Saturday, 18 September 2021

On becoming a vegetarian

I became a vegetarian for a couple of years in my mid-forties for health reasons after being diagnosed with MS, as a plant-based diet was supposed to be beneficial. Thank goodness it turned out the diagnosis was wrong and after living with that worry for two years I thankfully went back to a normal life and being a dedicated carnivore.

Fast forward to my 60´s and although still eating meat (mostly chicken) I was becoming more and more bothered about the way it was produced while at the same time I still enjoyed eating it. It was difficult to conciliate the two opposites.

I used to have a small studio apartment in Santos, on the beach, near one of Brazil´s largest ports where I went for long weekends or holidays. A few years ago, while I was down there, there was a problem in the port. There was a ship, fully loaded with live cattle for export to the Middle East which was held up for some reason. I don´t know whether it was a mechanical problem, red tape or something else but the poor cows were stuck in cramped quarters on board in soaring temperatures with inadequate care, food or water. After a few days they started dying and the bodies were being thrown overboard.

The stench emanating from the ship was so bad it was carried several miles to the beach where I was staying and it broke my heart to think about how the poor animals were suffering. I have never eaten meat since.

I may occasionally remember how much (like John at Going Gently) I enjoyed scotch eggs or some bacon in a quiche lorraine but I don´t really miss eating meat, the very thought of it makes me feel queasy.




  1. We were veggies for several years, all the while the kids were growing up in fact. They grew up on lentils etc and they are all good and strong but somewhere along the line we got back into meat and are still eating it.
    I loved the veggie meals but now at my time of life I can't be bothered with all the chopping etc but do think that the meals are tastier and better for you.

    1. I find my veggie meals really tasty and am pretty sure they are healthy. I don´t think I do any more chopping than I would have done with 'normal' meals though. Different menus?

  2. Interesting to hear of your vegetarian adventures Sansthing. I was brought up on British cooking and find it quite difficult to adjust to not eating meat. I never really think about it until times like when my vegan friend came to stay and I was totally lost in what to do for her! Of course I eat fish and eggs so my menu is varied and I don't feel any desire to give up what I know and love and what I consider to be a balanced diet. We reared beef, produced milk, and my father supplied pigs to the local butcher so I don't see me changing my diet.

    1. I´m sure you must have struggled when Charly came to stay Rachel. I´m not vegan, I eat dairy products and eggs and even fish on occasion when I am dining out and there is no other option. I think we each have to decide what suits us best whilst respecting other people´s choices. My dog Toby eats his natural diet of meat and chicken as I wouldn´t dream of restricting his diet to suit my beliefs.