I’ve been vegetarian for 25 years. I don’t eat meat or fish or any of their derivatives; I do eat eggs and dairy products. As part of my varied and balanced diet I also eat lots of vegan dishes – not because they’re vegan, but just because I like them.
My choice to give up eating animal products was a personal one. I disliked the thought and experience of eating flesh, and found myself becoming ever more squeamish about the cuts of meat I was eating. It felt wrong and hypocritical to tuck into a slice of lean roast beef, for example, when I shuddered at the idea of eating liver. How could I be complicit in the slaughter of an animal for food if I wasn’t prepared to eat every part of it?
It’s one of the best decisions I ever made. I enjoy good health, have little difficulty keeping to a weight I’m happy with, and really relish food. It’s also made me a far better cook that I might otherwise have been.
I’ve watched the recent explosion in popularity of veganism with a little amusement and a great deal of appreciation. At last restaurants and shops are starting to offer more choice for people who don’t eat meat. No more will I have to opt for the only meat-free “choice” on a menu regardless of whether I actually want to eat it or not.
So the news that Greggs are selling a new vegan sausage roll can only be a good thing, right? At last they are catering for non-meat eaters. It’s not something I’ll be rushing out to buy, as I’m not a great fan of pastry. But other people are . . . And they’re still selling their regular meat sausage rolls, too, so everyone should be happy.
But they’re not. Meat eaters have been howling in protest. TV presenter Piers Morgan called Greggs “PC-ravaged clowns”. What’s going on?
I simply cannot understand why some people feel so threatened by the dietary choices made by others. Which brings me to my original question. What’s so scary about a vegan sausage roll? Can anyone tell me the answer?