Vegetarian, pescetarian, whatever…

February 3, 2008 at 10:58 pm 4 comments

The last time I went vegetarian was a couple of years ago, not that long after I started work at my most recent job. This was partially a matter of money – I was living off my credit cards most of the time. The canteen at work wasn’t the kind of place that would accept Visa, so I’d calculate the cost of a month’s worth of baked potatoes with cheese – the cheapest meal that was actually filling. This wasn’t a difficult calculation – it was a pound and a penny, and so in an average month I’d need £20.20 to take me round to my next paycheck. I got absolutely sick of baked potato, and even sicker of the cheap plastic cheese the canteen used.

Which doesn’t really explain why I went vegetarian, but does lead into the fact that I kept up the pretence of being a vegetarian long after I’d given up. It’s not easy dissecting my mental state during that year of sleep-deprived zombiehood, but I think I just didn’t want to admit that I’d failed. And I had – I’d bought a big pack of ham as I walked home drunk one evening and scarfed the lot as soon as I got in. But since I couldn’t afford to eat any of the delicious meaty dinners at work, it was easier to pretend I was vegtarian and really liked jacket potatoes than to admit that they were all I could afford.

Later on, I gave up trying to conserve money and bought whatever damn meals I wanted. I did this by putting even more on my credit cards. By the time the debt was paid off, I owed nearly £7000 on them. I was way past caring whether people thought I was a failure or not. The pallid grey skin probably clued them in. That and the way I used to walk around with my eyes closed because I was so fucking tired.

But anyway, I’ve been a vegetarian at varying intervals in my life. The first time was just after I left school. I’m not sure why. The fact that animals die to feed me doesn’t really bother me. I may just have been bored of eating meat. So I went vegetarian and the weight I’d been carrying around at school disappeard. Of course, I was also going quietly insane at the time and often forgot to eat meals, which may have helped. For the first time in my life I could tell that I had ribs. Which was nice.

I’ve flipped between my current carnivourous state and vegetarianism on an irregular basis ever since. And I think now might be a good time to go back to vegetarianism. I’m putting on weight and going vegetarian always seems like a good way of getting rid of it. The seroquel does seem to be causing some weight gain, but then again, most of it’s probably due to my terrible diet. It’s not impossible to eat badly as a vegetarian, but it requires more imagination than with meat. If I allow fish as an exception then I’ll be more likely to eat oily fish, which has those oh-so-good-for-mood-stability omega-3 oils.

And that would make me a pescetarian which is a cool word.

And hey, you can’t actually get much worse than the food I’ve been eating recently.

Anyway, I’ve finally washed up the dishes that have been hanging around in the sink for the last couple of months and I’m ordering food from the supermarket (because I’m lazy about actually going to the supermarket) for the first time in ages. (I’ve also just taken my Seroquel, which I probably should have done earlier, because it’s getting on for 11pm, but I didn’t get up until 11am, so it’s probably OK.)

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Side Effects that make you go WTF?! Sugar, Self-harm, Suicide

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. adifferentvoice  |  February 4, 2008 at 10:52 am

    I’ve just had an email from an American friend telling me to read “Skinny Bitch” – how becoming vegetarian will make me thin again. One out of four of us in the family is vegetarian, and she’s the skinny one, so – genes aside – I guess it makes sense. I’m still wondering why my friend thinks I should read this book though …

    One of the great things about being vegetarian is how damned superior it makes you feel. My younger vegetarian daughter begins every meal with the animal sounds of the meat we are eating … Unsurprisingly we eat a lot less meat than we did.

    Hope it works for you.

  • 2. exactscience  |  February 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I eats what I eats.

    I think being a vegetarian was cool in the seventies when it was all hip and boho but now being a vegetarian means too many different things to different people. Me, I stopped eating meat and then fish because I went off the taste after cooking for myself and being too lazy.

    I prefer the term picky, I get strange looks for saying I am vegetarian but not having a moral reason for it.

  • 3. James  |  February 19, 2008 at 1:37 am

    I’ve been vegetarian for four years now and love it. My decision was mostly made from my belief in Buddhism. Some Buddhists decide to become veggie because of the teaching in Buddhism to not harm others.

  • 4. experimental chimp  |  February 19, 2008 at 9:46 am

    adifferentvoice: I don’t really get self-righteousness from vegetarians – they’re still responsible for large numbers of animal deaths from culled male calves in dairy farming, and culled chickens in egg production. I wouldn’t recommend telling your daughter this though as catering for vegans is annoying. Then again, I don’t think eating meat is morally bad, just not always a sensible dietary choice.

    exactscience: The vegetarian society get really tense about people loading the word vegetarian with extra meanings. They’re the ones who seem to have come up with the word pescetarian. People eating fish and claiming to be veggie annoyed them enough to have a campaign about it.

    James: Sounds like a sensible decision, then.

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?

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As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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