One morning late last August, I came downstairs to find my husband standing in the kitchen who uttered the words no woman wants to hear:
“I am becoming a Vegetarian”.
To say I was shocked is a bit of an understatement. Ass Monkey is a Meat Man.
Tales of his BBQs are whispered in snugs around North County Dublin; his pulled pork sandwich creations have been known to end long-standing family feuds and his Xmas glazed ham.. well, let’s just say it’s 84% the reason I married him.
But as a lover of documentaries, Ass Monkey had watched one on Netflix the previous evening which outlined all of the reasons why meat consumption is not only a huge strain on our global resources, but also endlessly cruel to – as he put it himself – “the poor animals”.
I sort of thought it might be a phase. He was shocked by what he’d seen but would forget about it and would slip back to his glorious Lamp Chops served with honey mustard glaze ways, wouldn’t he?
Our wedding was coming up and I despaired, “What are you going to EAT, though?!” and his reply was calm and assured, “They better have amazing vegetarian food or there’ll be trouble”.
And Ballymagarvey Village DID have amazing vegetarian food and there was no trouble.. aside from when I started drinking shots at the bar..
Let’s move on.
On honeymoon in Edinburgh, we mostly ate at great Vegetarian restaurants. I figured it would be easier for both of us to eat well at a dedicated vegetarian restaurant than have one of us eat badly at a regular restaurant. And to be fair, it was all very nice. Actually, I mostly drank through those few days so it was all VERRRY nice!
He cooked the Xmas turkey and ham.. but says 2016 is the very last time he’ll ever do it. This could be grounds for an annulment.
Because I don’t cook – no, really, not a single thing, I’m just so shit at it – most of what I have consumed at home has been strictly vegetarian.
There was a spell there where my dad would take a trip to his farmhouse in Roscommon and arrive home with sirloin steak that he would slip into my hand when Alan wasn’t looking. He’d make a great prison guard, my ole lad, and they were the most delicious contraband I have ever tasted.
But as I have eaten less and less meat, I find that my desire to eat it has also lessened. I haven’t seen the documentary that Ass Monkey watched but I see in my husband that there is something very important here in what he is doing.
He wants to reduce our carbon footprint in the world, he wants to save the animals who are reared for the butchers shop from a life of cruelty, and he wants to live a healthier lifestyle too.
At this moment in time, there isn’t a scrap of meat in our fridge or freezer. We have quorn this and that and are horsing eggs into us like our (protein) lives depended on it.
Sorry, I said ‘horsing’. My bad.
Do I miss it? I do. Did I have a sneaky McChicken sandwich on Saturday afternoon when I had a bit of a hangover? I did.
Am I proud of myself? Not really. Just don’t tell Ass Monkey, ‘k?