Just lately I’ve been asked on social media why and what etc with regards to me being a vegetarian… The SM I use is just twitter @mu0wlv and its tough to give a concise reply with so few characters so thought I would pop a post up here – I know it’s nothing to do with radio, sorry! 🙂
So, why am I a vegetarian? My main reason is that I don’t agree with mass farming – if you are prepared to kill, skin and gut what animal you eat then please continue and enjoy and respect where it comes from, however if you have no idea where your food comes from or what the animals go through before ending up on your plate then take the time to find out.
Did you know some things such as jelly, cheese, biscuits, sweets, and even crisps (chips if you are reading from the USA) aren’t ‘veggie’ either or contain ‘hidden’ animal derivatives? That’s because of animal fats, gelatin and rennet – when you take a step back its surprising how much food isn’t vegetarian. Parmesan cheese isn’t and yet so many chefs use it for veggie recipes within their veggie menu’s – you would think a professional would understand what the certain products contain when they use them… This reminds me of when I was taking my now wife out on ‘dates’ – we ate at a restaurant regularly and had a mushroom Kiev – it was lovely – we were regulars at the restaurant too and one day I asked how they made it – the response was shocking…. “we start with a beef stock roux….” what…. ???? its not veggie we replied… and the chap said “yes it is, there isn’t any meat in it…” – that was about 25 years ago and the veggie options have improved greatly since and also the comprehension of what is and isn’t veggie also.
The one thing I do miss (no, not bacon, there is a veggie option which I prefer) is white fish – I have been fishing over the years and I am able to kill and gut a fish on the seashore, I can also cook it and enjoy it… I rarely go fishing though but do occasionally have fish, may be once every year or two and thoroughly enjoy it – hypocrite!? – yup, I wear leather shoes too… being veggie / vegan etc is a personal thing and I would never pressure anyone to become one – I just would just like everyone to understand where their food comes from and what goes in to producing it, the animal husbandry, how they are kept, transported, processed and used for other things…
another anecdote – one Christmas a firm I used to work for went out for a Christmas supper – one lady I worked with had veal… then a few weeks later there was a TV program about how it was produced… the next day the usual work discussion about what TV had been watched the previous evening ensued and she was saying how cruel it was that they never saw the light of day and were killed so young – she didn’t connect the fact that she had eaten it a few weeks earlier…..
I grew up playing on a farm, I lived 20′ (6m) away from the milking sheds, I’ve seen cows shot, worked in a butchery and on a battery (chicken) farm – Mum and dad have had a cow or two, some pigs too, all ended up in the freezer and we ate them – chickens too but just for eggs… so I probably have more experience than most when it comes to understanding the process.
It’s a very emotive position and as I mention above I would never force my opinion on anyone – I’d happily enter in to discussion or jokingly have a bit of banter… but ultimately it’s up to you… I would just ask that you understand what goes on prior to turning up on your plate…