Veggie Chile (Slight Return)

by Quinn

Well, I am back off holiday (yes, I had a lovely time, thanks), and the world appears to still be turning despite the hiatus in my blog. This is the first chance I have had to bash anything out, and I suspect posts will become less frequent and more brief from now on, but who knows. Stay tuned, if you can be bothered.

I have landed back home in the middle of National Vegetarian Week, but I won’t be joining the celebrations; after all, I had about eighty vegetarian weeks in 1993 and 1994, so I have done my bit for the rest of my life I suspect. Fair play to those who have lasted longer at this meat free lark than I managed; in the end the smell of grilled bacon and roast chicken became too much and I lapsed.

I suppose that it is events such as National Vegetarian Week that irritate some people about the vegetarian movement, and vegetarians in general; the stereotype of a pasty faced evangelist trying to ram his or her opinions (and some braised soya bean curd) down other peoples’ throats, but this seems unfair to me. Every vegetarian I know, or have known, has been supremely indifferent to what I eat; they have never pushed their opinions on me and have never complained about my preference for eating dead animals. I have probably encountered more lobbying from those people following the latest fad diet – the hay diet, the Atkins diet, the South Sea Bubble diet – than I have from vegetarians; at least vegetarians don’t look at a simple ham sandwich as a contradiction and a paradox, like a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma then wrapped in bread.

What a difference compared to when I was a vegetarian, and carnivores regularly questioned my motivation and reasoning behind spurning meat. Unless you are, or have been, a vegetarian then it is probably hard to understand the general grief you have to put up with just for eating a Quorn fillet. It can range from some people just thinking you are a bit odd to others actually arguing that to not eat meat is itself wrong. Of course most people were fine and even supportive during my flirtation with vegetarianism; but there were still enough people who seemed to have such a problem with it that it makes me smile whenever I hear people complain about vegetarians being intolerant of meat eaters. During by stint, a stranger even called me a weirdo when I collected my vegetarian pizza from a take away; although I suppose there are plenty of other reasons they could have had for thinking I am a bit strange.

Still, if you are one of those people who gets wound up by the antics of those you perceive as being pushy vegetarians, just think on if you could be a pushy carnivore, and let them be. Unless they are one of those annoying, superior vegetarians, of course, because they do exist; then do as you please.