It is time for me to write a post I’ve been planning for a while. So here goes.
On June 22nd 2012 I became a vegetarian. I know it was June 22nd because it was also my Aunt Mary’s birthday and we had all gone to the nearest local eatery to celebrate. That eatery is a restaurant called Gusto’s, pronounced in a flamboyant Italian accent of course – GOOSE-TOS, not GUST-OHs as I and the rest of my common South London family insisted on calling it. I’ve always felt very awkward in Gusto’s, mainly because I once sat in there reading The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac with a cup of tea until the girl serving asked me what it was about. She looked so perplexed by the idea of a white English girl reading a book vaguely Buddhist in nature that I avoided going back lest I be quizzed about being a Buddhist scholar. Anyway, I’ve digressed.
Yes. Vegetarianism. It was on this day, June 22nd 2012, that I decided that I would never again for at least a few months or until I get bored of it eat any form of meat again. I didn’t rule out eggs or milk. I like scrambled eggs on toast with a nice cuppa tea waay too much for that. But all beef, chicken, pork, lamb, mutton, veal (not that I ever ate that anyway), duck, pheasant, goose, tuna, salmon, haddock etc was never again to pass my lips! I ordered my Penne Arrabiata smiling and it was delicious. I didn’t feel like a fat murderer after eating it either! Unfortunately my dumbass waitress friend appeared and asked me if my choice was anything to do with my Buddhist beliefs. I let her down gently.
There were three key problems I had not accounted for.
1) I am one of the fussiest eaters on the planet.
To the extent that it would probably be easier for me to list the things I will eat than the things I wont. Generally if it’s squishy, I’m not eating it, which rules out mushrooms, avocados, cheese, tofu, aubergines, gherkin and many many other things.
I had not realised just how much I love bacon. That shit is delicious. Even now nearly four months I still salivate at the smell of it. Just thinking about it is making me weak at the knee’s. I’m sorry veggie brothers and sisters but that shit is just delicious and there is nothing any of us can do about it.
and 3) the veggie options in most restaurants and café’s are piss poor.
If I ever have to eat another egg mayonnaise sandwich I will scream.
These issues aside, for three months everything went without a hitch. That was until my boyfriend decided to cook Chili Con Carne, my favourite thing in the world after custard creams. I wont go in to details but suffices to say I cracked on a massive scale. The point of this post is this though: if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian JUST DO IT. It’s a lot easier than it seems, even a lot easier than I’ve made out here. Generally people are supportive, even encouraging. You don’t miss meat, you feel so much healthier for it and – this is key- you will not be missing out on any major nutrients so long as you eat a balance diet. The only supplement I take is fish oil.
I’ve never felt better and encourage you ALL to try it. Even if you just do meat-free Monday for a few weeks.
GOOD DEED OF THE DAY:
In light of the theme of this blog, my good deed is @josephwicking buying me a vegetarian cookbook for my birthday. Thank you!