30 Years a Veggie! #nvw15 #vegetarian

When did you last eat meat?  This morning?  Dinner or lunch yesterday?  For me it was March 1985.

I didn't just wake up one morning and decide to 'go veggie', it had been a process over six months or so.  First sausages because they were quite gross in the '80s, then steak, then mince, then liver, which I actually quite liked (weird child), and on it went.  I had turkey with my Christmas dinner 1984, and must have had ham in sandwiches and that kind of thing after, but March 1985 sticks in my mind as the date of my commitment.  That was when I became a vegetarian.

The two main questions I get asked are do you miss meat? (no) and what do you eat?

The second of those surprises me as there is so much variety now, and so many different variants and ideas, not to mention a plethora of vegetarian recipe books.  Back in the 1980s no-one really knew what to do with us.  My poor mum was utterly stumped - I survived on normal meals just without the meat part for at least a year.  Eating out meant a vegetable lasagne well into the 1990s, and a holiday in Austria saw me offered a prawn or a cheese omelette every night for a week!

Thankfully, much has changed.

National Vegetarian Week runs from Monday 18th to Sunday 24th May this year, and we will be sharing lots of great vegetarian recipes and foods with you.  If you want to try going veggie for a week, look out for our meal plan and shopping list on Saturday.  Or, if you just want to try some of the recipes, we'll be posting new ones every day next week.

To make sure you don't miss a post, subscribe via e-mail in the box up on the top right of this page.

Go meat-free this May, you might just like it!


  1. ooh good to know! I started around Christmas 1983 (when the only thing you could get was Sosmix!) - but kept Turkey Burgers going for about six months before I properly stopped. Still going strong now!! I never know when National Vegetarian Week is, so thanks for that! Shaun and H have to eat veggie as I do the cooking through the week - if they want meat they have to buy and cook it themselves!!

  2. That's an impressive commitment, Leta! Big well done!

  3. I last ate meat about 16 years I think, and I'm a very proud vegetarian! I tried being vegan for a while, and I felt amazing doing it but it was very hard to keep up. I will be trying it again at some point though as I would really like to be a vegan and really believe in it. I have only recently started eating tofu though which is strange. It has now become a staple for me. Looking forward to seeing your posts on this topic!

  4. It'll be 51 years this Boxing Day.There were very few of us in those days and having brilliant parents that allowed me to pursue this diet was a great help, as I was just a small chikd when I took the decision not to eat animals. Even though I lived in London it was nigh on impossible to find food specifically for veggies. I only had vegetarian cheese twice a year as I made my bi-annual trip to Harrods to get some as a special treat. You had to make it up as you went along as the availability of products was not as it is today. I only ever missed bacon- but as I love pigs, all I had to do was think about them and any desire faded in an instant. As time went on and exciting fruit, veg and herbs and spices came on the scene- life was wonderful. I still do not buy veggie ready meals as the taste does not compare and there are now do many recipe books to help us create fresh, delicious healthy food. I am waiting with baited breath for Jamie Oliver's vegetarian cookbook due out soon- as I know that will be used all the time.

  5. Julie Greenstreet15 May 2015 at 09:06

    Julie Greenstreet -
    I have been a vegetarian for 48 years to start with a vegan for about 10 years then as the children grew began eating cheese and milk - my children are all now grown men and big and healthy and never eaten meat in their lives I so much food around now - it is great - I started as a macrobiotic and this gave me a lot of nutrition knowledge which has been invaluable over the years - plenty of wholefood - short grain rice, pulses and veg

  6. My eldest has just become veggie, so this is really useful. Thank you. I've signed up to receive your emails, so I'll look forward to the recipes. Nutrition is a big worry for me at the moment, I really want to get it right!


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