Monday, April 02, 2007

The tyranny of lentils

In case you are thinking of inviting me to dinner (and I am sure you will) I think you should know that I have specialist dietary requirements. I am a freegetarian. That is, I do not buy dead animal (apart from pies, which have a strange hold on me), but I will eat it when it is offered to me. Given the choice, I prefer dead animals which have been farmed rather than harvested: I am not that keen on eating fish, because we are running out of the stuff very fast; although part of me says I can do nothing and I may as well enjoy fishes whilst I can.

I do have vegetarian sympathies and have been a genuine vegetarian at several times in my life. Sometimes I wish I had the moral character and the metabolism to be a vegan. So I become rather irked when I read an article about vegetarians which makes this sort of sweeping statement:
This is vegetarianism’s lure and vegetarianism’s trap. Along with its heightened awareness of the value of life, it brings a heightened desire to bring a new world into existence. And the greater the ambition, the higher the cost; the greater the purity, the stronger the purge.
So, there you have it: vegetarians are just fascists in flowery dresses. In these politically correct times, it is inconvenient to voice one's prejudices against anyone, but people who don't eat meat are fair game. Professional cooks, on television and radio, seem to make a point of sneering at vegetarians at every opportunity. Sometimes I wonder why the choice of what one eats should matter so much to some other people. But then I remember that dietary restrictions are fundamental to most religions. Perhaps we get it from there.

Meanwhile, PETA would like you to vote for the cutest vegetarian alive


Anonymous said...

While I myself prefer my meals to have been sentient (and ideally cute and fluffy) in the recent past, I bear no ill will towards vegetarians. Should the idea of an innocent calf, lamb, or dolphin being turned into a delicious treat disgust them, that's all the more biodiversity for me to consume!

PETA, however, are a bunch of fascist muppets.

Anonymous said...

I would only like to draw your attention to the large overlap between such left-wing scum as, say, feminists and vegetarians.

Obviously this is undermining our Judeo-Christian-moralising, family-unit-based society!

harvestbird said...

I have found the confused interest of others in what vegetarians (like me) eat, and why, to be comparable to the confused interest (often of the same people) in what homosexuals do, and why, although with far fewer threats of violence and periods of social ostracism.

The thing I miss perhaps the most about my postgrad days is roaming the land in a pack of (lefty feminist) vegetarians. Now, cooking and eating (and perhaps politics too) is a rather more solitary affair.

Like this post's first commenter, I do not care for PETA. Truth be told, the only people who have thought that my or others' vegetarianism contributed to our hotness have been other vegetarians, and we don't need PETA to mediate this.

Hans Versluys said...

I happily overlap my queerness and (sort of) vegetarianism with the underining of Judeo-Christian values (such as child beating, hanging, flogging and the wearing of mixed fabrics). It is true (agreeing with harvestbird) that I get far more questioned about what I eat than who I sleep with. Perhaps New Zealand meat eating is far deeper embedded in its genes than worrying about gayness, hence the far greater adaptation by, say, accommodation providers for their gay customers than most eateries catering for their vegetarian clients.

I have always (ever since I grew a brain in adolescence) been "vegetarian" in the sense that I refuse to eat farmed meat (or fish) - I love eating wild boar, deer and pheasant, and I would eat possum if it was generally available.

Anonymous said...

I personally don't have a problem with people being vegetarian (although I have to laugh as the ones which still claim to be vegetarians after eating chicken!), but what I do have a problem with is the vegetarians who go on a pseudo-religious trip about it.

I don't feel I have to have meat all the time, and will quite happily have a vegetarian meal - IF it's appetising. Food as a political / moral statement which isn't actually enjoyable in itself is, in my opinion, a waste of time. Life's hard enough as it is without foregoing enjoyment in the food department!

Anonymous said...

Be good to animals by not eating them, That said, I'd eat Jamie Oliver, also that creep whose name eludes me, the one who ostetatiously scoffs camel testicles on TV while sneering at vegos.
You bet I'd eat the bastards. after more meat-free years than I can count it's what I've been saving myself for.

Bon apetit, y'all.