I believe that the Meatless Mondays idea is an international campaign which started in the USA. Here in the UK we have Meat-Free Mondays, which is spearheaded by Paul McCartney and his family. I was reminded of this campaign yesterday (Monday) when I was round at my mother’s house for dinner. There were just three of us, my mother,my stepfather,and me and, unbelievably, they ate the same vegan meal as I did! That seems like cause for celebration to me, as it must be a first. Usually when I go to family meals I just have to eat what they are having, but without the meat, if that is possible, (e.g. if it is a roast dinner). I can’t ever remember an occasion before where we all had a vegan meal together! It was very tasty too: it was a spicy vegetable casserole made by my Mum with nut-burgers (I think they were Linda McCartney ones).
However I think it was probably more coincidence than anything else, that my Mum had cooked a completely vegan meal (because I was visiting), and it happened to be Meat-free Monday. I made sure I did point that out to her though, naturally! My stepfather enjoyed the meal, as he always says he doesn't like meat much anyway. When in the past I have suggested to him that he could easily go vegetarian in that case, he says he couldn’t possibly because he is very "active" and needs the “physical strength “meat gives him *sigh*. This is one of the major problems we have with converting people, I am sure you will agree – they believe that they can't possibly be fit and healthy without meat. When we had finished my Mum commented that the meal was “not bad, as veggie food goes”! The implication being that it is all boring, tasteless rabbit food. (I kind of wish it was, as I might lose weight then! I love my food and often eat more than I should).
We got talking about health and the benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, etc. and I pointed out to my Mum that it has recently been on the TV news here in Britain that processed meats have been scientifically proven to cause cancer (all forms of meat do, actually, but the processed ones,burgers,etc.,are the worst). My Mum's response to that was: “Everything causes cancer!” Erm no, not everything - no one has yet proven that a diet of fruit, vegetables and grains causes cancer! In fact fruit and veg are some of the nutrients that help to prevent it, as they are rich in anti-oxidants ( I am touching on my last blog here Can A Vegan Diet Cure Cancer? It is my Mum's own sister, my aunt who I mentioned in my last blog, who is suffering from cancer, by the way.) Believe it or not, my Mum is actually the most veggie-friendly member of my family! The rest of them are less open-minded than her. I can't imagine any of them ever going vegan or vegetarian, but never mind. I'm the odd one out, but I won't compromise my principles for family get-togethers.
This determination not to give up meat is positively bloody-minded with a lot of people, and I don't think my relaitves are any exception. This is particularly relevant in the case of my mother and stepfather who are pensioners, and often complain about the cost of living, and struggle to get by financially. They would save a lot of money , besides improving their health (not to mention saving animals) if they gave up meat, as I gather that meat prices have risen astronomically over the last few years (good!!!) So there is more than one reason why it would benefit them to give it up. Ah well, if people won't see it, you can't make them, can you?
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