For our carnivourous counterparts, vegetarianism can often be a strange concept to grasp.
I’ve been vegetarian for around 6 years (so since I was 14/15) and some of my closest friends and family are unaware and get the shock of their lives when I tell them.
Here’s a roundup of all the questions someone usually asks when I break the news. If you’re a vegetarian some of these questions might be familiar.
“Why are you vegetarian?”
To cut a long story short, the gist of it is a bloody steak – literally – it was still mooing! To some of my readers this might be your ideal meal, but to me it makes my blood run cold. From that day forward I completely dissociated myself from animal flesh. (We were on a family holiday in France at the time to toast and Nutella and chips sufficed.)
“Do you just really love animals then?”
I’m quite honestly the opposite. Dog, cat, horse – all ok. Chickens, cows, birds, fish so on and so forth all give me the heave truthfully, which is maybe related to why I no longer eat them.
“So what do you eat? Fish? Eggs? Dairy?”
The 6 months following my steak incident I continued to eat fish, but I only really liked a few fish dishes (by a few I mean tuna pasta and one that was coated in batter.)
After 6 months I decided to cut fish from my diet and ate only soy/tofu products like Quorn. A lot of people don’t understand how I’m happy to eat quorn but not real meat and truthfully I’m not entirely sure!
My diet is fairly normal, right now I’ve been trying to cut down on eating a lot of starch but my staples are obviously a lot of veg – there’s not much I don’t like, pasta, rice, sweet potatoes, and quorn.
I’m not a huge egg lover – I think it’s mainly to do with the texture (and maybe what an egg actually is) but I try my best to eat some for added protein.
Here is where I hold my hands up and admit I am a horrible vegetarian – I didn’t cut out gelatine products. A lot of vegetarians do, but a lot also don’t. The concept of gelatine is quite gruesome, but since becoming vegetarian I developed more of a sweet tooth so jelly sweets made the cut.
“Have you never even ate a bit of meat by accident?”
I am theeee most suspicious eater in the whole world. I usually cook my own food so I know what’s in it, but if we’re out for dinner and I’ve ordered something with quorn or tofu and it looks really convincing I’ll make Michael try it first or pull it to bits trying to decide if I should eat it.
Once my Dad “accidentally ” gave me scampi for dinner. Apparently he got confused between the scampi and the breaded mushrooms, but DCI Chloe spotted the error before any real damage was done.
“Do you not just miss it?”
Sometimes, yes. Reading a lot of things online and speaking to other veggies I’ve realised there’s a common denominator to our cravings – bacon.
I’m not sure why, but a lot of vegetarians seem to have a soft spot for it. I still like the smell and I can happily cook it, but I just can’t bring myself to eat the real thing.
Chicken can sometimes be tempting. I’ve never ate chicken from Nando’s which is a bit strange, but on the other hand I almost had a breakdown cooking a whole chicken. It’s quite funny to think that I owe my loyalty to chickens. I’m in no way a hardcore animal lover, but I would seriously feel like I’d betrayed our feathered friends by eating one of their own.
“What do you eat from McDonalds?”
Chips. And a McFlurry.
“Will you ever eat meat again?”
I sometimes have a strange notion for mussels or a cheeseburger, but right now I don’t feel mentally prepared – how dramatic! Most substitutes suffice for me and cooking things like mince, pork and turkey makes me feel a bit uneasy so I’m not sure how I’m supposed to stomach it if I can’t stand the smell. Maybe I’ll eventually have a confidence boom and a complete change of heart and I’ll try incorporate something back into my meals, but right now I’m quite happy with my veggie diet!