Tag Archives: Veggie

“Vegetarism is Unbibical”

According to a relative of mine.

I’ve just come back from visiting relatives down in Cornwall, mainly because my Grandparents are getting older and more fragile and I wanted to make sure I saw them again.  But I stayed with other relatives, and at the dinner table on the first night, one of these relatives asks me why I’m vegetarian.  I say that it’s mainly due to environmental reasons – I’ve done a fair amount of reading around the subject, and eating meat considerably increases your carbon footprint.  I’m not going to demand that anyone else turns veggie, but that is why I chose to become vegetarian.  He, in response to this, claims that the bible tells you that you must eat meat, so therefore, by not eating meat I am defing the bible.  I was quite taken aback by this accusation – I am quite aware that I have sinned against the bible, but vegaratism was not on my list of ‘sins’!  I resisted saying ‘What?!?! That’s *%$^£*!!!!’ and instead formed a rational argument back.  I stated that the bible tells us to take care of the world, and because meat has such an effect on your carbon footprint, then not eating it is one of the small things that I can do to help protect the environment.  He replied that the bible doesn’t say anything about carbon footprints, so he doesn’t believe it.  Well of course the bible doesn’t say anything about carbon footprints – humans hadn’t destroyed the world by then, I replied.  Science, I explained, has proven meat consumptions impact on the environment, since the bible was written!  My relative simply stated that he believed the bible, not science.  I could see I was never going to change his fundimentalist viewpoint, so I replied with ‘well, I take both the bible and science with interpretation’.  And we agreed to disagree.

He just made me so annoyed.  I did my best to control my anger, mainly because he’s someone I love and I didn’t want to get into a blazing row with him, especially because it was obvious he was never going to alter his views.  But for the rest of the evening, there was a little ranting voice in my head.  He took one of the Christian-based decisions I have made, and declared I was defing Christianity by doing it!!  Maybe I should have told him that at SCM events there are more veggies than non-veggies – are they all heretics?! Don’t answer that question – SCMers maybe heretics, but not for being *%&^$ veggie!!!

Ok, rant over.  For the rest of the weekend I avoided any religious discussions.  After attending their church on Sunday and biting my tongue throughout the 50 minute sermon, I was asked at the dinner table what I thought of it, and I simply said ‘it was ok’.  Which I feel slightly ashamed of, but there were two kids at the table and considering I disagreed with something in every minute of the sermon, I just didn’t want to start that inevitable argument.

Vegetarianism

I had a request to blog about how my new veggie diet was going. So I thought I would do.

Generally very well. The only meat I’ve really missed is bacon. I think its the smell. I’m beginning to find that my instinctive, internal reaction to meat is negative. Except bacon. That still requires some self control.

Since the first week I haven’t forgotten. Not that I really forgot in the first week, but I did have a couple of moments when I nearly picked out the ham sandwich, before I remembered. I’ve only eaten meat once since deciding I was veggie. I was at Birmingham New Street station, desperate for a pasty and also in a mad rush from one platform to another. Given there was about 1000 people also rushing to the change of platform, I figured I had time to stop at the pasty shop and buy a cheese and onion pasty. It wasn’t until I got onto the train and had eaten half the pasty that I realised I’d been given a chicken and onion pasty (I was very hungry). Anyway, I decided it would be wasteful not to eat it, now I’d accidentally ended up with it.

I haven’t yet used up the meat in my freezer. There are three pieces of chicken left. This is partly because I’ve dived into the veggie thing, and it seems odd now to cook chicken. And partly because I’ve had an offer from a Very Good Cook to make a yummy dish for me with these last pieces of meat.

I’m quite enjoying trying out new meals within these new limits. In fact, I’ve not really found it limiting, I’ve found it liberating because I’ve been trying all sorts of new food that I wouldn’t have touched otherwise. I have been eating more fish and sea food. Which given that I’ve allowed myself it, because my main reason is the impact that meat production causes on CO2 production and consequently on the environment, is justified. I think. I know fish farming isn’t great either, but in terms of my diet balance I think its important. And I do love fish.

My mum’s initial reaction to my vegginess was to be concerned about my diet. I have a medical condition which is affected by diet. But having read around it, I don’t think that cutting meat out of my diet will impact badly upon this. Basically as long as I eat healthily, and make sure I am getting my protein from elsewhere, then I think its ok. Given that I have been anemic in the past (I never ate much red meat anyway), I will probably get this tested after a while, to check its ok. In the meantime I’ll have to eat lots of spinach!

I spent Easter weekend with some friends in Bristol, who had an interesting reaction to vegetarianism. One guy there, who I didn’t know prior to that weekend, declared that vegginess was a way of living, beyond just your choice of diet. This was an interesting theory, which I was initially sceptical of but warmed slowly to. Basically, if you are a true veggie, then you will always choose the less selfish, least comfortable option in life. So you walk into a room full of sofas, and you sit on the floor. Or you cycle / walk instead of going by car. My argument against this, was that I enjoy cycling and walking, so therefore it is the preferable option when possible. It was an interesting theory, but I’m not entirely convinced.

Vegetarian

As of yesterday I am a vegetarian. Its been something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I don’t eat a huge amount of meat anyway, and I’d often thought that I should cut it out of my diet completely. I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading around climate change issues recently and the more I read, the more I felt I ought to being a vegetarian, mostly for environmental reasons, but also due to animal welfare. It was reading this book which I reviewed the other week, and attending the SCM conference which pushed me to finally decide definitely. On Sunday we had to make a promise to do an action which helped something, with / for someone else (tis hard to explain without the sheet). I promised to cut my carbon emissions by becoming vegetarian and it would help people that I don’t know, by making my small difference to climate change.

Coming back last night and eating lunch out today, showed me how difficult it often is to find vegetarian food when out and about. It was almost natural to pick up the ham salad sandwich, and I had to stop myself. I am still going to eat fish. I know its cheating slightly, but I love fish too much, and it makes it easier when eating out and things. And I am going to finish the meat in my freezer. Wish me luck!