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The Virtual Vegetarian


It crept up on me so slowly that I didn’t even notice. It began with minced beef. I went through a phase (when I was living on my own I must add) of eating spaghetti bolognese all the time until I decided that I just didn’t like minced beef any longer. It was not long after then while eating a steak that I realised I in fact didn’t like beef at all any more. Then my girlfriend started on this diet that included eating a lot of Quorn. For those of you who don’t know, Quorn is made from mycoprotein, which is a member of the fungi family (like mushrooms and athlete’s foot). It comes in a variety of formats to mimic meat products such as mince, chicken-style chunks, cottage pies, bacon and myriad other things.

Anyway, she started feeding me Quorn and much to my own surprise I liked it. In fact I liked Quorn mince a hell of a lot more than beef mince. I even love their cottage pies. I draw the line at their attempt at chicken breasts as they taste – for want of a better word – terrible. So when my girlfriend was working away I’d wander around the supermarket, think to myself “I could use some sausages”, and then find myself buying the Quorn ones instead of anything else. When I wanted a quick, microwave meal I’d buy Quorn cottage pies. Like I said, it crept up on me slowly. It was a long time before I realised that in fact the only meat I ate any more was in sandwiches at lunch and chicken when I’d get a curry from my local.

Let’s rewind a bit. I know quite a few vegetarians. I even know a couple of vegans. I’ve nothing against either. I could understand why people would go vegetarian (no idea about vegans though – anybody care to enlighten me?) but I just didn’t think it was me. Besides, with all the exercise I did I was doubtful that I’d have any energy without regularly eating something that used to walk, slither or crawl. In short, I never seriously considered it for myself.

But return to the present. I’ve spent the last year or so barely eating meat and with no ill effects. More energy than ever. So last week I decided, what the hell, I’ll stop eating meat altogether for a month and see how I get on (my local curry house does vegetarian alternatives that are excellent). So if I like it, I’ll stick with it. Of course, the first thing my girlfriend (eh, I mean fiance) did was buy some ham for my sandwiches (she never listens to me!). So with that out of the way I started again. So far I can still stand and don’t feel like all the blood’s been drained from my body. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

10 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. You want soy, my man. There’s been a recent development in the processing of soy which garners it 56% pure protein, which is unheard of in any meat alternative, and the way the non-GMO stuff is processed it’s eliminated most of the “bad” fibrous material that was common in years past, which makes it even easier to digest. Quite tasty stuff, too. I have a bowl of roasted soy grit on my desk and munch it all day long, but I’ve had soy ribs that were completely identical to regular ribs, except it didn’t leave me feeling all oogey after eating them.

    I go on these kicks every once in a while where meat just tastes yucky to me. Then I realize that if God didn’t want me to eat cows, He wouldn’t have made them so tasty and easy to catch. (Honestly, have you ever seen a cow try to escape The Man’s clutches? Never happened.)


  2. Support britain’s farmers – Eat MEAT!

    I think you need a nice & tasty kebab next time you come out for an ale. Get you back on track.

    If not, you should move down to the south east where the reat of the Veggies (and Man United fans) live.

    Nuff sed


  3. As far as I’m concerned ade, I already live in the south east. You’re all a bunch of southerners in my eyes!

    Still not sure about soy though Natalie, I’ve only just gotten into Quorn…


  4. I’m sorry, but Quorn can never be a substitute for a lovely sizzling, bacon sarnie……



  5. Well right enough, the meat in New Zealand was far better than over here. Maybe I’ve been spoiled and now can’t stomach what passes for meat in the UK…


  6. I’ve been veggie for over 20 years now and I’m still standing!!! Hope your trial run lasts longer than 4 weeks…
    Have your tried the vegetable hydrabdy at your local yet?

    PS. Congratulations on your engagement.
    Lisa x


  7. Incredibly lisa the last time I got take-away I went for the veg hyrdabady – and it’s superb (as I knew it would be). It may be psychological but I actually feel better since starting this veggie streak so there’s no reason I can see to go back to meat.

    Oh, and thanks – I keep forgetting to tell people we’re engaged!


  8. Weird. I’m a vegetarian but I have never heard of this Quorn product. I will have to look out for it (here in Italy you can’t find that kind of stuff it seems, but in the states I should have some luck.)

    Good luck on the vegetarian stuff. I have a friend who did it for a week and then ate a hotdog without realizing it. Weird girl. Anyway, keep up the good work.


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