Mum And Dad Thought It Was Just A Phase

Vegetables and fruits background.I am a vegetarian. You may have noticed that I have mentioned that occasionally in other posts. I am not a vegan. I do not eat meat or fish, however I do eat animal products such as honey, dairy products and eggs. I have some friends who are vegan and I think some of them disapprove of me eating some animal products. But I have never had strong feelings about being vegetarian, I just lost the desire to eat anything that used to be alive and is now dead.

I stopped eating meat at the age of six. I can’t remember exactly why. I think there were were two major influences. The first was my little best friend at school who became a vegetarian. It was something I had never heard of, she introduced the idea to me. But there was also a school trip to a farm, Tatton Farm in Cheshire. I distinctly remember being horrified when I saw a pig. I had been reading story books with tiny little pink pigs. But seeing a enormous hairy pig was terrifying. I went home and told mum I no longer wanted to eat what had previously been my favourite food, sandwich ham. Not long after that I lost the desire to eat any meat or fish.

Mum and Dad thought it was just a phase. But the phase has lasted a very long time. I remember my parents wondered what I would eat instead of meat and fish. They bought vast quantities of frozen veggie burgers from the supermarket. I couldn’t stand them! Being a vegetarian at school was hard because there was not often a vegetarian choice. I remember dinner ladies being very angry with me that I was eating only boiled rice because I did not want the chicken supreme or the mincemeat chilli. My diet at home for many years growing up was cheese on toast, beans on toast, cheesy pasta, tomato pasta – then I found pesto sauce and was so grateful for the variety.

I was desperate for variety in my diet. When I was a teenager, I asked my parents if I could start doing some of my own shopping and cooking. I started using Quorn mock chicken style pieces and making things like vegetable curries (with a jar of curry sauce from the supermarket), vegetarian lasagnes, and using soya mince to make shepherd’s pie and spaghetti bolognese.

I don’t have a problem with other people eating meat. I just don’t have any desire myself. I cook meat for other people, family, friends and while I was working as a cook I cooked meat for clients of course. I don’t mind cooking pieces of meat that I can’t really identify. But if I have to cook a bird, I find it really hard, because I can see where it’s head and feet where. It makes me feel really sick. When I was six years old I had no idea what gelatin was, or rennet or the ingredients that might be hidden in soups and stocks and gravy. So for years I ate all of those in ignorance. Many years later I learnt about them and realized I had been eating them. It did not really upset me.

I have done pretty well on a vegetarian diet. I remember at school the teachers saying that vegetarians are weaker or they don’t develop properly, or become sick more often. I don’t know if that was the general opinion back then. But I was a competitive swimmer with a lot of strength and stamina. I was on all the school sports teams. I did not seem to be lacking in strength. In more recent years I have been more conscious of making sure I eat more vegetarian sources of protein and a huge variety of vegetables. I love my veggies, I always have.

Dairy, Products, Food, Diet, CheeseThe only difficulty I have had is that I seem to have become sensitive to dairy. For that reason I have been eating a mostly vegan diet for some years. I am not sure, but I wonder if I ate too much dairy for many years. I cut it out completely for around five years, during which time I did not have a single cold. Before then I seemed to be chronically congested and snuffly. Since then I have been able to introduce a little dairy into my diet. I don’t drink milk or eat ice-cream, yoghurt or cream But I will have a little cheese every now and then (I love cheese!) and I seem to get away with it if I have a little. I know if I overdo it because I suffer!

Salad, Fruits, Berries, HealthySo that is me. I am a vegetarian, not for religious reasons, not for ethical reasons, not for health reasons. I know some people do have some very strong feelings about being vegetarian or vegan, and I respect that. But in my case, I just lost the desire to eat meat and fish when I was six years old and thirty years later, I still have no desire.

So when I do mention I am vegetarian, I am not preaching, I am not promoting a vegetarian diet as superior to others, it’s just a small detail in a personal account I might relate.  I don’t mind what you eat.

