Is Vegetarianism a Life Style?
– VEGETARIANISM –
Good food is a celebration of life, but it seems strange to me that in order to live we have to kill. That is why I do not eat meat. I see no need for killing. There are increasing numbers of people who, like myself, no longer want to eat meat, fish and poultry and are turning to a vegetarian diet.
Certainly we do not have to kill to feed ourselves. All the proteins, vitamins and minerals that we need in order to live and to be healthy are easily available in the endless variety of plant life, and in those gifts animals give us painlessly, such as milk and eggs.
Many of us are turning to vegetarianism in our own interests, which are the interests of all human beings, because millions of people on this planet are dying of hunger, but food which could keep them alive is used for animals which grow fat only to be killed and eaten by the richer nations of the world.
In recent years, dramatic new reasons have made people think again about what they eat. More and more foods have now become the products of factories rather than farms. Chemicals “improve” the appearance of foods and make them keep longer. Animals and poultry are treated with sex hormones to make them grow faster – and, of course, to increase profits.
The results are unknown dangers to human consumers, including the possibility of various types of cancer. Industrial societies have pumped poisonous chemicals into rivers and seas. Eat fish and you eat these poisons, too… But this is a book about pleasure, not pollution. I hope that even if you are still in the habit of eating meat and fish, you will try some of the different ways and means of cooking here.
You might even find yourself happily becoming a vegetarian, too. People often ask me, puzzled, how vegetarians eat. Their puzzlement is real. They think of their own meals without the meat and think “how awful”. But in fact their meals are pretty awful anyway: dull, unimaginative, boring. Even in ‘good’ cooking, variety is usually found only in the main course, usually meat or fish.
Things like salads, vegetables and bread are of little importance and are the same every time. This standard meal is served with little change from day to day and week to week. Soup, ‘main course’, salad, dessert: this is the unchanging order of the standard meal. The first thing to do when thinking of vegetarian cooking is to forget these stereotyped ideas. Vegetarian cookery is rich and varied, full of many marvellous dishes with a character all their own. A vegetarian meal does not have to have a ‘main course’: it can be made up of several equally important courses, or of several dishes served at the same time.
A. 1. What is the authors own reason for being a vegetarian?
2. According to the author, what reasons do people have for becoming vegetarians?
c) 3. State one difference between a standard meal and a vegetarian meal.
B. Mark the best choice.
1. Line 5, ‘poultry’ means .
a) cattle and sheep b) farm birds such as chickens c) vegetables
2. If something is ‘available’ (line 8), you are able to .
a) obtain it b) see it and hold it c) do it without difficulty
3. If you are ‘puzzled’ (line 28), you are .
a) very eager to try out something new
b) confused because you don’t understand something
c) enthusiastic about learning something
4. Where do you think the text is from?
a) The autobiography of a vegetarian. b) A newspaper article on vegetarianism.
c) The introduction to a book about environmental problems. d) The introduction to a vegetarian cookbook.