THERE are many people who take pleasure in ridiculing vegetarians.
One of the regular jibes is that humans need the protein and nutrients that only meat can provide (incorrect) and veggies, they hint, are at best, limp-wristed, sandal-wearing tree huggers, with sallow complexions and bad breath.
But just take a look at the likes of Diane Keaton, Joanna Lumley and our friend, Jenny Seagrove. I don’t believe the propaganda about the halitosis, but I wouldn’t mind testing it and reporting back.
I have to confess that at this time, I am not a vegetarian. The spirit is willing but the flesh – if you’ll excuse that word – is pathetically weak. But I have flirted with the practice in the past.
Many years ago, taking my inspiration from a girlfriend, I gave up meat and fish. It was ovo-lacto vegetarianism if you want to get technical about it, no veg and fruit but keeping eggs and dairy produce.
I admired her will power and strength of character, but she had strong views on the exploitation of animals and a hatred of modern factory farming methods. Views that I shared then and still do.
She also opted for a no leather policy, which cost her a fortune.
During my first experience as a celery bender, I made a brief and disastrous foray into bread making.
The resulting loaf was somewhat akin to a white dwarf star, small but incredibly dense and heavy.
It was totally inedible, so I heaved it out for the birds.
Having battled gamely to extract a few crumbs, the local sparrows and starlings quickly realised that this was not bread as they knew it, and I vividly remember them struggling to take to the air, their tiny stick legs galloping across the patio in an effort to gather enough momentum for lift off.
One unfortunate wood pigeon fell over and rolled around for a bit, before waddling off in a huff.
It’s not the will power that I lack these days, but the extra chunk of time that it takes to prepare an imaginative variety of tasty meat-free meals.
Plain vegetables and salads everyday would soon have me climbing the walls and giving off bad smells.
Nevertheless, the idea is still appealing.