Vegetarian week: The disgruntled veggie

I got an interesting email this morning from a reader unhappy that I am going veggie for just a week. I don’t know for certain as he didn’t divulge his eating habits, but I’m assuming he’s an angry vegetarian. He writes…

I don’t understand how someone can become vegetarian for one week. You either care about animal welfare or you don’t!!! Like a lot of people in this world, are you just doing it to play ‘the cool chick’ or are you simply another pretentious idiot who only cares for number one! Only do what you sincerely believe in or don’t bother!

Ah…the cool chick? If only! I’ve never managed to be cool. At school I had a terrible haircut, spots, wore my blazer buttoned up and belonged to the public speaking club, which was never cool. And now I spend my weekends knitting. Things haven’t changed much (although thankfully the spots have cleared up!). I may, however qualify for the pretentious idiot stakes.

He doesn’t mention that my vegetarian experiment is about saving money, so perhaps he didn’t realise this, but he makes an interesting point. Should you only go vegetarian out of a serious conviction about animal welfare? Are those of us who piggyback (excuse the awful expression!) on the veggie lifestyle to save on our shopping bill being cynical? I’ve had a few people email me this week to tell me they have cut down on meat primarily to save cash, although they are unhappy eating battery chicken etc.. One lady said that she feeds a family of four and they have practically given up meat, although she uses the odd bit of chorizo or pancetta to spice up her food, and saves money in the supermarket.

But isn’t it a personal choice? I hate bossy people telling me what to do, so I can understand why many of you are annoyed by Gordon Brown’s comments about saving leftovers, even though I agree with him. He’s right but we don’t want to hear it from the likes of him and his cronies!

I’ve enjoyed trying vegetarian meals this week and hope I have also saved money, which I will find out next week when I look back over the month’s food challenge. I have also become much more aware of the suffering of battery hens after keeping our own chickens for three years, which deters me from eating caged hen eggs and battery chicken. But if there is anything that would put me off becoming vegetarian fulltime or shopping more ethically it is judgemental people saying, “you must do this or otherwise you are a bad person”. What is wrong with trying these things out, one step at a time? You’ve got to start somewhere.

What do you think? Leave a message and let me know. Have a great weekend xxx Piper

This entry was posted in Food and drink. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Vegetarian week: The disgruntled veggie

  1. Bruce says:

    The phrase "takes one to know one" seems rather apt, with regards to prentious idiots. Obviously animal welfare isn\’t the only reason for vegetarianism (as you pointed out) and even so, shouldn\’t \’they\’ be encouraging people to \’join the cause\’ rather then telling people they shouldn\’t because they\’re not good enough? The only thing that concerns me about a vegetarian diet is the fact that I myself could become a vegetarian and start preaching on to people about how I\’m better then them and how they shouldn\’t eat meat.
    To prevent this from ever happening I am going to make sure I eat plenty of meat in the future.

  2. Unknown says:

    There are always uncompromising vegetarians who will disapprove if you don\’t go the whole way with them or vegans who don\’t feel you go far enough. I think you have to be true to yourself and do what you feel comfortable with while keeping your mind open to the possibility of change. I suspect many people who bought bog standard chickens quite happily changed their minds when they saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall\’s and Jamie\’s programmes earlier this year. That\’s all to the good, not a reason for saying they were insensitive in the first place. People have a lot of things on their minds these days.Anyway good on you for this whole experiment which has involved a lot of original and fascinating research and observations. I hope you keep it up with a blog of your ownFiona

  3. Jane says:

    Good on you – I\’ve been a veggie for over 30 years and I think it\’s great that people give it a go, for what ever reason and for as long as they want – who knows, you may even like it so much meat eating will become a thing of the past!  And I\’m not keen on people telling me what to do too!  Keep up the good blogging. jane

  4. Christine says:

    Oh dear me – spat in the playground she sayings having got up off the floor laughing. Trouble is that when you experiment with doing something you can expect to get all sorts of reactions Piper. Do you remember trying to live as a pensioner and forgetting to include an allowance for clothes in your budget? You got told off just as hard for that and didn\’t get cross about it.  Stay chilled lady and smile nicely – there\’s loads of bossy people in the world and you don\’t have to listen unless it pays the wages every week. Take from it that some of us make decisions on principle and don\’t have to worry about the money side of the equation. Some of us look at the money and decide how far we can finance our principles. Some of us even learn tolerance for the strange ways and decisions of others – but not all of us do.  Do you fancy saving money by being a self sufficient vegetarian who grows her own, isn\’t going to buy anything new for a year except for undies, ethical food and ethical cleaning items and is going to try not to throw away more than a shoe box full of landfill rubbish for a year? Believe me there are people out there doing all sorts of combinations of those and writing blogs about it. And getting equally "interesting" comments!

  5. Kenn says:

    I used to be vegetarian – from a very young age. This was a personal choice even at 10yrs old. In the years growing up veggie I learned different things and as I matured developed more constructed thoughts and beliefs about things. When I was about 18/19 I decided to step away from being vegetarian and took a greater interest in where my meat, eggs etc came from and how the animals were treated. Though I still don\’t eat a lot of meat or fish, I am now more conscious of where it has come from and the "sacrifice" of the animals involved.
    There are still plenty of things I still enjoy from my veggie days and especially since spending a good many years as a vegetarian it changed my palette to actually like and enjoy fruit and vegetables.

