You may recall, if you’ve read here before, that I attempted to go vegetarian for March. you can read about it here: Meatless March
In that blog post I made several observations as to how vegetarianism felt six days and well, now we’re four months in, I thought I’d revisit them and see if my feelings have changed.
1. It’s really easy when you’re at home. Yes, it requires a little more preparation, it means you can’t put chicken in everything, it means that some meals require actual chopping and cooking, but the alternatives are excellent, Quorn is brilliant and we had veggie mince over beef mince before. And you try new things, and some things work and some are truly disgusting. Guess which category cauliflower rice fell into….
This remains true. Quorn is not as good as the Linda McCartney range, their “chicken” pieces are disgusting, whereas Linda McCartney burgers and sausages are better than meat. We have tried new things, but just the same as eating meat, you end up with an arsenal of easy meals that take no time at all and you always have the ingredients: stir fries, salads, baked potatoes and cheesy chips. I have the last one far too often.
2. It’s much harder when you’re out. On Thursday, the first day, we went to M&S while the girls were at nursery and we had a gift card so thought we might get some food from the cafe. Well, I fancied a sandwich and the ONLY veggie option was mushroom and emmental. J doesn’t like mushrooms and I didn’t want it, so we bought a baguette and made rolls at home. On Saturday, we took the girls to McDonalds and they had chicken nuggets and we had one of the three veggie options available. The vegetable deluxe. Well, that should be in inverted commas, as it tasted of nothing. Fortunately we shared one, and didn’t waste money on one each.
Still true. I haven’t eaten at McDonalds since February, and doubt that I will until there are better veggie options. What I have found overwhelmingly is that meat is substituted with spice. So a veggie burger has a little chilli beside it, or some noodles come with actual cut up chillies that you have to laboriously pick out because not eating meat doesn’t mean that you like hot food. Or is this just me….
This all being said, we have a newborn so haven’t been out much, if at all for weeks so I’m excited to start investigating veggie food out once we’re going out a bit more.
3. You do feel better. I feel less sluggish and have a bit more energy which as someone who is eight months pregnant, I’ll take as a win. I’ve given up things I like whilst pregnant anyway, brie, cheesecake etc, so this is fine and doable and I think J feels better too.
I honestly don’t know about this one. I’m no longer eight months pregnant obviously so of course I feel better! But would I feel the same if I was eating meat? I don’t know.
4. I’ve felt strangely ethical about it as it’s continued. I’ve read stuff over the years about the meat industry and how it’s run and I’ve long held an intense dislike for handling raw meat. This led to feeling uneasy about eating something that I didn’t want to handle and I do feel much better morally for not eating meat.
This. A million times this. I feel more and more strongly about not eating meat. I am still eating tuna and I want to stop this in the next little while alongside sweets which contain gelatine, looking at you Haribo. This segues nicely into….
5. I have no desire to go vegan. I don’t think that it’s financially viable for us anyway, as far as I can tell, all the vegan alternatives to staples are more expensive than the dairy/non vegan options. Milk for example and we drink a lot of milk, cereal, tea, coffee, in cooking. I can’t imagine how much it would cost us if we replaced all of that with non dairy milk. And would you need a different one for each thing? Does coconut milk taste good in tea? Or almond milk in coffee? And can you make a white sauce with any of them?
I now have every desire to go vegan. I look at the non dairy milks in the supermarket with interest, try to try vegan products more and more regularly. It seems strangely half hearted to go vegetarian and not try for veganism. I’ve subscribed to a number of vegan YouTube channels and it’s still very much in its infancy but I would like to try within the next year.
Have I cheated?
Yes. J talked me into a burger just last week and I enjoyed it at the time but didn’t later if you get my drift. I ate the odd ham sandwich right up until Poppy was born but haven’t since. Our house has not had meat in it since we started this experiment. The girls, who start school in September, will go as vegetarians and within the next few weeks, we will ask our parents to not give them meat if they eat there. Needless to say, all of Poppy’s meals when we wean her at sixish months will be meat free.
I am starting to call myself a vegetarian. Just starting.