Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vegetarianism

OK, I'm going to take the plunge. As a preliminary scouting mission from Friday I'm going to be vegetarian for a week. Wish me luck because I might have trouble remembering if I'm out and about. I'm leaving it to Friday as that allows me to use up various bits and bobs, thereby not wasting food. I hope that's acceptable.

I tend to eat too much meat anyway so I've been thinking about this for a while. I used to be vegetarian (for about two years) when I was a student but one drunken night I had fish and chips on the way home and the spell was broken.

Anyway there are lots of reasons not to eat meat. Health, climate change even ethics if you want to go all hippy on me but I do tend to be a bit useless at this lifestyle business (and I sympathise with everyone in a similar position so don't tend to be part of the finger wagging brigade). That's no reason not to try is it?

I will tweet regular updates for those particularly interested but never fear, I wont clog the blog up with stories about bland cheese sandwiches or a particularly succulent lettuce leaf, not even in digest form.

13 comments:

Jo Anglezarke said...

I'm exactly the same - I went vegetarian for a good couple of years but I think it's easier as a teenager as you just tell your parents and they have to fret about what to cook you - it's harder as an adult but not impossible.

I've been trying to wean myself slowly off meat but find the most difficult thing to avoid is tuna/oily fish - it really is my fav food. I take omega 3 but I still eat it!

I've found Delia Smith to have some very simple veggie recipes - also I hate cooking meat as I always worry about if it's cooked thoroughly so veggie cooking probably suits me.

It's a habit and it helps if everyone around you understands...it's a big step and one I haven't managed to take yet though :)

Elinor said...

I've been veggie for over 10 years, for a number of reasons but I have some concerns - vegetarianism doesn't make all that much sense f you want to be truly sustainable... especially in modern farming practice where male calves have no use other than for meat (the same also for chickens etc). I am not sure how a world of vegetarian farms could be wholly sustainable. However I don't want to discourage you in any way! but some form of veganism is probably a better option in the long run.

Ingenuity Lee said...

I've been vegetarian for around 8 years, mainly due to the fact that meat doesn't agree with me. I think you'll find it a lot easier now than you did when you were a student.

One thing though, avoid quorn it tastes like wet cardboard.

Stuart Jeffery said...

I went veggie at the age of 21 after toying with it for a few years. That was, um... 21 years ago (I'm 25 now - really!!!).

Good luck with it, it really isn't difficult and it is right for so many reasons.

Stu

harpymarx said...

Good luck Jim, I have been a vegetarian for around 27 years...

And it is not just about cheese either(and is that cheese vegetarian?)

Jim Jay said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!

On weaning slowly - I think my problem revolves around rationing - if I have a rule it might well be easier to stick to.

On vegan arguments on climate change - I'm absolutely persuaded that we should all be vegan and the dairy industry is a massive problem. However, I've yet to translate that into my daily life. I'm pretty sure if I can't be vegetarian for a week I think becoming a vegan forever would be harder! Baby steps...

On getting easier - yes I think it's true that being veggie now is easier than (for me) 13 years ago. Things are more set up for it now.

Ah, non-vegetarian cheese... I'd forgotten all about that... baby steps...

Five Fingered Left Punch said...

It's not so bad. You can still eat chips and chocolate! Just swap Korn for meat and you won't even notice.

Matt Sellwood said...

I'm a long standing but fairly bad vegetarian myself. I have to admit that non-vegetarian cheese and the occasional gelatine based sweet get eaten by me without too much guilt....

liammacuaid said...

I was obliged to do it for a weekend once and it damned near killed me.

Aaron said...

Responding to the comment about the impact of vegetarianism on the environment - it's a valid criticism, but that's why we need a truly green society.. I don't think we can have 'ethical' food in a capitalist society.

Good luck Jim too! :)

Ingenuity Lee said...

On the gelatine based sweets subject raised by Matt. I discovered this year that most Tesco's own brand sweets that would normally be off limits such as jelly beans, jelly babies, etc are suitable for vegetarians.

Tesco - They make it so hard to hate them sometimes.

thedharmablues said...

I've been a veggie since 1998. You should check out a website called Vegweb (www.vegweb.com). It's pretty handy.

Best of luck!

An Activist President said...

Best of luck Jim.

To be honest, the only real argument that ever sticks is the ethical one.

If someone then came out to say that eating animal X was healthy and would reduce climate emissions, then someone can easily fall back into eating meat.

By thinking about the ethical argument: "That reducing the ammount of suffering in this world can bring to someone the most pleasent." Then by adopting a vegetarian diet (I say 'adopt' rather than 'choose' because in my opinion, 'giving up was never an option'), you can reduce the suffering that billions of animals witness ever year as a result of factory farming.

Luke