Over the last few weeks I’ve been dabbling with semi-vegetariansim (“semi” that is I still eat fish). It’s partially for health reasons and partially as a challenge to see how long I can go without meat. If nothing else it’s also a useful excercise in self-discipline. I don’t think I could ever give up meat permanently though, unless forced to under strict doctor’s orders. The thought of never again having roast lamb and mint sauce or chicken as part of a Sunday roast or forgoing the Christmas turkey and ham would fill me with dread. But recently I’ve been forsaking the usual lunchtime ham in my sandwiches for hummus and red peppers or cheddar with onion relish, tomatoes and red onion. Instead of beef or bacon in my pasta sauces I’ve been using celery, aubergines, courgettes carrots and peppers. While it hasn’t been terribly difficult to avoid meat, the food does come across a tad blander without it. I’m not into the meat substitute products like bean burgers or quorn mince though as for all you know what kind of chemicals and crap are in them, you’re probably just as safe eating proper meat. If you’re going veggie you might as well eat real vegetables.
With all the recent scares stories about BSE, battery hens, meat pumped full of hormones and mercury levels in tuna, it’s not surprising that many people have gone down the vegetarian route. But if we knew where the meat came from and could follow its route from bull to beef, pig to bacon knowing it had been reared in natural conditions and free of additives there wouldn’t be a problem. That is if you’re abstaining for health reasons. Then on the far side are those militant vegetaran types who believe it’s unethical to farm animals in the first place. A bizarre position to take when you consider the idea of cattle, sheep and pigs running wild around the country.
John Cleese was supposed to have said something along the lines of “If God didn’t want us to eat animals he wouldn’t have made them out of meat”. He’s got a point. But for the time being I’ll suppress my carnivorous desires. After all Christmas isn’t too long to wait for that turkey drumstick or succulent slices of ham spiced with cloves and honey.
The perils of vegetarianism…the krynoid’s out for revenge on Doctor Who and Sarah for eating that cucumber and lettuce salad…