Vegetarianism: dipping my toe

pea smile2I recently recommended my brother’s blog A Veggie Voyage wherein he is (somewhat sporadically) telling the story of how he as a born carnivore is charting new waters as a vegetarian.

He’ll never let me live this down, but my little brother is an inspiration to me. We’re only 17 months apart in age and we were close growing up. Close being alternatively defined as being inseparable companions and kicking the living daylights out of each other. He is a policeman in the Met, which I try not to think about too often. He is married to a wonderful Polish woman who is a vegetarian. My brother, was very not. A dedicated carnivore, I was surprised when he announced his vegetarianism to support his wife, to improve his health and to cut down on his food bill. he is really quite a top bloke.

I’ve dabbled with the thought of vegetarianism before. I can see many reasons for it, ethical, environmental, health, but I’ve always held back. Reasons for that include, quite plainly, my love of meat and particularly seafood and my wicked metabolism which keeps me (for now) slim. It is so fast I can easily lose or gain half a stone over a matter of days. I always thought I needed high levels of protein and dabbling in any major diet change would be risky. I also am a reasonably picky eater and don’t have a wide ranging diet. I’ve noticed the severe lack of vegetarian choices in my usual shops, and almost every sandwich choice is rammed with raw onion and tomatoes, both of which I detest. My husband is also a born carnivore and I think very unlikely to ever find vegetarianism a realistic choice.

But, if my meat obsessed brother can do it, so can I. Or at least I’m going to dip my toe in the water for a while and see what I can learn. I haven’t got the capacity to go full out vegetarian at the moment as it would require a great deal of thought and planning and I just don’t have it in me. But for the month of June I’m going meat free at breakfasts and lunches and am trying to do so at dinner where possible. Not a massively scientific trial, not even a very cost effective or ethically sound one, but it is a start. I also have to bear in mind I am the main cook in my family and can’t force this on my hubby and we can’t afford at the moment to start buying two lots of stuff. I’m not interested in just not ploking the meat on my plate and having whatever else was being served.

I’ll be tweeting about my own voyage and updating here too. I’d be really interested in your thoughts on vegetarianism and looking for recipe/eating out recommendations! I’m reading Jay Rayner’s A greedy man in a hungry world: why almost everything you know about food is wrong. All about true sustainability in food production and the food crisis which is only ever a couple of days away, even in the UK. Will let you know what I think!

Lunch today was a Sainsbury’s Chilli cheese and bean flatbread. Would have been very nommy but ridiculously over spiced. I love hot food but I can’t feel my tongue. *dribble*


6 thoughts on “Vegetarianism: dipping my toe

  1. Good luck to you!! I eat vegetarian 3-4 days a week and never have red meat. I would go completely vegetarian if it wasn’t a… challenge for my family haha I have quite a few vegetarian (and vegan!) restaurants on my blog if you are in need of some inspiration!

  2. Trying to do the same here, for health reasons although we both love our meat. It is hard, particularly when staying with family, but we are being more “pescatarian” so we still eat fish and seafood. When you choose the right fish and seafood it’s not such an environmental disaster (but not cheap!)
    I’m loving the chickpeas and lentils, and all the vegies. But will miss bacon!

    • I was having this conversation earlier about it being ‘easier’ to fish sustainably than farm meat. Great to hear lots of other folks are trying this too. I will have to gather and share recipes 🙂

  3. Hi Heather – we’ve got oodles of vegetarian cookbooks at home, you’re very welcome to borrow any of them. I’m a particular fan of Prue Leith’s Vegetarian Bible and Dennis Cotter’s Paradiso Seasons. Good on for giving it a go, hope you never look back (and that Rob survives!)… Dave

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