This wasn’t my idea.
The blame for this rests entirely on the shoulders of my seven year old son.
The unreserved declaration that he was now vegetarian came approximately three weeks ago. If I said I was surprised, I’d be lying. I’ve watched him push chicken round his plate for as long as I can remember. He’s a bright, inquisitive little boy who knew where the meat on our plate came from and that in order for us to eat it, an animal had to die. It never sat quite right with him.
I knew this wasn’t like the time he asserted he was most definitely Hindu (that ended up being something to do with wanting to be a tiger in his next life), but rather a carefully thought out choice of conscience. After the initial ARGH FFS moment, I elected (forced myself), to see it as an opportunity to effect a dietary overhaul for the whole family. The husband has never been a great meat eater himself and our other little man (five), is only truly enthusiastic about it when it comes in sausage form. They didn’t take much convincing to come round to the idea. Me on the other hand, I like my meat. I grew up in farming country, where kids raised pet lambs for agricultural competitions and then ate them for Christmas dinner. It was just the way it was.
But, my kitchen is not a restaurant; there was no way in hell I was going to start cooking two separate meals. The expense and time aside, we eat as a family. And that eating hasn’t exactly been healthy lately, as evidenced by my waistline.
Trouble is, I wasn’t too sure how to go about it. I panic bought a couple of vege cookbooks which turned out to be a total load of pretentious bollocks, full of cliché recipes made trendy with the addition of the latest hipster ingredients. We’ve had a couple of faux meat disasters. Seriously, what the hell is fake bacon even about? It tastes like Frazzles and has the texture of old shoe leather. I don’t care to admit how many times in the last three weeks I’ve ordered in vege pizza out of sheer desperation.
Surely we aren’t the only family doing this. A couple of half-arsed Google searches hasn’t done much to prove otherwise. There doesn’t seem to be any bluntly honest accounts of what happens when a whole family goes cold turkey (pardon the pun), on eating meat.
So welcome to ours.