If I should go all wan and pale…

This is a post about my relationship with sheep and how they have changed my life.

I have recently adopted a vegetarian lifestyle but it is not because I don’t want to eat sheep. They are delicious and I could chew on this baby until the cows came home, it is not that.

Blue Texel

(I couldn’t actually eat this one. This is a ewe being raised for breeding. The farmer buys them for £50 lets them mow the grass for a year and then sells  them for £100. That is what happens on this farm and then they are used to breed lambs for the next five or six years)

I would have no problem eating this sheep because over the last year I have observed the quality of life that these animals experience and it is good.

Their lives are not long but the time that they have is a good time and if we are going to eat meat at all then this is the way to do it.

Lambs are born and they have a close bond with their mother. They grow up and spend their lives with their mother. They form bonds with the other lambs and play together in the meadows. They have a close social bond with all of the other sheep in their flock. If you put two flocks in the same field they each stay with their own, so they must recognise each other and have some relationship. They have acres of space and they are cared for.

It is watching this that has brought home to me that all animals should at least have this much and they don’t.

Blue TexelsMy vegetarian stance is a stand against intensive farming. I have not become a faddy eater, If I come round to your house I will eat whatever is put in front of me  (hopefully that will be roast lamb) but I don’t want to buy it or have animals mistreated on my behalf when I can manage quite well without it.

It just became too difficult to sort out where my meat had actually come from so I decided that the simplest thing was to give it up completely.

So what does it mean…. “going vegetarian?”

On the face of it, it looks pretty grim.

Veggie BurgersI am a good cook. For many years I did all  of the family cooking. Preparing food for others is a way of showing love and I take to it readily. These days I live alone and most of the time I can’t be bothered to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when it is just for me.

I tend to make myself a pot of stew or casserole and that will do me for two days with a nice roast chicken that quickly becomes a pasta or rice dish. It doesn’t take much time.

One of my favourite dishes until recently was pork belly, beans, peppers and chilli (hot chilli) and I would serve it with a big dollop of cottage cheese straight from the fridge. The contrast of the cold cheese and the burning chilli was delicious but I don’t do that any more.

I have had some good success making sausage casseroles with vegetarian sausages. They are proving delicious and spicy. I really couldn’t tell that there wasn’t meat in them.

Last night, for my supper I had baked sweet potatoes with goats cheese and salad. That was a strange combination of flavours a bit like salty chocolate that didn’t quite hit the spot for me.

I haven’t tried these next two yet.

In case you are new to vegetarianism I will tell you what I have found out.

TofuA Tofu is a small South African antelope that vegetarians are allowed to eat. It doesn’t look bad but I haven’t got it out of the box yet.

Sea SlugA Quorn is a Sea Slug without feelings. I can’t say that I fancy this one but I am ready to give it a try.

There is probably a lot more to vegetarian cooking than this but I have to start with what I know.

Anyway I am doing it for them. Every animal that ends up on our plates should have something of a life first.

Blue Texel

Blue Texel

Blue Texel

Blue TexelIsn’t that right Fluffy? 🙂

If I should go all wan and pale it might be because winter is coming and I may lose my tan.

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56 thoughts on “If I should go all wan and pale…”

  1. I saw Tofu in Kenya. And we get Quorn in the seafood restaurants. Similar to abalone. Vegetarian food will only appeal to me when I can get Wagyu lettuce and a medium rare nut loaf with the blood still oozing out as it sits and relaxes in the roasting tray. I am Welsh. I like sheep (Tautology?). I admire your philosophy but man is a hunter gatherer and he doesn’t gather tofu.

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    1. Thank you Andrew 🙂 I am glad that at least one other person has seen a Tofu. I have a friend in South Africa who writes wonderful posts about his local wildlife, very often animals that I am not familiar with. I am sure that if he wrote a piece on his local Tofu ranch at an appropriate time, say early in April, then he would get a lot of likes (How about it Boeta?) I agree that man is a natural hunter gatherer and that he should eat meat, also that there is nothing wrong with Welsh hill sheep, they have a good life. What is unnatural is treating animals as meat without any sentience. I am just avoiding it when I can 🙂

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  2. Meat free chicken pieces. How does that work? My chickens are all rare-breeds and as far as I can tell ‘appear’ to be made mostly of meat. Not that I’ve eaten any of them. Of course I could be wrong I’ve never kept a Quorn chicken.

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    1. Thanks Marc 🙂 It would be a lot better if people didn’t expect every meal to include meat but really in the west we eat meat and two veg, without the meat it isn’t a proper dinner. This is only a fairly recent idea, when I was growing up beans on toast was a nutritious meal for growing children. We have gone a bit over the top on our need for protein.

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  3. On a more serious note, I too am beginning to feel increasingly uneasy with the industrialisation of food production and modern farming practices where the focus ‘appears’ to be almost solely on yield. Consequently I eat less and less meat and more and more vegetables. It’s cheaper too, even if you buy orgasmic. Meat now is a rare treat which I guess is how it should be.

