Last Saturday I had a great party of the uncle and aunt of my boyfriend who had been married for 40 years now. A trip to a Dutch mini-island, a walk amongst the Scottish Highlanders, with horse cart through the great landscape and a closing dinner with all the 50 guests in a beautiful conference / party center.
My dear aunt did have inherited that I (nowadays) prefer not to eat meat. She called me to ask if I ate fish. “Well, rather not.” What kind of answer is that anyway. ‘Not to prefer’, when it comes to not eating meat or fish, is not socially accepted at all. Either you definitely do not eat it, or you love it. The case is, I do not eat meat for a variety of reasons. Animal welfare is one. But the climate is one that weighs more heavily. To put it dramatically: the survival of the planet, of human. That means no fish either.. Bad for the biodiversity. “Anyhow” my aunt would make sure I wouldn’t be served neither fish nor meat in the evening.
I turn out to be a beginner. For what do party centers, caterers, restaurants,serve, not serving meat or fish? Exactly: cheese. And well, with those considerations of mine, cheese of course is not an alternative. For example, a kilo of cheese equals 400 grams (calf) meat. That hurts. Firstly because I like cheese and meat and fish, but I can live with that. Secondly, which is worse, because I hamper my entire environment. The average citizen does not have the knowledge to prepare an evening meal without meat, fish and cheese.
The dinner buffet made me sad, if not hopeless, and at least I felt ridiculous. Loads of chicken, beef, pork (preferably with cheese). Bowls filled with shrimp, smoked salmon, smoked chicken. Like it grwos on trees. Any vegetables? 1 bowl of beans, 1 of potatoes (with cream and cheese!). Of course, about three quarters were left overs. But hey: meat is cheap, so no loss. Right?
Philosophizing about the path to the ‘new cooking’, I poked at my plate with lettuce, tomatoes and a Valess hamburger. The only thing missing on my plate was a note saying “too bad, your loss”.
Restaurants, caterers! I cannot tell my aunt I don’t eat anything of what you serve except for the green beans! There are lternatives (which save biodiversity, carbon, nitrogen, health and animal welfare) :