Although there are many species of meats and seafood I don’t eat — duck, goose, beef, lamb, veal, deer, turtle, to name but a few — I’m not a natural vegetarian.
I do like meat and seafood, most times.
Despite this, I’m all ears when a conversation turns to vegetarians and vegans, as it did last night.
Some friends and I were having a hearty meat and fish dinner at Pieterasanta, that delightful Italian restaurant in the heart of Portsdown Road. More about that dinner in a future post.
For this post, it’s about the train of thought triggered by HTK, one of my dining companions, who in turn turned to the topic because I started talking about one of his ex-colleagues I had run into recently.
That started him talking about another ex-colleague who had turned vegetarian in preparation to become a Buddhist monk. But that wasn’t the thrust of his spiel. Instead it was about the good value and service of the $25+++ set lunch served by Seven on Club.
He extolled Seven on Club for being so service oriented that it was prepared to cobble together a vegetarian set lunch for his ex-colleague, even though it wasn’t part of the daily deal — and charged nothing extra for it.
Besides making me want to visit Seven on Club sooner rather than later, HTK’s story also caused me to think about the vegetarians and semi-vegetarians I’ve known, who took their meatless route for different reasons.
There was my dad. He became a vegetarian when he was 19 and according to family folk lore for no reason than that he fell sick every time he ate meat. And so he continued his meatless regime till he passed away at 87.
Then there is this friend from Kuala Lumpur who made a vow to go vegetarian for life if her desperately sick older sister could survive her heart operation. Her sister did and my friend has been a staunch vegetarian for over a decade now.
A new young friend who came into my circle recently — via the chair yoga class — is also a vegetarian.
She’s a jet-setting professional who just returned from a 3-month working stint in a Namibia manufacturing operation. She’s healthy and full of life and when asked whether vegetarian food was available in South Africa (I’m quite suaku), declared it wasn’t a problem at all.
And of course there is my old school mate, the indefatigible Betty Khoo — mother of motivation guru Adam Khoo and also best selling author of the Cancer Cured and Prevented Naturally book.
She has in recent years gone vegetarian, for the environment and health, though I don’t think she’s as strict about it being a wholly non-meat meal at all times.
A close relative of mine who after a family tragedy a couple of years ago has gone vegetarian too but, like Betty, not in a fussy way. Eat vegetarian whenever he has control over his meal.
A long-time Indian friend is vegetarian for a few days every week. He reminds me of the time when my mum ran a hair-dressing business. She and her staff used to go vegetarian for 10 days every month, and in certain months — the 3rd, 6th and 9th month according to the Lunar calendar, if I remember correctly.
In those days, staff were given board and lodging as part of their employment package. So some workers who weren’t into vegetarianism used to complain that that was a cunning way for the boss to save on her workers’ food bills.
Of course that was decades ago when veggies were cheap and meat expensive. Now both run neck and neck!