As naive and ‘vegist’ as this may sound, I have always thought that going vegetarian was for those who generally didn’t wash their hair more than twice a year, hand weaved their own clothes from organic garden matter and generally looked as if they spent their holiday up a mountain in Transylvania.
I could never have imagined a day when I would all but turn my back on meat. Yet here I am, baulking at the mere thought of a ham sandwich. How bizarre…
After recently losing someone to Cancer, my husband and I have started to re-evaluate what exactly we were chucking down our gullets, and what effect it might be having on our bodies in years to come.
Despite the Australian government trying to tell you that you should be eating red meat 4 to 5 times a week (how much did the Aussie cow farmers pay Sam Neill to spout that rubbish), the stuff simply isn’t good for you in large quantities. Having already tried to give up red meat in the past and feeling a 1000 times better for it, the decision to eliminate it totally was a pretty easy one. Of course in a land where the barbie is a national institution this will probably make us social pariahs, but on reading that burnt (which pretty much covers the state of most bbq cooked food) food is a carcinogenic, we thought it was a small price to pay.
Once beef and lamb were taken off the menu, I was shocked to find myself eyeing up the ham, bacon and sausages and finding myself slightly repulsed at the very idea of eating them. It wasn’t a conscious thing at all, I just went off the idea of the taste and texture. Of course having bitten into a mammoth piece of gristle in my last sausage probably didn’t help fight the carnivore cause I have to say.
The confirmation for me was when cooking a bolognese sauce for the kids, ( I personally don’t believe in taking meat out of a child’s diet while they are developing, or in taking away their right to choose what they eat) normally I eat it as fast as I cook it, and help myself to the contents of their bowls, while they eat so painfully slowly that time stands still.. but for the first time, I couldn’t even bring myself to lick the spoon.
As things stand at the moment, chicken and fish are still very defiantly on the menu. Neither have any links to the cause of Cancer, and fish, particularly oily fish actually helps in the fight to prevent it.
All of this I have to say changes the whole game plan of the supermarket shop. I am now charging through the meat section in the hunt of alternatives that don’t contain the word Quorn or meat substitute. I am a lentil convert and am adding spinach to everything but the breakfast cereal. I even tried Mung Beans – they ended up in the dogs bowl… he turned his nose up and they ended up in the compost.
I am not however, despite my semi veggi ways, still not going out bare foot, happy clapping along to music or wearing flowers in my hair. So there go a few more of my own preconceptions that I have over come.
In my opinion, if something I do now can help me in the future, it’s really worth giving it a go. But just for the record, as there is nothing worse than a converted anything… my decision to start cutting out meat is entirely a personal and health related choice and what other people chose to eat really doesn’t bother me in the slightest!