese and beans, cheese salad and bowls of cereal would get old very quickly.
But, I was happier and nut roast at Christmas wasn’t the worst, in fact unlike previous turkey slaughter years with a post gorge slump, the amount of fibre consumed meant I got a complete colon cleanse.
The day I stopped being a veggie was in 2004 after the Australian GP. I had been out clubbing in Windsor the night before and crashed on my friend (at the time) Matt’s sofa. He woke me so we could watch the Grand Prix and after he cooked a round of bacon sandwiches. God damnit. Yep it was the first bit of meat (gigidy) I’d had in years, and still to this day I can’t remember enjoying a bacon butty more.
Well this just opened the flood gates. Before being a veggie I couldn’t stand the taste of red meat, now I craved steak – rare. I was eating black pudding (much to mum’s delight) because I suddenly loved cooked blood, fried. Drinking Guinness to help my iron deficiency clearly wasn’t doing it for me anymore. Again, don’t shout at me, Guinness wasn’t vegetarian back then, but it was alcohol and my doctor recommended it ok?! But ultimately, being a meat eater was a lot easier when working in the film industry, that was certain.
Fast forward 15 years, I found I wasn’t enjoying meat anymore, I wouldn’t let it go to waste but I was starting to get that nagging feeling again. What’s the point of eating something if I’m not enjoying it? I was already opting for veggie options at restaurants and takeaways, so January 1st 2019 I decided that’s it, no more meat for me (Husband cries)
It was different this time, it wasn’t just an animal welfare issue, climate change is an everyday concern. I mean it’s not just insulting we are breeding them to eat but the very practice is one of the reasons that’s leading us to our own destruction, ironic don’t you think?! Also, **Warning next bit is a tad graphic** I was on the road daily for work and as I live in Banjo country (Norfolk) I used to get caught behind a lot of animal transporters. Seeing the animals clearly getting stressed wasn’t nice at all, but like most people, you try to forget it. However, this one day I was again caught behind a transporter, big double decker various rammed with pigs on the A17. Most trucks will dribble miscellaneous fluids, but this fateful morning, one or more of the pigs must have been extremely stressed, I surmise due to the volume of vomit and shite that hit my company car. So much I had to pull over onto the not quite there hard shoulder to clean the windscreen, because I could barely see out. And the smell! I was late to my first store because once it was safe to drive, I drove to the first whirly carwash and I wasn’t able to eat a pork or bacon again after that.
Now I’m not going to preach, (so you anti vegan lot can sit back and untwist your knickers) everyone suddenly becoming a vegetarian/vegan wouldn’t help at all, in fact we don’t have the infrastructure to allow it, yet… I don’t force my husband to eat a plant based diet, but he is eating a lot less red meat and I’m managing to hide a lot more veggies in his diet. I don’t believe he’ll ever become a vegetarian but his diet is a lot healthier and his “footprint” has reduced. I think if everyone managed to eat less meat, as a certain supermarket says, “Every little helps”. And ideally go support your local butcher, chances are the meat is also local and won’t have all the nasties promised with the influx of American meat, once Trump’s bigly trade deal has been struck 🙄
So vegans, if you’ve stuck it this far it’s because you want to hear my explanation on how I’m a part time vegan. Well like meat eaters trying to eat less meat, I’m a vegetarian trying to be more plant based. I’m genuinely trying, but it’s tricky – I love cheese and plant based alternatives are… well… filth. The ones I’ve tried so far are nothing short of the Devil’s jizz! But, I won’t admit defeat. Milk is fine, I can go without or use oat milk. I grew up with Flora instead of butter (hey it was the 80s, marg was cheap) I just use the “reduce cholesterol” margarine now, because, I’ve kinda reached that age 🙄 I do eat eggs, but only from local, free-range hens. Even if I wanted to go full vegan, the plan is to start having our own laying hens, therefore I’d still not be a proper vegan – but carbon footprint print is still better than buying from the shops, so win win. And whilst in lockdown I have had the odd bit of haddock if my father-in-law goes to the chippy, because I haven’t managed to look him in the eye and ask for a veggie burger yet. So it’s still a working progress…😉
So there you have it, part time vegan. Will I force my husband to follow suit, no. Will I continue to cook a full chicken roast dinner for hubby and the in-laws every Sunday, yes. Do I think we should all reduce our meat consumption, yes. Will I try to force my views on you like an uptight born-again, of course not.
Will I slip up occasionally, absolutely. But it is my intention to eventually say I’m 100% (ish) vegan 😊