Wednesday, 29 October 2008


I grew up vegetarian and while I use the term a little more loosely these days it's still been years since I ate any meat at home and I mostly manage to avoid it when I'm out. You'd think it'd be easy but if you're sick of eating cheese all the time then it gets pretty hard being vegetarian.

At the weekend I wandered into a vegetarian shop just to have a look and I picked up some tartex because it's great. It occured to me while I was in there that 90% of the shop was filled with bullshit. I mean real crap. Half of it was vitamin pills and another chunk was homeopathy. I wouldn't be surprised if the guy tried to sell me an organic pencil. Is this what it is to be vegetarian? I don't eat meat because it's expensive and I love vegetables. Vegetables. Not shelf after shelf of pills.

What I want in a vegetarian shop is stuff I'd find hard to get elsewhere. And probably some sodding vegetables. Vegetables are seriously tasty and each one needs appreciating in its own right. I don't know when being veggie became about hippy crap but I think it's time to take it back. I'm a scientist, I'm not afraid of machines, I'm not totally opposed to GM (not really for it yet but that's another post), I like organic in principle but I'm not afraid of chemicals, I eat almost exclusively vegetarian food because I love it. Meat is a massive waste of resources and unless it's really good quality and cooked well then it's a total waste of time. You really miss some amazing food if you're only concentrating on meat.

If vegetarianism is still somehow linked to ludicrous things like homeopathy then it's no wonder that it instills such unprovoked hostility from our meat eating friends. It should really about all the great food. I'd actually prefer it if the veggie label wasn't there. One of my favourite places in Nottingham (Alley Café) is totally vegetarian but they don't make a fuss about it. It's just food, good food. And rather expensive beer...

So, to try and reign this rather chaotic rant in, in summary: more veg, less bullshit.