Do I miss meat?

I thought I’d answer some of the commonest questions and statements I get when I tell someone I’m vegetarian and have been over 20 years. I don’t eat meat, meat derivatives, nor do I appreciate cross-contamination of my food with meat and meat “juices”.

Gelatine is a big no no, as is Carmine (E120), and I also don’t drink wines or real ales clarified with Isinglass. I eat eggs, but I’m not a big consumer of milk – my favourite is almond milk because it just tastes so creamy.

Do you miss meat?

No. I never actually liked it when I did eat it. I didn’t like the taste or texture. I suppose you could say I’m a natural herbivore. When I was at family sunday dinners I used to get meat placed on my plate, and I often left it. The last meat I ate was when I was about 23 or 24. The entire time I’ve been in gigging bands I’ve never eaten it.

You must eat fish and chicken though?

No. They’re meat. Vegetarians who eat fish or chicken aren’t vegetarians, they’re carnivores. Anyone who doesn’t think fish or chicken is meat is sorely mislead, and perhaps needs to go back to school and do primary school level biology.

Isn’t it difficult to find good food?

No not really. Plenty of restaurants cater very well for us. Some don’t, but I just avoid those. I’ve often seen cop-out restaurants where they “can’t guarantee against cross contamination”. Personally, I think that’s worse still! If they can’t avoid cross contamination between vegetarian food and non-vegetarian food, then what’s their record regarding cooked and raw meat?

Don’t you crave a bacon sandwich when you smell it cooking?

No. Not at all. I really don’t like meat. I never liked meat. I think these wild pigs would agree with me.

But you have Quorn. That’s pretend meat (often said with a smug look on their face).

You have chips. Those are pretend vegetables. I bet you even think they’re one of your five a day.

The vegetarian option is a nut cutlet.

How about show some imagination? Look. Even Quinoa can look nice, and I used to eat it before Waitrose decided to make it all posh.

You wear leather.

I’m not a preachy vegetarian who thinks everyone should be vegetarian. I understand that humans, like some of the other greater apes, are omnivores. We have biological indicators that we were evolved to eat meat. My wife eats meat and I don’t condemn her for it. I’ll happily wear leather, but then I’ll also wear latex (and that’s from a tree!).

It can’t be healthy being vegetarian.

I’m 6ft 2, built like a brick shithouse, and I can lift a huge reel of steel wire armoured cable. Yes, of course it’s not healthy… I eat lots of cereals, I don’t take any vitamin supplements. I don’t need them. I have a good iron level (blood donors proves this).

Dear caterers…

Stop doing this. Now.

Mixing various sandwiches on a platter so you get the visually appealing mix of colour is an absolute delight to see, but every vegetarian, every Jew or Muslim, and every allergy sufferer just steadily shakes their head and dives into their bag for the emergency muesli bar.

I’m vegetarian. I don’t eat meat. I don’t really want my sandwiches to be bathed in meat sweat and juices. I don’t want cross contamination.

I have Muslim and Jewish friends. Pork to them is unclean. Random meat of indeterminate origin is not their bag. They usually take the vegetarian route where the meat is unclear, but when it’s all touched each other it’s not really fair.

My wife, well she can’t eat sweetcorn. A hint of it sets off a bad reaction. She doesn’t want to go anywhere near the tuna and sweetcorn. That would be very bad.

You can’t even smell for it on one of these platters because with these platters you just end up with a mixed smell, often drowned out by the tuna.

Even the supermarkets do it, although they do now seem to offer a vegetarian version (some do, at least).

What’s wrong with a plate of each type of sandwich? Seriously? It’s not that difficult to do… You could even do us a favour and write on the edge of the plate in Sharpie what the sandwiches are. Takes the guesswork out of the meats.

As for the samoas and “random filling rolls”, well they’re just a minefield! It could be meaty… It could be people meat… You just don’t know.

At least quiche is a little easier to guess!

Until something changes, the tracker bars will remain on standby.

Should I go vegan?

A couple of my friends are vegan. I’m vegetarian and have been for over 20 years now. I’ve never knowingly eaten meat or animal derivatives in that time.

I’m not a preachy hatey vegetarian though. I just did it because I never liked meat as a kid, and to be honest gelatine just grosses me out. The thought of eating marrowbone jelly and connective tissue makes me bilious.

I’ve recently been asked “why don’t you go vegan?”

Well I have thought about it, and dismissed it.

Even though of late I’ve found myself drinking more almond milk and heading away from milk products in general I still occasionally get a hankering for cheese, and I still love eggs, plus knowing the chickens who lay our eggs makes that better in my conscience.

Knowing the girls who run around the pen chasing you, and the cockerel who pecks your arse is very reassuring.

It’s as if we have a mutual relationship with the girls; they probably wouldn’t have a life if they weren’t running around that large pen owning the place. They’ll never be killed for their meat, and they’ll always be kept healthy.

