Tuesday, 25 November 2014

It’s a bit like being a vegetarian

Carrot on Steel - Nick Wallis (2014)
Being sober in a drinking world is like being a vegetarian. I don’t know why it’s taken me eleven months to realise this. 

The moral high ground, the generally feeling healthier, the creeping certainty other people are having more fun than you…

I respect vegetarians and vegetarianism.* I aspire to eat less meat. I could probably go quite happily without it.

Vegans are proper hardcore. I once tried a vegan diet and lasted two weeks. It’s a lifestyle which requires great bundles of morality and fibre.

Being teetotal is much the same. All these drunk people ruining the world, ruining themselves and me. Me. Me being a little bit special. Not just a better person, but also able to remind people of The Path I Have Chosen every time we go for a drink or a meal.

Richard Herring stopped being a vegetarian once he realised he probably liked slightly annoying people with his moral superiority more than he enjoyed not eating meat.**

I would hate Britain to become the sort of society where having a few sherberts after work is no longer considered okay. Where career, family and vegetariansim/environmentalism/charity/church/over-consumption of material goods become life’s be-all and end-all.

I’d like to think there is a place for hedonism, rueful recovery and the occasional opportunity to put aside our worries and celebrate being alive. So long as most of the time we’re all eating carrots.


* Though my friend Natt (a comedian and journalist currently pulling up trees at usvsth3m) points out vegetarians must not like animals as they clearly want to see far less of them around. Natt only eats animals who have lived well. If the restaurant doesn’t know the provenance of its meat, he’ll take  a vegetarian option.

** The person Richard told this to (Sara Pascoe, in another excellent RHLSTP) eloquently argued he should have remained vegetarian notwithstanding - if you believe in the idea of vegetarianism voting with your wallet makes a real difference.

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