Day 4: “I’m Spartacus”

Yesterday, I would have made Stanley Kubrick proud.  I managed to turn my English seminar in to a vegetarian version of the famous Spartacus scene.

A conversation with a friend, about my new-found vegetarianism, was overheard by another girl in my class.  It so happens that she has vegetarian parents and has always been one herself.  My seminar tutor came in from a break and wanted to know what we were discussing.  Guess what?  He revealed that he is a vegan!  He asked the class about their eating habits, cue the “I’m Spartacus” moment.  In a room of eleven people, there were two vegans, three vegetarians and a partridge in a pear tree.  Oops, Christmas is on the brain, I’ll try that again: two vegans, three vegetarians and an ‘ex-vegetarian’.  The ‘ex-vegetarian’ was a veggie for three years before returning to her meat-eating ways.  She couldn’t find her reasons for being a vegetarian and stopped.

Our tutor became a vegan at the age of 18, because of political reasons (I will cover these in a later post).  The carnivores of the class tried to use bacon as an argument, describing the mouth-watering smell and taste.  The basic idea seemed to be that a life without bacon was not a life worth living.  However, vegan tutor (he does have a real name) came to the rescue.  Apparently, being a vegan has made him a fantastic cook.  He can not saunter in to a  supermarket and pick up any old thing.  He has to put effort in to his cooking.  Vegan tutor feels that Jack’s meaty lasagna (yes, I have a classmate who combines 400g of mince with 400g of bacon to create his lasagna!)  would be no match for his delicious vegan chocolate cake.

Vegan tutor will not eat honey, because the bees are not wild (wild honey could be an exception).  He researches the jeans he buys to ensure that the factories they are made in do not use animal fat in the process.  However, he admits to having two vices: the first is Guinness (suitable for vegetarians, but not vegans).  The second is smoking (which is tested on animals).

What this has confirmed for me is that there are no strict guidelines or rules that I have to follow to be a vegetarian.  I do not eat any meat, fish or gelatin(e) / rennet products, therefore I am a vegetarian.  Sure, everyone will have their own views on what makes a vegetarian a vegetarian or a vegan a vegan.  As I learn more, I can adapt my lifestyle in the ways I deem fit. 

I would just like to thank those who have been supportive and have been providing me with great advice.  I really appreciate it. 

Sunday’s post should be a good ‘un as I try to tackle fashion.

With love,

the simply silly asparagus.

Advertisements

Day 3: The response

Three days and one blog post has generated a lot more response than I expected.  I assumed that I would be left to my own devices — but everyone seems to have an opinion.

For the most part, people have been very helpful.  Last night, to my surprise, I learned that party ring biscuits aren’t suitable for vegetarians.  People have already been suggesting supplements and recipes to try.  There have been negative replies.  The stereotypical ‘Oh, you’re going to turn in to a pasty hippie’ has been a popular remark.  You are telling a girl, whose nicknames include ‘Casper’, about the woes of being pasty?  I’m quite content with my pale complexion thank you very much.  I know a fair few peaky, dreary meat-eaters actually.  The boyfriend has broached the matter with some trepidation, he feels he couldn’t possibly like anyone who isn’t a carnivore.  It would appear that people feel very strongly about food and other people’s choices.

Now for mother… On the day of ‘veggie’ enlightenment, I text mother asparagus to inform her of my decision.  One did not receive a reply that evening, nor was it mentioned in messages the following morning.  It was clear that she was ignoring my little text.  When I rang her, I got the following response, “How long will this phase last for?”.  This was of course accompanied by an exasperated tone.

I’d like to dismiss her scepticism.  But she does have a point.  I was one of those fussy children that would spend ages pushing food around the plate, until I had successfully eradicated any bits I viewed as ‘alien’.  Spaghetti Bolognese was a lengthy affair — onions and mushrooms had to be picked out before I could eat any of it, not forgetting the dreaded tomato!  The fussy stage was followed by many others.  There was the ‘no-piggy’ phase.  This was the result of a science lesson involving the dissection of pig organs.  I did not eat any meat from a pig for about four years. Bye bye sausages!  There was also the ‘no cheese’ phase.  I made an abrupt decision that I would not eat cheese anymore.  This wasn’t ideal socially, especially when one’s friends at the time had an unhealthy obsession with Pizza Hut.  There has been the ‘Fair Trade phase’, the ‘survive-on-a-yoghurt-a-day phase’ and the ‘OCD Skittles phase’.  The phase that turned permanent revolves around happy chickens.   The ‘free-range chicken phase’  involved me contributing to meal-time conversation with horrific tales of chickens laying dead in their own faeces.  During this time, I told a shocked R.E. class that I would give up my life for the cause of chickens.  I suppose I considered myself to be the Joan of Arc of poultry.  Whilst I no longer lecture people about our feathery friends, I still stand up for them.  There is no excuse to still be buying produce from caged hens. 

Despite my shady history with food, I am surely too old to go through any more phases now?  This is why I feel that I will be a vegetarian for life, not just for Christmas.  Mother asparagus, I think you might be eating your words this time.  The response from Papa asparagus is yet to come, but it is certain to be comedy gold.

Well, in the unlikely event that you had not considered me slightly odd before, you probably do now.  However, I can assure you that I am perfectly sane.  Tomorrow’s post will be less of a ramble and I will be throwing lots of ‘veggie’ facts at you.  I know you simply can not wait.

Quorn Kisses,

the somewhat silly asparagus.