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      1. 😀 Um… Perhaps. Probably…The thing is that different devices display the layout differently and I have no way of knowing which word that you are seeing in that position. Or are you replying to Marc who gets a bit over excited at times. There is nothing overly odd in my text but I notice that Marc used the word orgasmic. Pretty sure that he meant it and I believe that it relates to a farming method where the animal lives a happy and fulfilled life and probably dies of pleasure 🙂 I think.

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    1. Thanks Maggie 🙂 I think that it is us who deserve better, we are being drained of our own self respect. It is okay to care for the smallest thing. It isn’t just okay, it is very important. If we can not see that then our manhood is taken from us.

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  4. I love animals, and I have been vegeterian for that reason since I was 11. 🙂 You should try cooking indian, it is very easy, and has lots of vegetables as well 🙂 I almost only cook indian 🙂 But my version of indian, which means less oil, less salt, less spices 🙂 🙂 I adore the sheep in the photo, they are so so cute!! 🙂 Animals are my friends, and i dont eat my friends 🙂

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    1. Thank you Trini 🙂 I am interested in Indian cooking, there is a lot about India that I see as peaceful and beautiful. I really don’t know much about the place but then, I don’t know much about anything. A lot of good vibes come out of India. Thanks for the comment and I too adore the sheep in the photographs but don’t tell Fizz. She thinks that she is the boss of them 🙂

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  5. I was a vegetarian for about six years, and I had no particular reason to be, other than for a long time, meat was not appetizing at all. Pregnancy made me crave meat — even things I’d never been fond of like bologna, steak and pepperoni — and that child is extremely carnivorous to this day.
    I eat very little meat, and not often. I’m the resident cook, so I prepare meat several times a week, I just don’t eat much of it. A few bites here and there. Meat makes for easy iron, and mine is always low. I do love the soups and gravies that are meat based.
    I have always felt a kinship with sheep. I don’t eat lamb. I prepare it, but I don’t eat it. It’s probably been twenty years since I ate any lamb.
    Tofu is all about how it’s prepared/seasoned, and it’s never too gamey 😉

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  6. I ate organic meat (fruit & veg, nuts & seeds) for many years because I liked the thought that the animals had a happy, natural life, but times have changed and I can no longer afford organic, so the cheapest it has to be.
    My 3 years as a vegetarian proved disastrous (despite my knowledge, some training, and 25 yrs research into nutrition). I was diagnosed with with digestive & absorption issues, so had to go back to meat.
    Good luck with the vegetarianism, but please ensure you include all the essential nutrients over the course of a few days as some people, especially teenagers, tend to cut out meat and don’t replace it with the complete nutritional substitutes.
    My severe health conditions do better on a Paleo diet (lean meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts & seeds – mostly). I have a problem digesting dairy & grains (although yoghurt is not so bad in small amounts).
    My best friend’s husband did well as a vegetarian for over 40 years…….until he had 2 heart attacks, that is. He has had to go back to lean meat and some fish. Interestingly, he is a lean, mean ‘fighting machine’ now. He was always a little overweight before (on a vegetarian, organic or biodynamic diet).
    I think ‘everyone to their own’. I still like free range, natural fed chickens and eggs though. The thought of caged chickens or barn laid eggs and force fed chickens makes me sick to the stomach. But a meagre pension does not allow me to follow my favoured style of eating, so I just try my best.
    PS to other commenters….I thought Quorn was a brand name and tofu…..well….it’s made from soy beans folks.

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    1. Thanks for your down-to-earth information. Many of us SS people cannot afford the price of organic food. And these days I’m wondering if the claims organic are truthful. Everything is all about money.

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      1. Why? That makes me so sad. I was so hoping that you had a place you could call home for a long time. I’ll be praying for you. No one should have to be in the cold. I’m so sorry, Colin. I really like you and Fizz. Please let us all know what’s taking place. You have lots of friends out here. Blessings to you, my friend. 🙂 Sandi

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      2. I can certainly taste the difference between organic and non-organic, especially broccoli and tomatoes, but one has to be realistic. Strawberries are the very worst for pesticides (both here on Australian information sites and US listings), so I rarely buy them these days.

        I figure it’s better to buy the most colourful fresh fruit and vegetables I can possibly afford giving me the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties (than any kind of grain or processed foods that I react to).

        I will always believe organic fresh food is best and, if you have metabolic or malabsorption problems and chronic ill health, there are some brands and types of supplements which may genuinely help. The trick is working out how to make my limited funds living on a Disability Pension, stretch to give me the best possible diet & quality of life. It would be so easy to eat cheap junk food and end up unable to function at all (in my case).

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      3. Thanks Sandi 🙂 I don’t have security in my life. There may be trouble ahead but I am very resourceful. There is no trouble today and that is all that we can ask for 🙂

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      4. I’m so sorry, Colin. I was so hoping that things would work out for you on the farm. It’s so beautiful, and although we’ve never met, I was happy for you. I can see that you are very resourceful as well as a survivor. But the thoughts of you sleeping in the cold makes me sad. I’m praying for you. Keep me informed. I’d like to keep in touch no matter what happens. Your friend, Sandi.

