This Vegetarian Ring
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I'm sure I
was born a vegetarian . . . I never liked meat but my parents believed that I wouldn't
grow up if I didn't eat it !
Sunday lunch time was the worst . . . the dreaded roast :o(
"Eat that meat now or you can go to your room and stay there until you decide to come
back to the table and finish it ! "
If it was chicken . . . no way !! I'd rather spend the afternoon in my room ! Anything
else, I would try to swallow, but
you can only chew it for so long before you throw up, can't you ?
In the end, they almost gave in . . . or at least they let me think they had. I would eat
Spam or bacon, or even ground beef,
so that was the compromise. But they still insisted that I wouldn't grow . . .
The sad part
was that they really believed meat was essential for good nutrition . . . I sometimes
wonder if my Mother
would have lived past the age of 51 if she had been a vegetarian. She died from a heart
attack . . . sudden, unexpected and
final. I was 22 at the time, and still forcing myself to eat a small amount of meat
because I'd been brainwashed !!
1978, when I was 29, I finally dared to cut out all meat from my diet . . . ( even Spam !
) . . . and HEY !! . . .
I survived ! In fact my health improved. I stopped getting tonsillitis three times every
winter, and when I caught a cold
it lasted three days instead of two weeks. And all those unidentifiable aches and pains
disappeared. My digestive system
couldn't figure out what had happened . . . it was working so much more efficiently
But it wasn't
really easy being a vegetarian back then . . . everyone kept asking me what supplements I
was taking . . .
because I must be missing out on SOMETHING . . . and eating out was a nightmare. Just
about all I could get in a
restaurant was a salad, and on a trip to Paris, the waiter acted as if he didn't
understand what 'vegetarian' meant,
even though I was using my best high school French to tell him "no meat . . . only
Once when I was at a wedding reception, the person sitting opposite me commented that
"There's a stigma attached to vegetarianism . . . something like having AIDS "
there was the time that dear old Auntie invited us over for dinner. She knew I was a
vegetarian, as was
one of my sons by this time. ( He still is after 7 years, now aged 21 ) One mouthful
of that vegetable soup told me
I shouldn't finish it, but Auntie insisted there was no meat in it. Craig and I looked at
each other . . . our tastebuds
surely weren't malfunctioning ?? "NO, no, no," said Auntie . . .
"definitely no meat dearies, I know you don't eat it !"
When the meal was over, Auntie told us how easy the soup was to make . . . "just boil
up some lamb shanks . . ."
I was physically ill for three days !!! Truly !
pleased to say that shopping for vegetarian foods in Melbourne is becoming easier every
week, with a great
variety of healthy packaged meals on the market, as well as plentiful supplies of fresh
fruit and vegetables.
Craig and I have such an interesting diet that Bill ( my Husband ) and Brad ( youngest son
) often prefer to eat
vegetarian meals rather than meat.
were right about one thing though . . . I didn't grow !!! ( I'm only 4ft 11 . 3/4ins
Oh well, Mum always said good things come in small packages . . .
links to great vegetarian sites, starting with the one whose
products we use heaps of . . .
Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian
by Pamela Teisler-Rice
The Australian Vegetarian Society