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19 April 2014

Vegetarian? I dont think so!

Lately I have been enjoying reading a few novels of the Calamity Jayne series by Kathleen Bacus. I don’t know about you, but for me, going into a fictional world I always fancy myself as the heroine (that’s hero-ine like the woman hero, not heroin like the drug). I like to imagine I am in her place, and doing what she is doing.
It’s a lot more fun when I can actually personally relate to the heroine. When she is described as looking similar to me (although that is pretty rare as I'm really not drop-dead-gorgeous or even partially model material. I'm very average in looks, down to the skew teeth), or when she has similar character traits as me (more common – I’m fairly independent, stubborn, headstrong, etc).
So it’s easy to get wrapped up in the storyline of this particular lass who's a cowgirl (me), loves food (me), loves eating meat and all things sweet (me), has to work 3 jobs to just survive (me), lives with her parents bus has a form of independance (me), feels overweight but cant seem to bring herself to stop eating those delicious calories (me), loves her pets (in this case I prefer cats to her preference of dogs). So yeah, she's pretty easy to relate to.
Except that she's in America, blond & tends to attract good natured & nice looking men, which I’m none of those.

Anyways, I'm actually not doing this post as a review for books or otherwise, shocking as that may be. Yup, you got so used to me being a reviewer and now I surprised you. I'm just that good. Wink-wink.

What actually got me thinking along the lines of Calamity Jayne and a blog post like this is that I recently attended a seminar of sorts where there were a number of "causes" that attended and gave speeches about why their cause was so important. I respect them for it, as I know it’s not exactly easy to stand up in front of a group of strangers and give a presentation about yourself.

I happened to arrive at this particular event  a little later and walked in while there was a skinny little man with a goatee standing in front of a slide show and explaining that we shouldn’t be eating meat because we're eating cute little piggies (think of the move Babe) and calves. He went on to explain ad-nauseum why eating meat is bad for the environment. So in all he gave us at least a 30 minutes speech (it felt that long, he was so boring) which was pretty much an attempt to socially and emotionally blackmail the audience into not eating meat. He said at least go with the #NoMeatMonday movement, then we’re not giving up meat totally, just lowering consumption, that if everybody stopped eating meat for just 1 day a week the environmental benefit would be equivalent to (I think he said) 50,000 cars being removed from our roads.
I tell you what, I was sorely tempted to get up and walk out. I even considered "boo-ing" him and starting to throw rotten tomatoes at him. I didn’t do either and was rewarded for my patience (see, I'm learning patience) soon after he left. The little vegan is lucky I didn’t do vixen and throw him to the lions with the statement "don’t eat him, he's vegan".

But it got me to thinking, I like meat. Or as my Hungarian grandfather always says "vharrres my meit?" when its dinner time (you may have to say that with an accent to understand it). I mean seriously, what’s a good pizza or even a good stir-fry without a generous helping of bacon! And who is the mentally unstable person who stoops so low as to not have lasagna with mince? Not this cowgirl I tell you!
I know some people who physically cannot have meat, my cousin is a case example, and she is quite literally allergic to meat. But for the rest of us, only the whackadoodles don’t eat flesh!

Ok, yeah I get I probably sound pretty crude or even rather crass by speaking like that. I even felt a bit unkind thinking it, at first. So I decided to be a sport and not discount the movement before trying it at least once – to be fair you know. The guy did have a point; I mean he showed us adorable pictures of baby animals. Plus he said there's some products on the market now that are totally vegan friendly (in case you don’t know, it’s the vegetarian version of vegetarianism, AKA vegetarian snobs) but taste like real meat.

So I decided, to heck with it, I'll try it at least once. I'm willing to try almost anything at least once, except suicide and tripe, and bungee jumping and, ok maybe not prepared to try everything at least once.
I went out and bought some absolutely delish looking pies that were "mutton curry style" and "pepper steak style" pies. What can I say, they tasted fantastic. If I hadn’t known that I bought them, and seen on the package that they were Soya products, my taste buds would never have known the difference.

However, as you may know, I live a very active life. My work requires me to be fit, strong and full of energy, I am required to be attentive and notice everything. For me, that normally means an egg breakfast, a large meat & potatoes/rice lunch, and a light supper.
I made the mistake of eating a soya pie on a Saturday for lunch, just before a particularly strenuous afternoon of work. I was in a rush and the pies were in the freezer and quick to cook, so it seemed logical.
We (mom) cooked them, I ate and enjoyed them and headed out to work. Normally a decent pork sausages or beef meat balls lunch will last me at least 4 hours of energy. Sadly these pies only lasted me 1.5 hours, by which time I was feeling feint, shaking and my stomach was gurgling from hunger, unfortunately when I'm hungry my temper is short and my concentration is lowered.   So for me, testing out a soya/vegan pie cost me a hunger headache and nearly cost my clients a fall because I wasn’t paying attention like I ought to and watching that their horses didn’t do anything.

That’s it, my tongue may be fooled by your soya that tastes like mutton or steak, but my body won’t ever be fooled. So goes my one and only attempt to go vegetarian. My decision is made, I am omnivorous.

As for the cute baby animals, I just won’t think about them. As for the environmental stakes, the way I see it is: I don’t smoke or drink. I have a septic tank & all our grey water goes to the ground. I'm a re-cycling princess (my queen status is reserved as Queen of Cheapskate), and all our bi-degradable waste goes into the compost heap, in fact a lot of it even becomes animal food. So I figure the good things I do for the environment outweigh the bad that my eating meat every day does.
In the words of Calamity Jayne, "this cowgirl needs to eat her bacon"

As for the peeps who feel their bodies can handle no meat, good for you. Enjoy the products out there that taste like meat but are not meat. I have no beef with you as lamb [long] as you don’t try and chicken [change] me.
Even plants think you're wrong.