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I've been a vegetarian now for almost a year. Yep for nearly a year I've not allowed the flesh of an animal to pass my lips. No bacon or pork or beef or anything with a face at all. Nope, Nada, nothing.
And it's all Rich Watt's bloody fault.
Last Decemberish I was on twitter and Rich posted that he'd accidentally left the gate at the side of his house open -like you do. Fortunately everything was fine but he'd been worried that the turkey might escape.
Aww I tweeted you've got a pet Turkey that's nice He tweeted back yes very nice, especially on Christmas day.
I replied 'please don't tell me you are going to eat your pet Turkey'. He replied that no he wasn't. He was however going to eat this turkey which he'd bought for Christmas.
I protested and he very reasonably asked me if I ate turkey at Christmas. I said yes, but not a running around Turkey, just a lump of generic cream coloured pinky stuff, in an aluminium dish, from the supermarket, which just happened to be called the same name as the winged, ugly, sentient creature. A vaguely pondered something-ness, which bore no relation whatsoever to an animal with feelings and faces and ...things.
Damn that OH. That oh made me think and think again and realise that I was an animal loving hypocrite. I can't kill a wasp or a spider. I was raging when a friend smacked Milly dog on the nose for sticking her snout in her crotch. I cried for three days when I had to hold Hamtaro our hampster as the vet put him down with a needle, which I have to tell you rendered him basically a furry kebab.
He had made a little scream which will stay with me forever. I still miss that little guy. He was the sweetest thing ever apart from 'forcing me' to take him to the vet when his testicles swelled to the size of walnuts and I'd thought he had cancer and the vet laughed and said "No he's just larger than your average Hampster in that department".
There we were two middle aged women laughing about hampster testicles whilst a teenage boy on work experience, hovered in the background looking like he wanted to die.
Anyway my point is this- I was more than able to put all that to the back of my mind and chow down on a bacon sandwich before you can say PETA, because it tasted so good. I was weak and a hypocrite and I hate that.
So 1 did the only decent thing and that was to annoy my husband by announcing that on January 1st 2012 I would no longer be a meat eater.
Phil's response as with most of my "good" ideas was a muttered hmph. Followed by "I'm not bloody doing it".
"Nor me" said Liz "you're bonkers Mum"
I'm not entirely sure that it wasn't a ploy to show me the error of my resolution but last New years Eve Phil cooked every delicious type of animal corpse there is. There was also salad I think. I don't remember all the details because I was too busy eating my weight in dead animals to notice.
Anyway Auld Lang Syne came and went and I left 2011 and travelled into 2012 via a happy food induced sleep, full of the courage of my convictions.
I did OK on balance.
Justin Moorhouse was brilliantly supportive on Twitter. A sort of vegetarian Obi one Kenobi to my wailing Chewbacca and so I began the year really well.
Then Lizzy and I went out for dinner with some friends. We'd neither of us been out anywhere for ages and we had a great time. Liz had been really nervous but had relaxed and had really enjoyed herself. It was only the next morning though when Phil asked me what I'd had to eat that I realised in all the anxiety, of going out, I'd forgotten something.
It was quite an important something if you're a vegetarian.
I'd had a steak sandwich.
It's probably significant that I'd only remembered, after I'd been asked, but as I say I'd had other things on my mind and to be fair it was at the top of the menu and it seemed a quick easy thing to remember. unlike my conviction to animal welfare apparently.
Anyway moving forward...My diet has pretty much made cheese, my dietary staple followed by bread. If I'm honest it's a combination of these two things that I'm to be found eating, on any given day. I've only been out for a meal once since steak sandwich yum-argheddon and instead of bread and cheese (in the form of a pizza) or bread and cheese (in the form of cheese on toast) or bread and cheese in the (form of vegetarian wraps) or bread and cheese (in the form of Quesadilla) I totally branched out and had the only vegetarian option on the menu.
Bread and cheese in the form of Welsh Rarebit. Which as everyone knows is just a 'funny' way of saying cheese on toast.
I have to tell you that the one thing I had hoped for didn't come true. Bacon and steak and chicken and beef and pork still smell absolutely amazing as they're cooking. No amount of pointing at the Sunday Roast and saying "I hope you're all enjoying your cooked animal corpse" can stop that. Mainly because Liz and Phil say "Yes delicious" but also because contrary to my best hopes it doesn't smell anything like stomach churning, cat food and dog food odours.
So as we're plodding towards my first meat free Christmas. I'm not overjoyed but I am still determined. They'll be Turkey and sausage meat stuffing and home made sausage rolls and salmon and cold cuts of meat and on and on and ....on.
I have to tell you now no matter how well intentioned, how ethically sound, or how delicious it will be, an impending nut roast is no substitute.