Thursday, 7 August 2014

Meat Nostalgia

One morning last week, while waiting for customers to turn up, I found myself in a conversation circling around delicious meat dishes. It was not long before my lunch break and I was literally counting the minutes when one of my coworkers started talking about the Currywurst she'd had the day before. I immediately started reminiscing the times when we'd eaten these sausages in Cologne which then led me to danish Hot Dogs and Austrian "Winer Schnitzel". We were all happily chatting away on the delicious world of meat when one of the girl's I'm working with stated the obvious : "You do realize that you're raving about meat right?"

I don't remember exactly what i responded but i do know that it only became clear to me in that moment that I had practically vowed to never eat those dishes I love again. This got me wondering, would I really be able to go through with completely cutting meat from my diet?
The more I thought about it, I noticed that all of the foods i found so difficult to let go of were linked to very distinct places and events and simultaneously evoked positive memories. 

I will always remember the skiing holidays when my dad refused to cut my Schnitzel for me so I would learn to do it myself and I still had one every single day, no matter how much I struggled with eating it (not my father's brightest educational moment by the way).

Our family holidays in Denmark would definitely not have been the same without the Hot Dog lunches at the beach and every single visit to Cologne ends at that same "Currywurst" stand, where my stepfather finally gets his sausage. I don't even want to imagine what Christmas is going to be like for me next year, when I won't be eating one of the only meat dishes I enjoy purely for the taste and texture of the meat: stuffed turkey. 

However, I believe that the greatness of these foods is most probably at least partially a product of my brain and influenced by Nostalgia. If someone would be offering me a Wiener Schnitzel at this precise moment, I wouldn't even contemplate eating it for a second. During the skiing holidays in Austria though? Entirely different question.
Some meals will always remind me of certain places and bring up memories, as well as connect me to the people I shared these moments with. While the food wasn't the most important thing in that moment, thinking about what you had for dinner that night often sparks a firework of positive memories surrounding that meal.

Even though I am almost 100 percent sure I will never crave meat in a way that would make me throw away the principles I believe in now, I cannot say the same for the dishes which have a certain sentimental value to me. Whether I am going to manage to refuse having a serving of turkey at christmas this year, I don't know, simply because I am not sure if I really want to forbid myself the pleasure.

Not having faced any such challenges so far, following a vegetarian diet has come quite easy to me and I still believe that it is the right thing to do, for me at least. I am only at the very beginning at this journey though and I haven't decided yet on how I am going to handle certain situations.

What is your opinion on this matter, do you think it's ok to have meat at certain special occasions simply because it is a tradition?

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