My other big beef (get it) is my leather. I do love wearing leather. That is something that is a part of who I am. I’ve tried (and do actively wear PVC and latex) but there’s nothing quite like leather when it comes to warmth, dryness, and comfort.

No. I don’t think I’ll go vegan. I’m almost there, but I think the last hurdle is a hurdle too big for me.

Two new suits!

As you probably know if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter (@nomenloony on both) I’ve been on a bit of a weight loss kick.

Since September last year I’ve lost 25kg in weight, starting at a rather hefty 113kg with a 50″ chest and 42″ waist, and looking like this:

To a rather svelte 38″ waist, with this general appearance…

There have been no miracle diets. No stupid low carb roles, no starvation. Just a massive cut down on the amount of fat I’m eating, and a little reduction in sugars. I’m not watching my weight as such; I’m just not being a dick.

The problem I’ve now had however, is my stage suits – of which I own rather a lot! I’ve had to buy new ones. The grey/blue one above being a very cheap but very nice intermediate suit from Matalan.

Last week then, I headed out to Meadowhall to get a new suit to add to the one above.

The problem, of course, with Meadowhall is the glitz and the glam of the place get you, and then you become spend blind. Indeed, by the time i had done I had the two beautiful suits below and £270 less in the bank. Even with a big sale on! The darker suit was 50% off (but the material is absolutely gorgeous!).

20180518_155427-017794302755889459113.jpegAlong with the new latex outfit I also bought a few weeks ago which are much smaller, I’ve now made a big commitment to not being fat again. I don’t think I can afford to! Suits and latex are very pricey.

I’m now a 36 to 38 waist (36 if the trousers are a regular fit, 38 if they are slim fit) and I’m getting quite comfortable with my size now. I think I’ll probably try and get down to 80kg and stay around there.

 

The vegetarian plague…

I’d love to get the message across to people that calling something a veggie burger and then cooking it on the same griddle as a meat burger isn’t actually correct!

These days I always ask “how do you cook it?”.

A great wedding but a vegetarian nightmare.

As a vegetarian of over 20 years I can tell you that I am not the only vegetarian who gets struck down with fear and terror at the very word “buffet”.

That cavalcade of cross contamination. Where a vegetarian is pretty much guaranteed to only be able to eat salad, and perhaps the crisps or nuts.

10 years ago the buffet was much better. We didn’t generally struggle – you had a tray of egg mayo, a tray of ham, a tray of cheese. So what’s changed I hear you ask?

Pretentiousness has.

At one time we didn’t go to town on making it look like a technicolour rainbow of fillings (some of which do look like cat sick). I bring forth my first exhibit:

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Spot the egg sandwiches. Yes, they’re in there with the meat flapping all over them and the tuna sort of touching them.

Yum! Meaty vegetarian sandwiches. Just what I always wanted! Even the token rainbow salad buffer down the middle can’t possibly save this plate. If you are vegetarian, or indeed have a seafood allergy then this isn’t the plate you are looking for. Move along.

sandwiches

Even supermarkets and bakeries have got into the act. The obligatory black tray with the plastic lid contains this explosion of colour. And again I see cat sick. Particularly chunky cat sick. I wonder if the cat had a mouse before shouting soup into this little number?

Yum. Cross contamination.

But what really really riles me is the lack of cheese and onion rolls. There are always enough sausage rolls to feed an army. Often, so I’m told, poor quality sausage rolls. Amazingly at the end of the night the sausage rolls seem to have increased in quantity. What was 3 plates is now 9 and that’s after half the family have taken away a few “in cling film” for later. I suspect the vomiting cat can also poop a perfect sausage roll.

I whine on, but I suspect that most buffet suppliers would mix the meaty and cheesy rolls. On the few occasions I have seen cheese rolls at a function they are usually all gone within 30 minutes. Surely that should tell caterers something?

Of the wedding itself

Other than the anti vegetarian statement made with the buffet I must say last night’s wedding was rather nice and in excellent company.

After much soul searching and deliberation earlier in the day I decided that leather was not the thing to be worn (I also briefly flirted with the idea of latex trousers and waistcoat but quickly cast that to the maybe pile – hmm….sweaty and clammy). I therefore decked myself up in my light grey stage suit (with a blue shirt and tie rather than my usual pink and purple combination).

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The wedding was for a couple of prog friends – Brian and Jackie – Brian in particular being a massive Whovian so you can probably imagine the theming…

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But that was only half of it… You can’t have a Doctor Who themed event without…

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Aaaaargh!!! My childhood fears. Daleks terrified me! Cybermen not quite so.

A prog band played for us (those non prog fans in the audience probably sat there yawning, not understanding the ramblings of Mr John Dexter Jones and his troubadours) but I enjoyed that bit… Although I did get plungered by a Dalek.

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It was nice to see the amazing Doctor Who theming though… Although I think the TARDIS should have been placed in front of the door to the toilets just for fun.

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All in all, fun was had! I’ll leave you with this.

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Nyaaaaaaarh