I’ve always thought a lot about what goes into my body. I eat healthy. I like to cook. I like to eat. I read cookbooks for the pleasure of the words and the magic that transforms ingredients into a feast for the senses.
So this latest twist has taken me completely by surprise.
I’ve gone off meat. completely.
And I don’t mean in the rebellious teen ‘meat is murder’ kind of way – though I’ve always had to turn my head off when it came to purchasing it and disengage from the reality of the ‘product’.
It just seems incredibly distasteful to me at the moment – the consumption of a ‘dead thing’. And I do blame Shula to some extent, though the ‘problem’ has been mine for many years now anyway. It has been tempered by my natural gluttony, a lifetime of eating well, and – I suspect, an inherent laziness that notes when you consume a heavy protein you stay full for longer.
The past weeks have been spent trying to contain the gag reflex that a piece of meat – cooked or raw is producing, convincing myself that I can still do it part of the time for the sake of my family, and wanting to throw out everything in my freezer and make the house ‘clean’.
It’s not the kind of decision that is made lightly – to become a vegetarian, but this feels completely involuntary.
I have done it before. I went vego for a year when I moved out of home, and found that it was difficult for some people – even though they probably eat vegetarian most of the time without being conscious of it. I liked the feeling of having a clean guilt-free diet, but found after a while that I craved the experience of biting something that was resistant to the teeth, and slowly slipped back into carnivorous activity.
I am struggling on a daily basis with the reality of such a life-changing decision will mean for all of us, and don’t feel it is my place to make my family eat the way I feel I have to. We are still eating free-range chicken without too much distress on my part, and I suspect there will be a middle road and compromise for us all, but in the meantime cooking shows are off the radar. I need to find a new kind of normal.
I hope it comes soon.