The Idiot Gardener

My beef with vegans

beef

A recent comment by Edith Hope dragged up a memory long buried, which might explain my utter impatience with those that shun the meat. Edith commented that Mrs IG might enjoy a Waitrose lamb shank meal whilst I was away (I do all the cooking at Chez Idiot, for those that haven’t been keeping up), adding a qualification that this was, of course, if she ate meat.

Many years ago, when I was a lad, back when televisions were black and white and a Game Boy was a sporty young fellow who attracted an unhealthy interest from middle aged train spotters, there was a girl who drank in my local pub who was, in a word, beautiful. Such was her beauty that many men of all ages regularly made fools of themselves fawning over her. They tried to woo her with money, drinks, promises of gifts and holidays, tales of sexual prowess and displays of maleness. I didn’t join in; I will admit that as a young lad I looked as if I had been dragged through several hedges backwards.

One day, as the rutting season was in full flow, she came and sat with me at the bar to escape the wall of bravado being shunted in her direction. We began to talk, and she mentioned that I reminded her of Bagpuss (a crap stuffed cat on television in the UK) because I was ‘saggy, baggy and a bit loose at the seams’. I took that as my cue and we high-tailed it out to another much quieter pub. During the chat she mentioned that she was a vegan.

“I’m a vegan,” she said.

“Me too,” I replied.

That was that. I figured the odd fish supper wouldn’t be too bad. Then the awful truth descended upon me. No meat, no fish, no eggs, no cheese. NO CHEESE! I was a man trapped by lust, starving to death just to do the sex thing with this lovely creature. I forced my way through bowls of bulgar by thinking of her body. I lived the lie. I lived it well, until I could live it no more.

She moved to South London and I remained in North London. It was 30 minute train journey; it was a trainline, but it was also a lifeline. I inevitably spent the nights at her flat. In the morning we’d catch the train together. She’d get off in central London, and I’d walk her to her office. As a struggling freelance writer, my day started when I wanted it to. After I’d left her at work, I’d dash off to a cafe and get the works; sausage, bacon, egg, chips, beans, buttered toast and coffee. It became my daily ritual.

Then it happened. We were walking back to her place after the pub one night, heading back for our usual session of thrashing around under the sheets, and I said it. I just opened my mouth and it came out. It fell out, without my knowing it was going to happen. One minute I was thinking about her naked body, and the next I just said it.

“Listen, I’m going to get off home now. I’ve got an early start.”

She was surprised, but off I went, jumping off the train after one station and finding a kebab shop. Of all meats, the fatty nasty grey kebab is the worst, but I turned away from her gorgeous body and sold my soul to the kebab man. After that, the craving grew. I wanted her so much, but I found myself fantasising about steak, burgers, venison, cheese and pheasant. I kissed her lips with tenderness, but really wanted to wrap mine around a lamb chop. I watched her wiggle her arse, but dreamed of pork scratchings.

Then one day I didn’t turn up. It actually had nothing to do with meat and more to do with a game of poker. My trips to South London meant I hadn’t seen my own friends much, so I popped into the pub for one drink. One became many, and an all night poker game ensued. In the morning, we headed over to my house and I set about making a fine breakfast. Dave realised he had run out of cigarettes so headed to the local shop. I served up, and we all sat down to a feast of sausage, bacon, eggs, kidneys, steak and beans.

There was a knock at the door, and one of the lads got up to let Dave in.

Then it happened. It was her, marching in to my kitchen to demand answers about whether I was seeing someone else.

She froze.

I froze, fork of meat en route to my mouth.

No one spoke. Then she pointed at my plate and snapped: “That’s meat”.

I didn’t know what to say, so I made a noise.

I went “Moooo”.

I never saw her again!

Bloody vegans!

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24 thoughts on “My beef with vegans

  1. Jo

    So funny. I don’t have any problems with people eating, or not eating as the case may be, whatever they want, but personally I couldn’t give up meat.

  2. Edith Hope

    Dear IG, This is a superb story and one which is so well told. “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!”. You should have known from the start, it is not the meat/vegan which is the problem but the North/South London divide; it was never going to work.

    Thank you so much for the mention and for the link to my weblog – I wish that I knew how to make such links!

  3. jodi (bloomingwriter)

    I’m with Kyna: That WAS frakkin’ hilarious. I always thought vegans were from the star Vega, and to my mind, the radical, judgmental ones all belong there. All vegans aren’t judgmental, of course, and I don’t mind what they eat so long as they don’t expect me to do the same unless I so choose.

  4. Is the Wiz

    It was the other way around for me. I’d been veggie for six months, just out of curiousity, when this guy I fancied invited me round for a meal. I scoffed the chicken liver pate and was half way through the beouf bourgignon before I remembered I didn’t eat meat. Well, it would have been churlish to say anything, wouldn’t it, so I swallowed my principles, along with second helpings and baked cheesecake, and we lived happily-ish for the next four years. Can’t think why I chucked him.

