My "slippy road" to become Vegan began at the tender age of two. I remember even now being given a jelly mouse to eat. It looked like a real mouse. I couldn't eat it and sobbed for about an hour. A little later, being taken to see baby lambs in the field, "awwing" and "cooing", was somewhat marred by being taken home to eat lamb chops for tea. Aged four I listened to crabs being boiled alive during a holiday to Norway and wept, traumatised for quite some time. Some friends rescuing two lambs and comedically calling them "Chops" and "Mint Sauce" put the kybosh on lamb completely aged nine. Never particularly a fan of fish, a fishing trip around this time also put a stop to that. Nasty teenage boys and their wind-up discussions about meat and veins on a skiing trip sent me officially vegetarian aged 14 when I ended up spitting out and crying over a pork chop back at the dinner table back home.
My mother was very embarrassed by this decision and I remember being at an aunt's house, being given meat, and turning to my mother and asking if she had omitted to tell my aunt that I was vegetarian? "Just eat it this once, dear" was a phrase I got used to! Different generations. But I doggedly persisted and never have touched meat since I made the decision.
I've always had a bit of a love-hate with eggs, too. I kept telling myself they were good for me, crucial when I took up baking, Yorkshire puddings needed them etc. etc. However, if I ever thought about it too much I couldn't eat them, and I went right off them during each of my three pregnancies. Dairy I was ok with - I never really gave it much thought. The animals weren't killed to source it, right?
Then a couple of months ago I joined a Facebook vegetarian site. Super, a few new recipies! Or so I thought. The reality of the egg and dairy industries were there in full colour photos. I couldn't go back.
You see therein lies the problem - "industry". Farming animals ethically, whilst I might not be able to manage to eat them myself, is a different argument altogether. But to treat it as an industry, where the results you are looking for are solely profit, well...that's human nature at its worst. I won't go into the ins and outs here as I'm not inviting anyone else's opinion, argument or criticism.
So eggs were out immediately. Dairy is harder as we are so tuned into it. But after some research, namely lengthier trips to the supermarket and my usual experimental cooking, I am getting there. I've been very lucky because my husband, whilst not a vegetarian or vegan when we met, is a big fan of Morrissey. "Meat Is Murder" - fantastic. Brian quickly turned vegetarian although still ate fish, then started to question his eating fish, and when I spoke to him about the possibility of being vegan was quite open to the idea.
So back to the purpose of this. My cooking has always been ad hoc. I get ideas from recipie books but I don't follow recipies. I'd much rather follow my instinct and see what I can come up with. Turning Vegan, therefore, is presenting me with a new cooking challenge which I am happy to embrace!
So to track this, and record what on earth I have cooked, I thought a blog might be in order. With perhaps a recipie book at the end. We'll see how I get on!