carrots in a basket

Being Newly Vegetarian (kind of)

I never thought that I would see a day where most or all that I ate was vegetarian. I was raised between the Caribbean where my island’s national dish was a curried goat stew and London England where fish and chips and a full English breakfast made a regular appearance on my menu. I had in my childhood, learned a great deal about food. My parents were foodies and loved a strong cheese and a nice piece of smoked meat. The Caribbean island where I grew up was a place where the diet consisted mainly of fish, chicken, goat and other meats. During certain celebrations where that national dish of goat stew was made, that teaching would become graphic and first-hand as the goat in question would be slaughtered for the occasion. I watched this in a somewhat shocked and disgusted manner but even so, a few hours later I would still be found eating the resulting dish. I had no problem with eating an animal and was not yet aware of any other reasons that I should do.

Years later and I find myself engaged to be married. The lovely young lady in question being an avid vegetarian. This created a problem at the start and meant that she could not cook what I ate and I had little to no experience cooking vegetarian food in turn. I would buy meat for myself to eat and would rarely finish half the packet. Whenever I did cook meat, I realised the house would smell of it and more and more I became aware of the reasons why people become vegetarian. For a while at least, my diet remained the same but I would eat meat when we were out and when at home we would eat mainly vegetarian. More and more I would cook these vegetarian meals, all the while learning more things that can be done with the humble vegetable; a thing that I had before deemed a mere side dish, was now the main event.

After a while I found that even when out I began to order the vegetarian option as my pallet had warmed to it and I even found that I began to go off certain types of meat. I still loved a full English breakfast and could never see myself giving up bacon and eggs but a change was afoot. I got better and better at vegetarian cooking to the point where now there is talk of a pop-up restaurant sometime in the future. And to think, I used to cook meat and meat alone. Now that my diet has moved in the direction of vegetarian I can admit that while I do still crave meat from time to time, I do not miss anything. I am after all not vegetarian because I have dietary restrictions or because I feel terrible for eating something that was once alive, no. I am newly vegetarian out of choice, a choice that I can change at any point. I choose to eat vegetables because on a whole, they are fresh, tasty and really good for you. All the things my mother once used to try and sell me on them. it may not have worked back then but for now, thanks mum, you were right after all.

So whatever your reason, try at least a part vegetarian diet today.

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Thomas Boord-James

I am a 33 year old novelist and musician from London. I currently live in Spain where I work remotely as an article writer. When I'm not working, I can be found either in the kitchen cooking up a storm or in the studio recording.

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