I’m not usually one for resolutions of the New Year kind. The thought of making a long list of promises (promises you never keep) just doesn’t really appeal to me. And the cold silver light of January days never really inspires me to make these changes either! But, I’ve been mulling over a few resolutions this year (writing blog posts being one of them!). This got me thinking about the only resolution I have made and kept: Resolution Veggie.
Having spent many years being an on-off vegetarian, at school, University and beyond – I could never quite achieve full vegetarian status. Meat was everywhere: part of my family life and social life. And my blatant inability to cook, or to dream up recipes that would be tasty and nourishing alternatives to meat, didn’t help me with my ever-failing mission either. I’d always known, in my mind, that I wanted to give up, that I didn’t want to eat animals – and one Christmas I decided to forego the turkey (I never really got the relationship between turkey and goodwill to all, anyway!) and I’ve never looked back – or touched another morsel of meat. Fish was a longer battle, for various reasons.
In the end though, this was the New Year’s resolution that was most definitely worth keeping. And, if I ever felt like straying off the path of meat-free life, the publication of Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Eating Animals’ was there to strengthen my convictions. It may sound like a terrible cliché, but that’s one book that has changed my outlook on the way we live and our food chain (it changed Dan’s too). And since my initial New Year ‘conversion’, vegetarianism has opened many doors, friendships and cooking adventures. When you turn veggie, you suddenly meet all these other people who share the same beliefs, and find all these amazing eating places you’ve never been to before – and people around you come over to visit, and share your veggie food – it’s infectious.
Lots of people, charities and groups talk about why vegetarianism works – animals, environment, health – all these are good and true facts. But, putting the sadness of the meat industry aside for a moment, vegetarianism provides a compassionate and positive way to live. I’ve learnt to cook so many more types of food now. Gone is the meat and two veg option (although, nut roast and veg for Sunday lunch is yummy!) and instead we regularly draw inspiration from so many different culinary traditions. And our veg box and fruit bowls are full to the brim with foods we’d never seen before. Vegetarian food is more aesthetically pleasing! The kitchen is cleaner. It’s generally cheaper. And we don’t eat anything with a face. What’s not to love?
I’m not sure I’ll ever find a resolution to stick to so passionately again (my blog posts may peter out by February) but this is one change I’m so happy to have made.