As a vegetarian, I always find it difficult finding food that I can eat. In some countries this is easy (Sri Lanka) and in others very difficult (I’m looking at you Japan). Generally Europe has a pretty decent selection of vegetarian food but I didn’t know how Vienna would fare. Would I be stuck with risotto and pasta (boooringggg) for the whole trip? Thankfully I wasn’t and some of the places we went to has some of the loveliest vegetarian food I’ve ever eaten.
Her: ‘Why are you a vegetarian?’
Friend: ‘I was raised as a vegetarian.’
Her: ‘So you are a vegetarian because your parents made you one? I don’t want to offend you but that’s stupid.’
I didn’t defend Friend in this conversation even though I was in the same boat. I was raised a vegetarian and decided to stay one. I should have defended her choices and my own but was too scared to inflict ‘her’ vegetarian loathing wrath on myself. I was young (but old enough to know better) and very scared that I would be judged for not eating meat. It should also be noted that this woman, the ‘her’ in the above conversation was and probably still is a complete idiot and someone I haven’t kept in touch with after university. She also did a lot of things because of her parents, like believe in organised religion and that white underwear was the only kind a ‘virtuous woman’ should wear, but of course, that was completely fine.
So far too many years after the fact I am going to say on record that I was raised a vegetarian because my parents are Hindus. I decided to stay vegetarian because I still like that aspect of Hinduism and because I want to. No, I do not think of it as a restrictive diet which potentially could be a gateway to eating disorders.
The other week Sister sent me an article of some of London’s best vegan and vegetarian restaurants and we have made it our mission to go to all of them. Last weekend we went to Food For Thought, a tiny little place in Covent Garden where the vegetarian and vegan food was delicious and the portions massive.
Ah Christmas. It’s just around the corner, about to descend on us all. For me this is less about presents (the sale is one day after, I can wait) and more about food. The whole family is at home and we spend most of the day cooking and the rest of the day watching TV in a food induced semi-coma. This year I am prepared.