Meat eating vegetarian.

I’ve been vegetarian for half my life. I started in my third year of university, but at that time, being skint, I continued eating fish as a protein source. A couple of years afterwards I went fully vegetarian, and that’s been the way ever since. It’s never seemed to be too much of a problem, apart from when I’ve been pregnant, when a succession of midwives have ummed and erred over my iron levels.

Until this year. Fourth baby born and unlike each of the other times, I didn’t feel like my body was coming back to me. Over six months down the line and I was still getting twitchy legs at night unless I remembered to take my vitamins, which let’s face it, I’m not going to do. And I felt constantly dissatisfied with food – I put this down slightly to Thinking Slimmer changing my relationship with eating. I just wasn’t happy with cereal for breakfast, bread for lunch and vegetables and carbs for tea.

The cereal was the first to go. Replaced by scrambled eggs with one or two slices of toast for breakfast. Shared with the baby it sets us up pretty well for the day and I’m not starving two hours later. Seemed good.

Lunch was still a problem.

Then I started making my own soups. Lentil and onion, following a recipe in my Rose Elliot Mother and Toddler cookbook turned out to be really easy and really filling. I do tend to have a slice of bread with it, but try to make sure it’s just the one slice. Broccoli and stilton another good one, and who knew roasted butternut squash soup could be so good?

home made broccoli and stilton soup

Making them myself makes them incredibly cheap in comparison to shop bought – a pack of lentils with the onions required costs around £1.50 I think, and does around 9 days of soup.

But that still left dinners. And I found myself looking more and more often at the meat I was dishing out for the rest of the family.

So one night, I tried chicken.

Didn’t like it. Tasteless, little texture, complete waste of time. I felt really disappointed.

Next time around, I tried bolognese.

I loved it. I could see my vegetarian days slipping behind me. Except for one thing. A lot of the meals I’ve invented through the years I really enjoy. Particularly things like my vegetarian not-toad in the hole. And I don’t want meat every day. Certainly not twice a day. I seem to want it two to three times a week – I have a small amount of the fish when we have fish and chips, enjoy bolognese and have a slice of chicken when I roast one. But I’m still mainly vegetarian. If you asked me, the odds are I’ll forget that I ate chicken last night, and tell you I’m vegetarian.

But I suppose I’m not really any more, am I? Does that make me just a hypocrite?

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for 14 years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

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  1. No you are not a hypocrite. It’s hard not to crave some of what you are preparing for the rest of the family. So you’ll eat a bit of meat here and there. So what? When the children aren’t around, or when they all choose to also be vegetarian, you’ll no longer cook it and no longer eat it.
    Midlife Singlemum recently posted…Organised PlaydatesMy Profile

  2. You’re not a hypocrite. You are a meat-eater. I’m not a vegetarian out of any deep ideological conviction. I don’t think there’s much point being a vegetarian and eating dairy produce but it’s just what I do and have done for about twenty years. We have brought up the children as vegetarians so I never cook or handle meat. I have no idea what I’d be eating now if I was surrounded by meat. That said, I never find it remotely tempting when I do encounter it. It’s sort of invisible as food.

  3. My best friend has recently started eating meat again after 20 odd years of being a vegetarian. She has ended up in a very similar position to you, some things she’s really not fussed about and she’s still mostly veggie, but is not the strict vegetarian she once was. I would say not a hypocrite, you’re just eating things you enjoy. Food is simply energy (I think I also got this from Thinking Slimmer).
    Corinne recently posted…ComplicationsMy Profile

  4. No, you aren’t a vegetarian. But I don’t think that makes you a hypocrite. It just makes you a meat eater. I was vegetarian from my early 20s to 40. Bob joined me when we married, as I didn’t handle meat either, and Hannah was vegetarian till she was 5 – she continued not to eat meat after I started, but got curious eventually. I just suddenly got to the stage where I didn’t feel as well as I had been, I suddenly missed meat in a way I never had. I even did Cordon Vert training at Veg Society as i thought id maybe just become stale. Came home and had my first roast dinner in two decades. Oops. We probably eat it three/four times a week, as I’d rather eat a small amount of good quality stuff than cheap meat every day. I still cook ‘proper’ veg food quite regularly, and my fav comfort food is still courgette risotto.

  5. What an honest post. I don’t think you are a hypocrite. I also started eating meat when I waafter being vegetarian for a long time when I was pregnant. It felt like my body needed it. I can understand that you still might feel you are a vegetarian, as well. After all, you have all those years of experience of making tasty meals without meat and you have kids who I can imagine enjoy a meatless meal as much as one with meat. That is not going to disappear because you eat a bit of meat now and then. p.s. would love to hear more about your veggie recipes.
    Catherine Marshall recently posted…Holy Cow! Its Christmas!My Profile

  6. sounds like at the moment, your body needs you to be omnivorous 🙂
    mamacrow recently posted…AddendumsMy Profile

  7. Probably whether or not you are a hypocrite depends on why you were a veggie in the first place. I ‘turned veggie’ on my first night at Uni, when faced in the canteen by a very scary-looking pork chop which I couldn’t face.
    I was then passively vegetarian for a long while – I’d eat meat and enjoy if someone put it in front of me, but wouldn’t actively choose or cook meat. I found after having eaten next to no meat for a few years that I found it hard to digest, so that didn’t encourage me to want to eat more.
    Do you know, I have really no idea when I started eating meat again? These days we have meat once or twice a week, which is as much as we can afford, and its probably a healthy amount. Leaves plenty of scope for pulses and vegetable consumption!

  8. I don’t feel strongly about people who are or are not veggie. However, i found your comment about fish odd because i’m aware there’s more protein in egg than fish and that even if you go by the protein quality myth, there’s plenty of cysteine and methionine, so there’s no problem even accepting that. I can, however, see that fish is a good way of getting EFAs.

  9. I know a ‘vegetarian’ who eats steak so a touch of chicken and fish every now and again is nothing!
    Mrs Teepot recently posted…Silent & Sinful SundayMy Profile

  10. We are never going to be vegetarians in this house, but we eat a very good selection of non-meat dishes. Probably more than half of what we prepare is non-meat based. Not do to with any reason other than they are delicious! I think people just have to choose what they like, what they can afford, and buy the best quality ingredient their budget allows.
    Elizabeth recently posted…January 2011 to February 2011: What a FrightMy Profile

  11. heh well as you know I went from being veggie for, i think, 22 years and am now paleo, pretty big leap. No hypocrisy involved, it’s just life evolving.

  12. I was a vegetarian for years then went back to meat eating and had a hard time coming to terms with it until I realised that the “label” wasn’t important. Being healthy and happy was and when it really came down to it, I was happy with just eating “a bit” of meat. It seemed enough of a balance to me.
    Circus Queen recently posted…Terry square nappies made easyMy Profile

    • I think that’s the stage I’m going through now. Am coming to the conclusion that needing meat two or three times a week is not so bad really.

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