  6. Jacquie says:

    Arrggh it really annoys me when people take the time to email you angry tripe when they clearly haven\’t taken the time to read your blog thoroughly.  It is perfectly clear that you are going vegetarian for a week in an experiment to see if it saves you more money, and how easily it can be done. People are entitled to go vegetarian for whatever reason they like. And Piper, I think you\’re waaaay cool. :DJacquie

  7. Jacquie says:

    Arrggh it really annoys me when people take the time to email you angry tripe when they clearly haven\’t taken the time to read your blog thoroughly.  It is perfectly clear that you are going vegetarian for a week in an experiment to see if it saves you more money, and how easily it can be done. People are entitled to go vegetarian for whatever reason they like. And Piper, I think you\’re waaaay cool. :DJacquie

  8. Directory says:

    Thanks for the beautiful blog!

  9. clive says:

    I\’m a veggie and I agree with you…There\’s nowt worse than people telling you what to do…It\’s all really up to you…You could start by not eating red meat…only fish and chicken etc…most cheese is vegge anyway…Quorn do some great veggie products…the mince is good for spag bol and chlli and curries etc…
    I\’ve been a veggie for 20 years…you get better at it as time goes by…I wish you luck and hope you become a veggie too…Clive…

  10. rik says:

    Speaking as an ex-veggie all I can say is it sounds like the emailer is actually the sort who jumped on the bandwagon. They\’re mainly the ones who try to convert people and get angry when they can\’t. It does seem as though they read part of your blog and attacked you without looking at your reasons which, to me at least, makes them a little too eager to be taken seriously. Of course I could be wrong, it may be someone with serious convictions, but that doesn\’t give them the right to attack others for not sharing them. I spent over 15 years as a veggie, (up until this year), my reasons were mainly down to the way animals were treated, but after reassesing them I decided they\’re no longer as valid as they were at the time due to the improvement in animal welfare. This is my personal opinion of course, others will disagree, that\’s their right and I respect it. I\’ll no doubt be branded a "traitor" by these types but to be honest, that\’s their problem, I can live with it!
    Doing what you do you\’re bound to get the odd "holier than thou" type, ignore them, you\’re doing a brilliant job!
    Rik, a recovering vegetarian!

  11. louise says:

    can i just point out its not all about animal welfare and yes i totaly agree this guy is on the band wagon so to speek, i myself am a vegy purely because meet and fish makes me feel sick i would love to eat a chease burger!!! but the smell and texture just makes me puke. its got nothing to do with animal rights, cost or heath and its got nothing to do with folowing the crowd its just listening to my body. i think your experiment is a good one; alot of people do it to see the heath benifits, is this crazed person going to have ago at those changing their diet to become more heathy ?  if they do care about animal wellfare then surly if your experiment goes well and reaches the world that it saves mony more people will go vegy for the cost thus saving even more animals! so what if its for the so called wrong reasons just because its not for the reasons you chose let people eat what they like and bugger off!
    ok im sorry if this is very badly spelt i couldnt find spell check and i have spelling issues *blush*

  12. kat says:

    me and my husband have been vegeterians for over 2 years. i was also a vegeterian another time for a year. the reason i am a vegeterian is for the sake of animals. when i was young i didnt eat much meat anyway and after i was a vegeterian the first time, ashamedly i got into the habit of having meat with every meal which is why i think most people eat meat alot because of habit and because they dont know what else to have. then one day i realised this and thought that i hardly used to eat meat and that if i put all the animals i had eaten in say a year into a field and seen them all together it would be grose. anyway i think everyone should decide for themselves and people like that trying to push his views onto other people is what gives people bad opinions of vegeterians. me and my husband do not try to talk others into becoming vegeterians we have children in our family who come and stay with us and we buy and cook meat for them, we think that freedom of chioce is very important and not having it beeing pushed/ encoraged into something is very unhealthy. also being vegeterians has been a lot more expensive for us then when we weren\’t because the cost of fresh vegetables is so high, im trying to grow my own but the weather isn\’t helping. maybe the government should get the price of veg lowered seems as its supposedly trying to encorage healthy eating poor families can only afford cheap processed food.

  13. Liz says:

    My other half is a vegetarian because he can\’t stand the texture or flavour of the meat, makes him sick – so products like quorn are completely useless. And I hate tofu, so we don\’t have that!As result, we eat mostly fresh veg – peppers, onion, tomato, pasta, cheese – lots of cheese, and potatoes. But I have to add he hates mushrooms, which seems to be what most veggie meals are packed out with!!I am not a vegetarian, but I have adopted to the ways of cooking without meat for us both. I have noticed the food bill is cheaper than before with my carniverous ex, and I have lost a lot of weight in the past few years and am generally feeling healthier for it. But when we go out for a meal, I have to have steak or chicken. we do have a small bet with each other every time, to see who the waiter / waitress passes the vegetarian option to. So god only knows what you were wasting your money on when you were veggie for a week!

  14. Sarah says:

    You can eat, or not eat, whatever you choose, for your own reasons. I first began to eat less meat in my student days, to save money – and yes, it works! Then I read about how meat rearing is such an inefficient use of land, and how there would be plenty of food for everyone in the world if people ate the grain directly instead of feeding it to cows and then eating the beef. For five years after this I was what I called "passive vegetarian" – I never bought or cooked meat meat at home, but would accept it if offered out. I finally only took the step into full on vegetarianism because I moved in with someone who ate meat all the time, and it was just the right direction for me then – I was nearly there anyway. Having taken the step, I found I became healthier too.So my reasons for being veggie (now nearly 24 years) have nothing to do with animal welfare, but primarily the use of the world\’s resources. I was thought of as pretty crazy back in 1980… I hope I never judge or preach, but I do think that if everyone ate less meat the world would generally be better off.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s