21 thoughts on “Mum And Dad Thought It Was Just A Phase”

    1. It’s always been a funny subject for me because I am not a vegetarian for any kind of ethical, religious or health reason. I don;t have strong feelings about it. I am perfectly fine with anyone else eating meat. I just have not had the desire myself since I was six years old…
      …and yet, it has made some of my friends angry! I have been so embarrassed at dinners when someone started trying to shame me or cause an argument. I have never understood that.
      I don’t mind what other people eat, I am not sure why what I do or do not eat would cause people to be cross with me.


      1. 😕It seems that they want to turn you into them. If they eat meat you MUST eat it too. That’s not right. Bad people are everywhere unfortunately


  1. I totally get it. I’ve gone back and forth myself and am currently eating meat, though not a lot. I found I could not get enough protein from eggs, beans, etc. because it nauseated me to eat those things often. But I can have 2 oz of chicken and feel totally satisfied. It distresses me to think about how our food animals are treated though, and this is what pulls me away from meat. I eat only a small amount of cooked fish for environmental reasons as well. Used to have occasional sushi, but it disgusts me with the stories of parasites ~ I came to it late because of those fears, which I was told were unfounded, but they’re not. Like you, I have to limit my cheese etc. or I get tummy troubles.

    I try to avoid people who are nasty about food, in any direction, whether they are preachy about veganism or vegan haters. Two sides of the same coin imo. I saw them all over Facebook. I knew people who specifically directed the most obnoxious anti-vegan messages at me when they thought I was vegan ~ I never was, but my daughter was for a few years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s odd how people become so hot and bothered about it!
      Lots of areas now where people have such strong feelings and don’t pull any punches expressing themselves – it’s all a bit scary to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I like cooking with tofu. And I am always on the look out for new vegetarian products to try them out. I don’t always stick with them, but I love variety so much, I do like to know what is out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I left school and got a clerical job at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Part of my training involved a trip to a Government abbatoir. I can remember seeing huge racks of freshly slaughtered tongues lined up along one wall and the frightened faces of calves queuing up in a pen waiting for a bolt through the brain. I immediately stopped eating meat but I do occasionally crave some fish so I do eat it sometimes. Xx


    1. Oh my goodness! I can imagine it would put you off! Ay ay ay!
      I had a good friend who worked at an abattoir. He used to joke about what they did to animals all the time, I am sure he was trying to tease me. But I ignored him. I have tried not to think about it in all honesty. If I did start reading and researching how animals are kept and slaughtered, I fear it would upset me. But I don’t think that the whole world turning vegetarian would bring world peace or an end to crime and abuse. So for me, I don’t want to make a big issue out of it, but happy my parents did not make me eat meat as a child. I am just glad that it is very easy to be vegetarian in this country. There is so much choice available.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m veggie too. 52 and have not eaten meat since I can remember. I am in great shape and and am sure my diet has helped, not hindered.
    I do remember those godawful early veggie burgers, feel sick just thinking about them….

    Be yourself and be proud of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am a veggie. It is getting better. I have to say it started from not a very morally good place. I was at university and had just started seeing a girl who was a veggie. So I said I was a veggie. We on,y lasted a few weeks but my veggieness has gone on for years…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I stated watching rugby and drinking Guinness to impress the boys I had a crush on when I was university age! (I skipped uni so I could do more as a volunteer)

      So i am guessing like me, you are not a vegetarian that preaches or marches with a placard and a scary mask down Oxford Street about vegetarianism being a must for world peace???

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I eat mostly a vegetarian diet and love tofu. My parents could never get me to eat meat as a child. Occasionally I eat fish, but mostly it’s vegetarian.


  6. I’m vegetarian too (since I was 12) and so is my husband now as well. We’ve also transitioned to plant based milks and plant based butter. We also do Veganuary each year where you go vegan for the month of January. In terms of health, I think you can be a healthy veggie or vegan or you can eat loads of rubbish and a none balanced diet and end up being unhealthy. Same with all diets.


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