Why I've Gone Vegetarian

I feel like this has been such a long time coming and I can't exactly find the reason it's taken until now, but anyway I'm now a vegetarian. The week of my birthday I just felt this need to turn veggie for some reason and the first two days I was toying with it I failed because I obviously hadn't prepared for this. At the start, I didn't put any pressure on myself and said I would still have a meat Christmas dinner two months later if I wanted and it didn't have to be forever. The first full day I was veggie was the 18th October 2019 and it seemed to settle that voice in my head telling me to turn veggie. I still have messed up since then, I had prawn crackers and I didn't know they actually contain prawn, I thought it was a flavouring. I had some Fruit Pastilles and totally forgot they had gelatine in them. I also recently had pesto on some ciabatta and didn't realise that parmesan cheese isn't vegetarian. So I'm still learning and it's not a straight road but it's definitely something I feel more content with.

When I was a fussy eater and when I was around 7 I remember not wanting bacon butties on the weekend anymore, then I stopped wanting fish fingers when I had a Happy Meal. My whole childhood and most of my adulthood I've really disliked the texture of a lot of meats. I wouldn't eat roasted beef, lamb, pork or similar meats off of a joint of meat. I never ate duck because ducks are cute. I never really liked a lot of seafood and only really tried cod/haddock again after the whole fish finger thing about two years ago. Andy warned me not to try prawns because they can pop in your mouth and the thought of that made me feel a bit sick. In 2019 I seemed to have a few nasty experiences with chicken and it really put me off. So throughout the year, I'd been eating Quorn instead. We'd been having veggie stir frys for quite some time now and I'd stopped eating gammon because I just never felt like it. So I'd been a 'flexitarian' for probably the last 5 years now so it finally came to a head and I decided to be a vegetarian. 

I decided not to go vegan for a few reasons. The first being that as someone with disabilities and often needing to have pre-packaged food, the options are limited for me. Although companies are now introducing a lot of vegan foods, in some places there are not always accessible options. The second reason is that a lot of vegan foods substitute eggs with banana when baking from what I've seen and I can't eat bananas as I have an intolerance to them. This also counts for a lot of vegan options that include mushrooms which I'm intolerant to as well. The last reason is that I do enjoy making brownies and cakes and I just don't feel the want or need to have to give them up or change them when I only have them on special occasions anyway. The last reason is that some Quorn and other meat substitutes contain egg in them and where I live there are still limited meat alternatives on the shelf already so I don't want to limit myself too much. As someone with disabilities, I can't cook often and when I can it needs to be quick or something not too hard to do as I have a lot of problems with my wrists and some full vegan meals can be challenging for me to make.

I'm really enjoying being vegetarian so far, and we went to our wedding tasting meal in November and I tried the 'allergy/dietary requirement' 3-course meal which was gluten, dairy, meat etc free and it was lovely. There are a few people who have helped with recommendations for foods to try which I'm thankful for, and although I still encourage Andy to eat meat and that I don't want him to ever feel like I'm wanting him to be vegetarian, he is loving some of the veggie options we've been eating together. He's decided to label himself as a flexitarian and has recently written about this on his blog. Here's to trying more veggie food in 2020!