In the pub beer garden opposite my office they are currently roasting a hog. A whole hog and nothing but the hog. I've been a bit upset by it all day, mainly because every time I leave the office I'm confronted with it, in addition to the fact that it's all we can smell today.
I've been a vegetarian since I was about 10, and in that time have never been tempted to eat meat. There was one occasion when I bit into a scampi thinking it was a breaded mushroom, but it was quickly spat out and I spent the rest of the evening feeling pretty sick. We were on holiday the summer when I told my parents that I no longer wanted to eat meat, but it was hard because they kept cooking my favourite meals. They supported me by only cooking veggie dinners for a whole month when we got back, which gave me the kick start I needed. I'm eternally grateful to them for this.
I have lots of friends who are vegetarians and vegans based on animal rights arguments; which whilst I respect, don't form the underlying basis for my personal choice when it comes to eating meat or not. My parents have just given a home to three ex-battery farmed chickens; called Paulo, Di and Canio. The state of these poor birds when they arrived really shocked me. I have other friends who are vegetarians because they are aware of the environmental impact of the meat industry. Again whilst these a valid reasons, they aren't mine.
I've never been particularly preachy about my vegetarianism. For me, the idea of eating something that used to be alive, running or swimming around, talking to its brothers and sisters, completely turns my stomach. And as soon as I was conscious of the fact that meat comes from animals, then that was enough for me.
What I can't abide is people that eat meat, who don't face up to where their meals are coming from. The people that say, oh I couldn't eat it if I saw its head, or eyes, or tail, or whatever. At least understand that you are killing an animal to eat it. If you can face up to that and either not care or choose to eat it after that, then fair play. That's your decision. The same as choosing not to eat meat is my decision.
And whilst the hog roast is making me feel uneasy and uncomfortable, in some aspects I'd rather the pub was doing that then just BBQing sausages. At least the customers will see exactly where their dinner is coming from.
PS The hog is now wearing a fetching jacket of silver foil. Not unlike our new Home Secretary...