Some of my best friends are vegetarian.


I don’t hate vegetarians, vegans or people who just breathe air until they die of starvation. I just hate tofu, lentils and anything made of soya that is supposed to taste like meat.


I couldn’t care less what you had for dinner.

I do suffer from limited patience with people who think they are better than me because they expel enough lentil gas from their rear ends to power a small city.

There’s recycling and there’s recycling.

I also suffer from a malady called sense-of-humor-itis that makes me poke fun at anyone who takes themselves way too seriously.

There is also the looming horror of having to prepare a gourmet vegetarian lunch for my son’s school next Tuesday.

His father is determined to enter into the parental competition and plans for me to whip some Nigella Lawson magical mystery meal.

Cook em rightI was just going to pop into the deli and beg a platter of something and some humus, but apparently I have to pretend that I can whip up a meal that my carnivorous 7 year old will actually eat, but that is obviously uber-healthy and contains no meat, fish, dairy, gluten or traces of nuts.

A very long time ago I met an old man in the streets of San Francisco who said to me, “This is a city of fruit and nuts. I am a fruit and I am a nut. You are what you eat.” And then he walked away humming happily to himself.

I was in fact once a tree hugging veggie person myself. Admittedly it was a bet. I can’t resist a good bet. I lasted my year exactly on the nose before ordering a massive rare fillet steak. By then of course, I was also suffering from kwashiorkor.

It seems to me that now anorexia and bulimia are a no-go people are trying to control their diets by becoming vegan, fruitarian, breatharian and lactose, glucose, gluten and food intolerant. Also these people love to put restauranteurs into paroxysms of panic as they order the most complicated thing on the menu and gradually turn it into a Greek salad.

If you like something, just say so, you don’t have to come up with a medical reason for it. I hate broccoli, brussels sprouts and wheat germ. I’m not allergic to them, although the scent of their cooking makes me sick to my stomach. I just hate ’em. So I don’t eat ’em.

If you eat a certain diet for religious, ethical of health reasons, do it with class and don’t judge the rest of us too harshly.

I love the comments this has received. Wow, almost as much response as the llamas. Although the llamas still puzzle me.

So let me respond as I realise this is a far more touchy topic than Islanic jihadists.

I am very lucky that I live South of the Equator and most of our meat does not come from batteries and antibiotic laden cows. The chickens I buy run free (okay mainly in the streets of the township nearby, but happy nonetheless). Even better, a lot of our meat is game, which is healthier and nicer anyway.

I did live in the States for a bit and after eating a steak there ended up living on Penne Napolitana after my stomach rebelled at all the additives.

Would I slaughter a cow for my dinner – probably not, and here’s where I fall back on traditional male female roles for a handy escape route. My husband would.

Being a vegetarian in a country of meat and two veg means that you end up eating a lot of Greek Salad and ubiquitous vegetarian platter – butternut, creamed spinach and a baked potato.There is only so much Greek salad you can handle.

My colleague, is importing Amazonian grain that has the texture of caviar and is worth its weight in gold. He’s vegetarian, recently vegan in an effort to reduce his cholesterol. I’m trying not to eat cheese in front of him. Apparently it is a lot like lighting up a Camel in front of someone who is trying to quit. Also – he sees a dietician – a lot.

As for the puppies and kittens that Westerners don’t eat – what can I say – don’t order a bunny chow off the street in Durban. Actually, that’s an urban myth – but I’m not chancing it.

We are all lucky enough to live in countries where we can eat whatever we want, where we can change our diets to rid them of allergens. My father-in-law grew up in Dachau. Pigeons, rats and anything on four legs was fair game. Survival mattered. Nothing else. Would you judge him?

And while you’re weeping for the chicken I had for supper last night, I’ll drop a prayer in for the brussel sprout who died screaming in his little vegetable soul. Until prana is a viable source of nutrition, we’re left with what the world can provide. Hopefully, prana will be a whole lot cheaper.

Lions cannot be vegetarian. Without them plucking off the old and sickly Impala, we’d be overrun with the pronking little beasts. Witnessing a lion take down a buffalo is a truly humbling experience. I won’t lie and say I didn’t weep. I did. I also came to terms with the wild.

I care less about why you choose the diet you do, then I care about the sex of the people you sleep with, the colour of your undies and what religion you follow. All are deeply personal choices. If you feel you need to justify them, you need to examine your own motivation.

By the way, mine are purple. Just in case you cared.