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    2. Thanks Vicki 🙂 I don’t intentionally leave things out of my diet but I sometimes just forget. Usually my body reminds me. When I was down and out, well I walk with a bit of a limp and my leg gets tired, all following a back injury a few years ago. I found the limp getting much worse and joint pain in my knee, Milk was the answer for that one, I was forgetting to get milk. I slowly work these things out 🙂

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  7. We are all meat eaters in our family but we don’t eat meat every day and I only buy meat that has been organically raised. This is more expensive but I don’t want to eat the meat from animals that have had a terrible life. Where I live there are plenty of farmers who breed free-range pigs, cows, sheep, chickens and turkeys and I know the places where I can buy this meat. The Co-Op sells meat that is free-range and I believe that it is easy to check that what is written on the labels is the truth. I also buy organic stock cubes from the health food shop if I need to. There are a number of farmers near where I live that intensively farm chickens and pigs and I see and smell these places regularly and it turns my stomach.

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    1. Thanks Clare 🙂 That is an ideal solution. I live out of town without a car and on a budget so I get my shopping delivered once a week. The trouble is that if you are buying from a big supermarket then you know that they squeeze their suppliers and welfare will be pushed to the limit. I am really just doing it this way because it is easier for me.

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      1. Yes of course! I am fortunate in having a car and that makes life easier. We are out of town too and often have considered having our shopping delivered but this does limit our choices. I hope the new diet works for you and you don’t feel too weak and wan for long.

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  8. Such a wonderful blog. The sheep are beautiful, but I would never eat of them. Sorry, I do not like the taste. I do not eat veal because of the way they are treated.
    I like baked sweet potatoes with a bit of black pepper and butter. And tofu here is made from the curd of soy milk, from what I have read.

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  9. Great post! Beautiful sheep! Heart-warming story of their relationships with each other. Jesus refers to us as His sheep and Himself as the good Shepherd. A good shepherd’s sheep look like the the sheep you just posted. Thanks for reminding me how well the Good Shepherd cares for me! Happy Trails!

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  10. I’m not a great lover of meat and I eat as little of it as possible. I hate to think of animals suffering for my food. I am toying with the idea of going vegetarian again. Well done you.

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  11. I try to avoid eating meat at restaurants as it is very rarely free range. At home I cook with free range meat or make vegetarian meals. Macaroni cheese is an easy one. Ratatouille I love, pasta with roasted vegetables tastes great. Also veggie curries. I rarely buy the fake meat sausages etc.

    Do you have a local library? That can be a good place to take out cookbooks and try new recipes.

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    1. Thanks Emily 🙂 I didn’t like the idea of fake meat but it allows me to carry on cooking the way that I know how and make the change slowly. Also so far it has been good. I still haven’t tried the Quorn though 🙂

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  12. I’ve eaten vegetarian diets most of my life but lately have been making the switch to vegan. It isn’t always easy but it sure is a good idea for our planet and the animals we share it with. The fake meat can be handy in a pinch but I like to get my protein from nuts and legumes because I think they are yummy.

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  13. I love, love this. My oldest son became a vegan for this very reason, although when he was fully into it he missed his tuna. He began eating a bit more meat when his then in-laws would cook for him. All they had came from their cattle farm, including the cherries for herd elicious fresh pies. Quality of life and the circle that flows does matter. Good luck. Tofu is good if you get the really firm variety and stir fry. Consistency is like chicken but I try to just picture a happy little tofu as youd said. I didn’t care for the Qorn products but that is just me. Much success in your new eating adventures. And those are some might fine looking sheep!

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  14. I like your new picture, by the way. You and Fizz, perfect. I’ve been a vegetarian almost my entire life, my daughter as well. Her two kids have never been anything else. They were never given animal products. They are in their teens and never tasted dead animals. We don’t wear leather or by animal products either. My daughter and I were activists for years, demonstrating in the streets, doing what little we could to shut down places that experimented on animals. Many animals lead short and horrific lives and know nothing but misery. People eat that fear, stress, terror and pain. They eat the antibiotics that are pumped into the chickens and pigs. People don’t think about what the stuff on their plate went through to get there Cruelty beyond belief. I think it just proves that human beings can actually live without a heart, those who run factory farms and torture and kill beautiful living beings. Having said that, I don’t know if you have Morningstar brand food where you live but their prime grillers and the rest of their vegetarian food is so yummy. If you can get it, try it. 🙂

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  15. Where we live, there are a number of farms that sell their meat, chicken, etc. which have been raised locally. For us it’s expensive, but certainly possible to find humanely raised animals. We don’t eat much meat just because, so for two people it’s okay. We do eat a lot of chicken, but there’s a lot of humanely raised chicken available and not too expensive. As for fish — only the wild caught is really good, but it’s a fortune.
    Good luck with your experiment.

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