Vegetarianism

Today Team Pugh have seen everybody’s favourite vegetarian Uncle Liam, and in honour of such an occasion (and as we promised to do in response to a blog comment months ago) we thought we would share our thoughts on meat eating.

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Ian is, and always has been, a meat eater. Becksie is, and always has been a meat eater. Lizzie, by virtue of the decisions we make, is a meat eater. When Lizzie was first experiencing the joys of real food we decided that she would eat what we eat and that we wouldn’t cook her a separate meal. Sometimes we have had to change how we eat, no longer using lots of chilli in foods or honey for her first year, and we make less cous cous (so messy) and more pasta than we used to. What this does mean, however is that Lizzie has always eaten meat, and fish, and although she does not seem to miss it from a meal she always enjoys it.

Ian and Becksie eat meat because their families are meat eaters, because they like it and because they have no moral objections to it.

When we say that we like meat we are definitely underplaying it, we love meat. Ian gets seriously grumpy if he has not had meat at least once a day, and it is not even childish grumpiness, it upsets his whole body and impairs his functions! Cheese will do as a substitute for a day but not for too long.

Above we have said we have no moral objection to eating meat, which is true, but we try to be selective about the meat that we buy, buying only from places where we know the seller has looked after the animals well themselves or where they have been responsibly sourced. We know that this meat can be more expensive than the very cheap meat you can buy in the supermarket, but you can really taste the difference in quality, and it is harder to believe that the chicken you are eating has had a good life, been well cared for, respectfully treated and that the farmer is getting a fair deal if you are only paying £3.00 for it.

a good job done!

a self-butchery job!

We think it was the lovely Hugh FW who we heard say that taking his own animals to slaughter and then eating their meat does make him sad, but that they would not be alive if it was not for farming them for meat, and provided he knows he has given them a good life whilst they were with him he has done the best he can and feels happy being a meat eater. Now we do not have room to grow our own meat, however as long as we purchase our meat as responsibly as we can we feel ok about it.

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Happy pigs at Dews Meadow Farm!

So what started as a post about vegetarianism has become a post about meat, which is perhaps the best indication of how Team Pugh feel, one mention of vegetarianism and we start going on about meat! That said there are many lovely vegetable dishes that we all enjoy, they would just usually be improved with the addition of a sausage/some bacon/some chicken/a pork chop!

One thing that did occur whilst writing this is that one day Lizzie might decide to become a vegetarian. Obviously we will always support the decisions she makes in life, but she will have a hard time indeed trying to convert her mum and dad!

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13 thoughts on “Vegetarianism

  1. Thoughtful post, as always. We used to keep goats and I loved the idea that the surplus kids that we took to our, then local, abattoir had lived a short but very happy life. I took them off in the land rover and picked up the trays of meat the next day. Delicious meat from our own animals. Very special.

  2. Good post 🙂 It’s true that vegetarianism does come back to eating meat, and I totally agree with your comments about it being very important that meat is sustainably sourced, with the animal being well looked after throughout its life.

    However, I’m even more interested by the comment about Ian’s functions being impaired if he doesn’t eat meat :p Was this jokey or did you really mean it? I say this because I find that I actually feel more bloated/worse if I do eat meat daily! My husband’s family have always been meat-eaters, and tend to eat meat daily – and I always come back from a stay at theirs feeling on the podgy side. Don’t know if red meat just does not ‘agree’ with me!

    I was vegetarian for a little over a year, but gave up once I worked out that I would be moving to France and that vegetarianism is nigh on impossible in such a country. Nonetheless, even though I’m technically now a meat-eater again (just because it makes life easier if you go out), we still tend to eat vegetarian most of the time (no Quorn or other icky meat substitutes for us!). Much easier to get your five a day that way…and no matter where you shop, it’s always going to be cheaper to eat a mainly vegetable-based diet than a mainly meat-based one. Why not go veggie for a week to see? 🙂

    • Ian’s functions are not impaired as such, but his body can tell that he is missing protein and feels all off kilter! Meat is definitely more expensive than veg, but it is easy to shop clever and make a little bit go a long way!

  3. Whether to eat meat or not is a personal decision. I have a good friend who doesn’t eat red meat, not for ethical reasons but because she doesn’t like the taste. We are a family of meat eaters too and I do agree that meat from a good source is always better though must confess to using the supermarket more than the local butchers – mea culpa. I always buy our Sunday roast and things like steak from the butcher (or WaItrose who have a good butchery department) after a very horrid steak from Sainsbury’s many years ago (it was tasteless, tough and terrible!)

  4. Growing up on a farm in NZ in the 70’s I remember once a year we had a cow and a pig or a sheep killed and when it was cut up the whole thing went in the freezer. We had all the different cuts and not a scrap was wasted. I get really sad that these days Farmers cant get a decent price for their livestock as the supermarkets only want the choice cuts. I will admit I dont eat as much meat as I used too, but thats usually because it makes our budget stretch further if a pack of 4 chops (for example) will make 4 meals for OH instead of two meals etc. Although I do like a roast occasionally. :o)

  5. We are big meat eaters too, but I try and mix it with fish & the odd vege meal.
    I do like it to be good meat though, and knowing where it comes does make it taste better…

  6. I am a meat eater but I agree I prefer it when the meat is sourced from local suppliers you can trust. My son on the other hand prefers vegetables and cheese and would really prefer it if I didn’t even try and put any meat on his plate. Funny thing is he has been that way since he started weaning and he is now three. He will however eat fish until it comes out of his ears. Great post!

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