Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life without meat

A long time ago, in a curry house not so far away.... I sat and ate a fine lamb curry.

The curry house - Sapnas on Venn Street in Huddersfield.

The time.... probably 3AM (eternally) and perhaps the year 1990 or thereabouts.

It was the last piece of meat that I ordered.

The next day I was vegan.... stopped buying wool, silk (not that I ever bought silk anything anyway), leather, milk, cheese, meat, eggs..... the list goes on.  The Friday big-shop went from being a pleasant 1 hour saunter through the local Tesco's to being a frantic four hour marathon of ingredient listings, E number translations and painful scrutinisation of lots of small print.

Retrospectively I tried to justify my decision to become vegan by applying the principles of karma and the concept of yin yang.... really it was just about me trying to balance the forces of good and bad in my life.... I was a pretty bad guy doing lots of bad things and I needed some sort of good thing to balance the scales.

For eight years I managed to avoid animal produce..... it was a harsh time and it was difficult to go on holiday anywhere or to eat out anywhere.  It was a DIY culture where everything had to be cooked from scratch at home and one which mainstream society had no clue about - times have changed since then and people are much more aware now.  It is not uncommon to walk into a pub and see items on their menus that are even labelled as "vegan" - this would never have happened in 1990.

The Vegan magazine was a helpful publication at the time, and you could, if you shopped around find a guesthouse with vegan catering, and I do remember vegan breaks in The Lakes, at Blackpool, and we even found a vegan restaurant on the island of Zakynthos (tucked away behind Greece's answer to Blackpool).

During a weekend break in Whitby, it was decided that I would start to eat fish again... probably 1998 or thereabouts, and what better place to do so than the famous Magpie restaurant on the harbour front.  I tucked into a fish supper of immense proportion for the first time in many years - and no doubt it was fried in beef dripping as well as is the Yorkshire wont.

And that's it.... I eat fish and seafood and I'm none too fussy if something contain gelatine.  Once I accidently picked up a slice of pizza that had meat on it and rather than waste it I ate it....  the Chinese takeaway once served me sweet and sour chicken instead of king prawn and I still ate it.....  I'm not fussy.

My choice is.....  I don't eat meat... that's it.... you can call me a half-arsed vegetarian.... a pescetarian.... a tree hugger.... call me what you want....

I'm NOT fussy!


  1. Hi,
    been "visiting" you recently (but keeping quiet about it), thanks to a mutual blogging-friend (if you can call people you've never met, friends), known as YP for short! And glad I have, as the walking around Yorkshire and geocaching, a hobby previously unknown to me, makes for good reading.
    As does this post - whatever they call you, I think I'm something similar, a 99% vegeterian, but with no desire to veganise. I would eat fish too, but there'd be a lot of pressure on me to go the whole hog!! as over here (Catalonia) folks love their meat, and fish, and everything edible.
    Anyway, to cut a long story short, like the blog(s)!!

  2. What was wrong with the lamb curry? Though I respect your vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, I shall continue to scoff any meat placed in front of me apart from animals' sexual organs, eyeballs or brains. I often remind myself and other people that before refrigeration, ordinary people would have frequently consumed meatless meals.

  3. there was nowt wrong with the lamb curry - in fact Sapnas used to do a very fine lamb curry - it was the last meat I intentionally eat - I have been reminded of it so I guess it's pertinent to the discussion is all. Both Venn Street (famed for it's blakc culture night clubs - cleopatra's and silver sands) - prostitution - GT Taxis (where they had arcade games through the back - including burnin' rubber - a classic) - and Sapnas curry house, has long since been demolished (like most of huddersfield's heritage) to make way for ghastly shopping development.... I remember one night a friend and I went to Sapnas and both woke up to be presented with a bill and a table full of empty plates - I am sure neither of us ate curry but we will never know!!