I know what my friends are thinking: ‘Here comes Collette, with another one of her random blogs’. Granted, my foot blog did not become an internet sensation, but this one is different, I promise.
When I woke up yesterday morning, I had an epiphany. The vegetarian Gods struck me with their mighty carrot and persuaded me to become one of them. I’ll be honest, turning ‘veggie’ has been a spontaneous decision. There are many health and environmental benefits to being a vegetarian, and it relates to many ethical issues. This blog will look at these things, but I don’t want to pretend that I have instantly morphed in to a cow-saving preacher. This is not a blog in which I will nag you all to join me.
Dear vegetarians, I have so many questions for you. People say that to be a ‘New Yorker’ you have to have lived there for at least seven to eight years. Is it the same kind of thing for vegetarians? Did I become a vegetarian the moment I chose to stop scoffing bacon bagels? Or do I have to go a week, month or year, meat-free, before I become a member of the club? It is my own choice, and I should not care what others think, but sooner or later I will tell someone that I am a vegetarian, and they will respond with some smart-alec remark of how they have seen me eat chicken nuggets before. I want a clear divide between then and now. Maybe I should wear a sticker, ‘NEW VEGETARIAN. Please don’t ask me any questions’.
I will unconsciously make mistakes. It is common knowledge that food such as Haribo contains gelatin(e) (except their ‘suitable-for-vegetarian’ confectionary). But today I read that items such as yoghurt often contain it too. This is not something I would have looked for. So, I expect to spend these first few weeks frantically checking food labels.
Until I do more research, I am giving myself the ‘demi-vegetarian’ label. I won’t be touching meat or foods that contain gelatin(e). However, until I stock up on soya products, regular dairy and egg will still be in my diet.
There is also the question of clothing. To be a ‘true vegetarian’, by the dictionary’s standards anyway, one would have to stop wearing leather and fur. I am telling you now, that for as long as there is blood running through my veins, I will carry a cow. Call it sad, call it materialistic, call it what you like, but I can not give up my beautiful D&G Lily Twist. It would be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. I consider her my friend, and I know that she would miss me just as much as I would miss her. I would long for her to be on my arm again, in return she would spend her days wishing to be filled with my stuff. I’ll tackle this issue another time.
Over time, I hope this blog becomes a great resource for vegetarians, full of anecdotes and beautiful recipes. For now it is a space for me to explore my unanswered questions. I know it might be making a larger-than-necessary deal about something that might seem menial to you, (yes, there are millions of vegetarians in the world, and I agree that I am not remotely special). This is not converting to a new religion. However, as lifestyle changes go, it is a big one — especially for a girl who loves her steak rare.
Most vegetarians seem to make up their own rules, so I’ll see how it goes.
A very silly asparagus.