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My life as a fledgling vegetarian – for one month only!

January 21, 2011

By Debbie Watkins

West Dorset Manager

I have met the £50 for 50 Challenge for our big Anniversary head-on.  As a dedicated carnivore who has spent a lifetime involved in livestock farming one way and another, I have shocked colleagues, friends and family by declaring that I would go vegetarian for a month as long as enough people sponsored me to make it worthwhile.    Come with me as I suffer for the good of Dorset’s wildlife, entering the weird veggie world, finding supermarket products I didn’t know existed and put my culinary skills and taste buds through hell.

At the office - well, one of them, this is our HQ Brooklands Farm

Week One
Just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has sponsored me to not eat meat for 30 days. I’m not sure whether this is because you have faith in my will power or would like to see me suffer. Anyhow I’m still very much on the wagon and so is the old man.
I have to admit though that on Tuesday I found myself in Waitrose with my nose pressed up against the meat counter thinking how lovely it all looked and then bumped into colleague James, who was probably sent to spy on me, so left with only a few veg  and a couple of bottles of wine to drown my sorrows (I hasten to add there is still one of them left). Spent last week constructing some very nice veggie dishes which were consumed largely by my male offspring as they couldn’t be bothered to add any meat anyway.

As a complete experiment in vegetarianism I ventured into the quorn department on Friday and purchased some sausages. Now there is a product that should never be allowed to be called food. Won’t be going there again. I have seen worming boluses for cattle that are more appealing than those.

DWT's Shetland cattle might know what to do with quorn

Spent part of the weekend with my daughter in a public house of the student variety and discovered that the options for veggies seem to be largely chips or bread apart from a very small token attempt at a dish that I haven’t yet been able to identify (my heart goes out to all vegetarians on this score)

Have to admit to a small wobble at the weekend rugby match where the bacon roll is as much of a feature as the game itself, but managed to finally resist by shutting the windows and concentrating very hard on the Archers (and a bar of chocolate).

The upshot is that so far I have added several new recipes to my repertoire, the boys have cut their meat consumption by about 70% (which can’t be all bad)and  husband Bob doesn’t actually care as long as there is something available. I have however detected a tendency for a particularly sweet tooth on my part and will be very cheesed off if I put on weight.

Will be doing something with tofu tonight (not that I’m obsessed with the thing) You might however have to start counting the number of animals at our Kingcombe Meadows reserve by the end of the week as I think the novelty is wearing off.  Will probably be seen in Waitrose again tomorrow, wiping the drool off the meat counter.

Putting a brave face on it - I like veg but can a person live on it?

I’ll be back next week to tell you how I get on.  If you would like to give me any advice, post on the blog or, even better, sponsor me – you can donate at my web page.   Honestly, I need all the encouragement I can get.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 6:53 pm

    Well done Debbie. Keep it up – I know I couldn’t do it! One sniff of a bacon sarnie and I’d be doomed…

  2. Spud permalink*
    January 22, 2011 8:40 pm

    Inspiring stuff that almost makes me want to give it a go! Almost, but not quite! Keep it up Debbie, I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment sometime soon.

  3. Newty permalink
    January 25, 2011 10:06 am

    Well done Debbie!

  4. Chris Senior permalink
    January 25, 2011 2:53 pm

    Try making your own nut roast – when I was semi-veggie I always found home made from scratch to be much better than any of the pre-prepared stuff. I also found that Vegetable Textured Protein (used to come as dried chunks which, we soaked looked a bit like cubes of beef) made a good substitute for meat in stews. Good luck.

  5. Veggie pizza permalink
    January 30, 2011 10:03 pm

    There was a young farmer ate Quorn,
    Between meat and veg she was torn,
    She oggled the bacon,
    And the tofu’s not taken,
    That carniverous farmer’s forlourn.

    • January 31, 2011 12:32 pm

      Brilliant advice and love the poetry – thanks for keeping my morale up. I;m learning so much about a lot of things being veggie for a month. – food for thought, literally

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