It’s world Vegetarian Day today. The DYP Massive is mainly hardcore carnivore. But our social media manager has been a veggie for decades. Yes decades. Not a morsel of meat has passed her lips. She agreed to let us ask intrusive and idiotic questions. The kind she’s been asked repeatedly for decades.
Q] Do you eat chicken?
A] Erm no, chicken is an animal.
Q] Do you eat fish?
A] Erm no, fish is animal.
Q] So do you just eat kidney beans then?
A] I hate kidney beans.
Q] What the hell DO you eat then?
A] Just broccoli and cauliflower
A] NO. I eat a wide range of vegetables and things made from vegetables. And I eat cheese.
Q] Wait a minute, we’ve heard cheese has animal in it?
A] Yes, animal rennet. Strict vegetarians wouldn’t eat cheese made with animal rennet. But you can get cheese made with vegetable rennet.
Q] So how long have you been on this rabbit-food then? Not long I guess, because you look quite sturdy.
A] It’s not rabbit food. It’s human food. Millions of people are vegetarian…. oh, 30 years.
Q] 30 years! Wow!
A] Go on, ask me if that’s All My Life. Go on. Because I only look 30 don’t I? It’s because of the vegetarian diet you know. Go on…. Oh OK then. I started being a vegetarian in my early 20s.
Q] Yeah, we know you’re old. So why did you start?
A] Old and wise. Well, when I started it was during the Ethiopian famine. You know the one that Bob Geldof made Feed the World about so we could all think Africans are stupid and don’t know when Christmas is? That one. I realised that the way the world economy worked was seriously screwed up. Ethiopia was growing grain to sell to Europe to feed beef cattle, so we could eat burgers. Meanwhile tens of thousands of people were dying of starvation. I didn’t want to be part of that. Kind of simplistic, but I was young. Then after a few years I started to get interested in animal welfare and animal rights. I even flirted with veganism for a while. And only drank veggie wine. But these days, I’m a veggie mostly because I don’t think of meat as food any more. You may as well pass me a plate of soil. It’s just not very appealing.
Q] Wait…veggie wine?
A] Really? I’m discussing international political economy and all you got was … wine?
Q] This is DYP, not The Economist.
Q] Come on then, veggie wine….?
A] Isinglass is used to clear sediment from wine and beer and improve it’s appearance and taste. It’s made from the swim bladders of fish.
Q] Yum. Did you know it’s World Vegetarian Day today?
A] No I didn’t. I don’t really take much notice of stuff like that. I mean, I’m a vegetarian, but I’m not evangelical about it. I just don’t eat meat.
Q] What’s your favourite food?
Q] Is that what you are having today, on World Vegetarian Day?
A] Maybe. I might have pizza and chips, or a paneer curry with chapattis, or mushroom burgers with chips, or pasta with artichokes and goats cheese. Or a chili. And chips.
Q] Do you fart a lot?
A] Why do you think I work from home?
That’s not my house. My house is dingy and I scoff a slice of toast at my desk for breakfast like any self respecting social media manager, dropping crumbs on the keyboard.