I don’t eat meat these days. And I don’t eat fish. In theory I could call myself a “vegetarian.” I don’t, often. That’s mostly because I only just started doing these things, or not doing these things, recently. So, especially compared to many people I know who have been vegetarians all their lives, it feels sort of presumptuous. I prefer to tell people simply that I don’t eat meat or fish, or that I’m “on a vegetarian diet.” This puzzles people of course. But I was not put on this earth to settle peoples’ minds.
Sometimes people ask me why. Not often. And it tends to annoy me. I’m not sure why. I think it’s just because it’s difficult to explain without getting on a soapbox. “I decided that I don’t like eating corpses” does in a pinch, but then people just think (correctly, undoubtedly) that I’m demented.
Then there a people that don’t ask me why. That tends to annoy me too. Like Hey! I’m making a statement here! Don’t you even care?
But I am having great time. I now have 8 vegetarian and vegan cook books, with names like The Vegetarian Cookbook (great title, that), The Accidental Vegan (Ouch! Are you ok? I think so, but now I’m a vegan!), and The Part-Time Vegetarian (though, as my intrepid daughter pointed out, the last named could have meat recipes and still be accurately titled). I make recipes with tofu and miso and broccollini. I make quinoa salad and lentil burgers and salad with cashews and capers and poppy seeds. I make things that my kids will never eat.
Oh, kids, right. I still have these kids around. I have a tendency to feed them too. And I decided that it wouldn’t be fair suddenly to deprive them of the meat and bones and gore (did I say that out loud?) that they’re so used to. So I still cook chicken for them Friday night, and the odd hot dogs, though doing so actually violates all the principals I’m trying to stand up for here. But eventually they’ll all move out and I’ll clean up my kitchen for real.
So no, I don’t miss eating meat. And no, not eating meat does not make me tired. And yes, I do miss eating fish, a bit. And yes, it takes more effort to plan meals. And yes, I get funny looks. And yes, people think I am senile.
And yes, I’m hungry all the time. But I’ve always been hungry all the time.
And remember, chips are TOTALLY vegetarian...