  5. Damo

    Great story. I’m with you on the kebab, managed to cut down to 1 a year now, helps that I don’t go out and get blind drunk much these days!

  6. goodtogrow

    You tell a story very well sir.

    The reason so many vegans are so unlikeable is because most of them are hypocrites. I’ll bet you anything she was scarfing down muffins and cheese sandwiches when you weren’t around.

  7. Shyrlene

    I was laughing like a hyena, reading your blog to my husband … and then I read “Moooo” and fell off the chair! I was going to say it made my day — but, it made my whole week (and it’s only Monday)! What “mad skills” you have (not to be confused with ‘Mad Cow’…)! -Shyrlene

  8. Kelly@LifeOutOfDoors

    Fabulous. I was thinking this might be the start of a life-long love affair with the lovely vegan lady…but I understand the meat winning out. I’m a big fan myself. Great story telling. Great homage to meat.

  9. Carol

    Mr. GI, You are good! Great post… funtastik! Your writing is brilliant. I am mostly vegetarian but do love local grass fed beef a couple times a year… in the way of a hamburger at a local cafe. I even buy lamb… sweet little lamb… once a year that is also locally and happily raised (for awhile anyway… I cannot think about it!) I confess both are real treats. I do not judge anyone for what they eat but do wish we could all stand up and say no to farm factories. I just cannot eat food knowing how horridly animals are treated. I so enjoyed your tale!! ;>)) Carol

  10. Phil

    My wife was vegetarian when we married. As a Yorkshireman I was attracted to the low maintenance costs of a vegetarian wife. Foolishly I forgot to pre-order a vegetarian meal for her on our honeymoon flight. She was hungry and so ate a meat dish. That was the end of her vegetarianism. 20 years later she is still eating meat and I’m counting the cost.

  11. The Idiot Gardener

    Jo, I am living proof that the meat is a hard habit to kick!

    Edith, you are so right; a tangled web brought down by the flesh of porkery! (BTW, to do links, just type in the text, highlight it, click on the web link button and type in the URL).

    Kyna, it’s an affirmation of everything your mother told you!

    Shelia, I am so sorry!

    Granny, a better way to start the day is with a good meat-laden breakfast!

    Jodi, I agree, but back then, I was young and foolish. It took a meat-free diet to shock me back to my senses.

    Thanks Dene, I’m glad I took the steps I did. Love can conquer all, apart from a lack of meat.

    Martyn, when it’s time for a kebab, it’s time for a kebab!

    Curbstone, it’s amazing just how much you miss cheese when it’s not an option!

    Is, I’m glad you saw the light!

    Damo, a kebab without chilli sauce is bad; one without drunkenness is unthinkable.

    Goodtogrow, I’d like to think so, but she was pretty full-on on th whole animal products thing.

    Jess, deep down inside, it was a relief. I also learned that vegetarian women are a no-no!

    Shyrlene, falling off your chair is the greatest compliment anyone can pay to that tale of woe!

    Kelly, I spat my coffee across my desk at that “Great homage to meat!”

    Carol, don’t get me wrong, I do love the vegetables, but they are best tasted after a mouthful of meat. I agree that people should eat good meat, not processed crap, and I’m happy that you enjoy the flesh on occasions!

    Town Mouse, don’t get me started on organics!

    Phil, I understand your pain. I once went out with a girl that drank lime and soda, which cost about 10 pence! Not only that but she insisted on taking her turn to buy rounds. Then, one day, someone turned her onto VSOP Cognac. It didn’t last much after that!

  12. Kimberly

    I’m still laughing! Friggin’ hysterical!!! That’s the best story I’ve heard in awhile. “Moooooo”….OMG!! Thanks sooooo much for sharing this one!

  13. Sue Swift

    Hey, but it was your fault for fibbing! How do you know it wasn’t your deceit she objected to – I mean, if she couldn’t trust you on that, why should she on all the rest? Can’t see why you should have a “beef” with vegans at all.

    I’m a vegetarian who lives with and cooks for two committed carnivores. Their choice. They eat what they want and I eat… something else. No problem.

    So please don’t jump to the conclusion that anyone who eats meat wants to impose it on the world. I’d be very happy if my family chose not to. But the key word is “chose”. They know why I don’t eat meat or buy leather products and respect that. And I respect their choice to do both.

    So give us a break – and if you’re ever in the area, come to dinner. Promise you there’ll be meat on the menu :))

  14. NellJean

    Once a young vegetarian in our office was prattling on about why she didn’t eat meat, ending with ‘… kill a living thing.’ I looked down and asked, ‘Are those LEATHER shoes you are wearing, and your purse?’ She was obviously uncomfortable that I noticed.

    I always imagine that carrots wince when I cut off their little tops.

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