Bored of Michael Legge viewing me from his Olympian Heights as an increasingly diminishing speck, I have decided to try to be a vegan. I will follow in the footsteps of my heroes, such as Ed Begley Jr, Weird Al Yankovic and Tony Kanal.
I am not sure how long it will last. It could be over as soon as I am drunk anywhere near a meringue shop. Since I have made this decision I have been given a very good, and large, bottle of Bordeaux that, sadly, I’ve been told has been sieved through cattle colon or similar, and a box containing really wonderful jars of honey. Bee bi-products have hints of waggle dance slavery, so that is out too. (you can check more on Vegan things at The Vegan Society site)
The house still contains mince pies, and milk chocolate in reindeer and santa shapes. As much as I try to put myself off by imagining the distended, mastitis racked udders that were part of the confectionery narrative, they still tempt me.
I like challenges, but have high expectations of failing to meet them. I surprised myself when I managed eleven and a half months of teetotalism. I am tempted to return to such sobriety. Actually, tempted is probably not the right word. It was Michael Legge who shived me off my alcohol free pedestal in the midst of one of our shows. Though he thought it was quite acceptable to goad me with Red Stripe, screaming, “I can’t work with you being fucking sober anymore”, I am not sure he would have considered it as charming had I suddenly pulled a sheet of ham from my duffle coat hollering, “this act is over until you stink of abattoir pig!”
I wouldn’t have done that anyway. I rarely carry ham and haven’t eaten it for 26 years.
I have been a vegetarian, from late teens to 30s. I found myself lured back to occasional, then increasingly frequent, fish. After killing something in the garden with a hover mower (mouse or frog, I didn’t know, but something pink with guts), I returned to vegetarianism, but fell into fish if it looked too delightful on a plate or menu.
There is no methodical. empirical reasoning behind this attempt.
I have read of the burden of livestock farming on the earth, but not so thoroughly I could argue the point.
A reduction in my lavish consumption of cheeses and Cadbury’s Miniature Heroes may make me slightly less unhealthy.
I quite like the idea of being kinder to things with eyes (and cave crabs too) by not eating them or putting them in restricted spaces to collect the offerings that fall from their cloaca.
This does not mean that I may well not find myself sitting in chairs made of hide, using products that may have required effort from donkeys, or that everything I touch, feel, experience or imagine involves no abuse, stretching or tickling of animals at all.
I am sceptical of the Vegan Society’s claim that all animals fear death as humans do. Even though trout may not recognise themselves in the mirror, I may try and contribute to a reduction in their flailing on a bank, even if they may not be having flashbacks of childhood larks in pondweed and games with tadpoles.
In moments of frustration, I may lash out and destroy a clumsy housefly.
I am not doing this to be better than you.
I am not making any grand declaration – “nothing i will ever do will ever accidentally, knowingly, unknowingly or in any other way do any harm to any animal whatsoever” – I am just going to have a go at doing a thing and see what happens from there.
Almost every food product I am about to consume worries me. I find myself asking even more stupid questions than usual – “Is bread vegan? Are olives vegan? Can I eat oats that may have previously desired by shire horses?”
I find it interesting as it means I have to question the biscuits more thoroughly.
I have already been warned by Legge that any mention of veganism means that you are “banging on about veganism”. It is quite fine to spend seventeen hours talking about football, but saying no to a scotch egg is apparently like addressing a rally in a pristine uniform, with razor trouser creases and excessive arm gestures.
By the time this post has reached your eyes, a triangle of Dairylea may have made a mockery of all I’ve said, and the cracks in my lips may be smeared with cheese, but I can always fail better tomorrow.
I am off to tour Australia for Atheist folk (believers welcome too) dates HERE
And I am off to USA with Prof Cox dates HERE
and I have a smattering of UK dates from Berwick to Belfast, Swindon to Glasgow, Edinburgh to Uckfield http://www.robinince.com