Before we start, for me it was Veganuary , as in vegetarian , and not vegan. You would want to have been living under a rock last year to have let the whole vegan movement pass you by. Depending on who you are talking to , consuming any product linked to an animal is as socially unacceptable as drinking out of a plastic bottle, or not having your daily coffee from a reusable cup.
But that’s not the reason why i’ve given up meat for 2019, and to frame it all here is a picture that i made in response to the whole “Go Vegan World” advertising campaign a few years ago.
So yeah, i definitely believed that cow had a name, and its name was tasty.
I still do, and i also believe that here in Ireland we have farming practises that arent as bad as the general picture being painted of the farming industry globally.
So what flicked the switch ?
It was Sunday, November 11, 2018 and i was about 20 minutes into episode 402 of Rich Rolls podcast. Bruce Friedrich had just said that “…it takes 9 calories into a chicken to get 1 calorie back out…” – this just made total sense to me.
When you add in the fact that we just throw away a shitload of this energy inefficient food every month, the shift towards eating less meat on a global scale seems even more attractive.
So instead of growing crops to feed animals, we should just feed those same crops to humans and we would have 10 times more food to go round. This could be proper feed the world stuff. Now i know that not everyone eats chicken feed, and the maths might not be that simple, plus im just one person … but there is definitely common sense behind cutting out the poor chicken as the middle man, and ive talked to enough people about this that im sure the story is spreading.
Towards the end of year, we were discussing resolutions as you do, and we talked about giving up meat as a challenge for 2019. Lauren recommended Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls river cottage veg recipe book as a good place to start reading if i was actually serious about it. Unfortunately i couldnt find the book on kindle, but i did find the No Meat Athlete cookbook. I took the fact that none other that Rich Roll had written the foreword as an omen, and the rest is history.
38 days into 2019 and i have only eaten meat twice. Once was on a work night out to a BBQ restaraunt which had an understandably terrible vegetarian offering, and the second time was in McDonalds where i was on autopilot and just ordered a burger. Ive since had the McDonalds veg deluxe and it is also terrible.
The first week of January was interesting, ive never eaten as much Indian party food as i did that week. Since then things have settled down and ive gotten into a decent routine. There is always a vegetarian or vegan option at work, and at home there are a couple of staple meals that i rely on : egg salad, ramen, veg stir fry, and chickpea curry. Also we have always cooked convertible meals at home so the adults and kids are eating generally the same thing – above is a pic of spaghetti bolognese, chilli beef and chickpea chilli all being cooked together.
Non meat meals are definitely much more mainstream now – you can even buy a really decent vegetarian burger in Eddie Rockets , as well as veggie sausages and a couple of different types of burgers from Aldi. Maybe giving up meat is not for everyone, but if you want to do even one meat free day a week , there are more options than just a cheese quiche !