I was around 9 years old when I first decided to become a vegetarian… I remember exactly how the events unfolded too…
The year was 2008, Jamie Oliver was in his prime – healthy school meals had been spread throughout the land – next on his agenda was a little tv air time in which he revealed to the British public the reality of battery chicken farming. Suffice to say 9 year old Kitty was scarred for life at the live slaughter of a chicken on her television screen and vowed from that night to become a vegetarian (teaches me for staying up past my bedtime).
The two things I remember most clearly about this decision was 1. How sad I was when I discovered just how many sweets contained gelatine… and what gelatine actually was. And 2. How very scared I was to tell my grandad about my decision. This was not because he a scary man (he is quite the opposite in fact), but because he was a chef and was my family’s base every Sunday for a glorious banquet-like dinner. That first Sunday dinner was hellish with beef, my formerly favourite meat, taking pride of place at the head of the table. I remember awkwardly running out and hiding in a bedroom waiting for my mum to come and find me; when she eventually did find me I persuaded her that she should tell grandad instead of me and for some reason she actually did!
The following five years saw my grandad concocting amazing vegetarian dishes for me and using every item of Quorn that he could find at his small, rural Coop supermarket. He even sourced out seaweed based jelly so that I could also enjoy his delicious trifle too. With hindsight, I think my grandad truly appreciated the challenge and liked learning about food and diets that had grown in favour since his chef’s training many moons ago.
But, 5 years later, my teenage years set in… and all of the problems that come with them and I had to leave my vegetarian days behind me, in favour of a more iron-rich diet.
Now, age 19, I go through stages of having serious “meat-guilt” whenever I eat meat as well as having a Facebook timeline full of terrifying PETA videos and more of a social conscious and sense of irony when I see so many people disgruntled at the Yulin dog meat festival. AND of course, the image of Jamie Oliver and that poor chicken etched into my brain. So, here I am, declaring my attempt to regain my V…
The timing could not have been better either PAY DAY + HUGE HOLLAND AND BARRETT SALE = LOTS AND LOTS OF VEGETARIAN FOOD. My 4 boxes of food arrived last night and boy oh boy how the market has grown!! I have never seen so many vegetarian and vegan snacks in one place and it made me so excited, I am on the Instagram warpath with all of this photo ammo and so excited to start eating them!
So, that is the story of how I gained my V… lost it… and my aim to regain!
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Thank you for reading,