Monday, November 14, 2005

This is a Terror I Share


...I think it tends to be the case that vegetarian food takes more time, more effort than most meat heavy feasts. It's even more a labor of love if what you want to do is make someone who doesn't eat meat feel comfortable at the table. This is always a difficult area for me. I wouldn't want to be rude, and the idea of inviting someone who doesn't eat meat for dinner and then having the table heaving with flesh, except for some specially wrought, individual portion of some veggie-pleaser, however delightful, does make me uncomfortable. I do understand that squeamishness, moral and visceral, of those who abhor eating meat would be hard to overcome.

Indeed, I live in terror of being infected with it. There is a Graham Greene play, The Potting Shed, which tells the angst-ridden story of the impact on a devoutly atheistic family when one of their number has a religious vision, smartly followed by a stunned conversion, in the potting shed of the title. The fear and tension of the family whose scornful disbelief is so suddenly shot to pieces resound particularly with me, for I have a concomitant fear. One day something terrible, so ideologically unforeseen, could happen to me: one day I could wake up and find myself vegetarian.
And then to have to eat veggie burgers at summer barbecues? That is indeed a terrible vision.

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