Monday, 15 February 2016

Less and Better

Less and better feels like a natural mantra for Clean 2016. That's what I think when I'm tempted by cheap, fast fashion - if I don't buy lots of cheap things, I can afford some really lovely, high quality, better fitting pieces.

But it's a mantra that I'm trying to extend into other areas of my life. I was once vegetarian for nearly three years, but was plagued by stomach and digestive issues for a large proportion of that time so regretfully went back to eating meat. I've had an uneasy relationship with meat-eating ever since.

Rich decided that he wanted to satisfy a lobster craving this weekend and it was a treat for me as I'd never eaten lobster before. We got up early on Saturday morning to head down to the fishmongers to select one - which I unwisely named Pinchy - and that afternoon Pinchy was killed with a swift knife through the back of his head and cooked up for Sunday's lobster risotto.

We got talking about what we're going to do with ourselves when I move down permanently and we both agreed that an early start on a Saturday morning was quite nice. Particularly when it involves food shopping, which naturally turned to where we want to shop. While supermarket shopping is quick, cheap and convenient, there's nothing like building relationships with your local butcher, grocer and fishmonger. Eventually, we dream of a smallholding where the meat we eat we have raised ourselves, ensuring that it's had a good life and a humane death. Showing respect for the animal by using every bit, rather than just the traditional or trendy cuts.

While my vegetarianism was born of a desire not to eat the cute and cuddly creatures, what underpinned it was the awareness that farming on the industrial scale necessary to feed the world's demand was incredibly bad for the environment. Returning to that cycle felt like a failure.

But perhaps less and better is the way out of that cycle. Less meat and fish means more money to buy organic, local and humane meat when we do eat it. Not eating meat for every meal, every day, means checking out of the rampant consumption of meat that is going on. Adjusting my own meat intake to less and better feels like something I can be comfortable with.

Clean 2016 is teaching me that all I have to do is focus on what I care about, the issues that matter to me and the ways in which I can be comfortable with that. It's not about doing what someone else says is 'right' because ultimately, everyone's opinion is going to differ, it's about finding my right.

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