Thursday, 1 September 2016

Going Veggie

Guys I am so sorry, just checked the au pair forum and there were some new messages on there. I've replied to them all now, apart from the one about China... I feel this was more a call out to anyone's who has ever au paired in China and if I stuck my oar in it would just be for the sake of it really...

Like this blog post I guess.

It's just for the sake of it.

Just to say I am now a vegetarian.

The last time I ate meat or fish was over five weeks ago. Oh, actually ate a fish pie two weeks ago but kind of had to, it's a long story... (Basically I was at Phil's granny's house and it was the only thing in the house to eat and I didn't want to make things difficult.)

My reason for going veggie?

WELL SINCE YOU ASKED.

No, I haven't watched Cowspiracy.

But it is to do with the environment. I feel like going veggie can actually help, maybe. A little bit.

I mean, there's not much we can now to slow down the oncoming apocalypse. Recently it's begun to feel more real than ever to me.

Displaced people, war and panic, extinct animals, seas rising and the earth quaking...

Really it would take a seismic change to make any kind of difference, and who has the persuasive power to talk the world population into planting more trees, ditching their cars and accepting more refugees into their country?

It feels desperate, like nothing one person can do could possible make a difference.

But I've been reading studies on climate change, and if everyone in the world reduced their meat consumption to World Health Organisation guidelines (160 calories of a 2,100 daily intake) then we, the planet, could reach our carbon emissions target by 2050.

By reach target, I mean reach the targeted reduction - not reach a higher volume of carbon emissions... Keep eating those greens for our beloved greenhouse in the sky, guys!

Sooooo... I'm thinking: if everyone eating a little less meat helps the environment, then one person cutting out all meat would help a lot, right?

And of course there's the animals themselves.

If I was an animal, and someone was going to turn me into a pie, I'd want an unseen arrow through the back of my neck as I skipped through the forest. Being caged or chained for life is worse than death.

That is the long and short of it.

I used to eat free range stuff but I don't trust it any more. I'd happily eat meat direct from the farmer, if he/she could tell me about its long and happy life in great detail but I don't think even farmer's markets are like that.

I'm still drinking milk and eating cheese, which does bother me but I"m trying to buy only organic milk... cheese not so much, but that is my next step. Only cheese from farmer's markets, where I can ask about the cows.

I'm not bothered about eggs if the chickens are happy when they lay them. I don't think the chickens have big plans for their unfertilised eggs, to be honest.

So far, transitioning to a vegetarian diet has been relatively painless. My mum asked me if I was developing an eating disorder when I told her over the phone, but everyone else has been very understanding.

I've tried loads of new recipes and I'm finding out interesting things about food. For example, you can get enough iron in your diet form dried apricots, lentils and chickpeas. On the first day I went veggie, it was mainly because Claire told me she had turned veggie.

AND I DO EVERYTHING SHE DOES.

No, it made me realise that I wanted to try it and I'm so glad I did.

I did get a craving for sausages, mash and red onion gravy last week, so I bought Linda McCartney sausages, which my vegetarian cousins have always loved. However, I checked the box afterwards and they contain palm oil which is TERRIBLE for the environment so they're off the table.

To be honest, I should probably start being more ethical about everything I consume. No fruit or veg that's been flown in to the UK, Fairtrade cocaine etc. etc.

One step at a time.

And because I've bored you with my vegetarian chat, here's a song to send you to sleep. If you love 10 Things I Hate About You, you'll recognise it...

I like to think it's about my conflicting loves: Needoe's lamb chops and the environment.

I don't think I could actually go to Needoe's Grill now I'm a vegetarian. I might turn savage and leap across the table, snatching hot bones and gristle and bounding out of the door with them hanging out of my mouth.

It has actually happened before... This isn't technically the first time I've been a vegetarian. When I was very small, my mum and my dad were vegetarians, and so was I...

One day they took me round to my nana's house and she insisted on giving me a bone with a tiny bit of lamb on it to try as I'd never had meat. The way my dad tells it, I loved it so much that I ran and hid under the table, gnawing on it like a little animal, and my nana shouted "Look she loves meat!"

Anyway here's the song!