Uncle Edvard

We have of late in our household become rather self-conscious about the food we eat, more precisely about the faceless animals which after a miserable life, get slaughtered in some grotesque abattoir and end up on our plate. Well, we have been conscious of it for quite some time now: eating meat and feeling guilty about it.

It was with these guilty thoughts in mind that we agreed recently to cut out meat from our menu and try and replace it with soya protein meals. But I have to admit this arrangement hasn’t been going too well, and a couple of weeks into it, the prospect of eating another battered tofu escalope has weakened my resolve somewhat. I decided to say nothing on the subject, opting instead to suffer in silence.

I am thus lost in thought, quietly brooding on this matter when the phone rings.

‘Hello?’, I answer. A heavy pause follows, which suggests either a stalker or an assassin – possibly both. Then I hear the voice of a little girl.

‘Helloooo’, she coos sweetly, in a pitch nature has devised for melting the hearts of hard-boiled old grumps like me.

‘Helloooo’, I coo back. ‘Who’s this?’, I say, in an unusually pleasant tone to a caller who clearly didn’t intend to speak to me. She lets out a little delighted giggle, as if me claiming not to know who she is was a regular teasing game we play.

‘You know who it is… It’s me, Charlotte’, she says.

‘Oh hello, Charlotte, and who do you suspect me to be?’

Another giggle.

‘Stop it! You’re my uncle.’ 

A sudden life-flashing-before-my-eyes moment takes place in which I try to recall if any of my brothers have fathered a child named Charlotte. One of them does have an overactive gland, but it’s only a thyroid.

‘Charlotte, I think you’ve dialled th…’, but she interrupts me, ‘No, listen uncle, when you come for lunch later, if you come at eleven we’ll be taking the dog for a walk before lunch, and you can bring Amy too if you like. Mummy is cooking roast lamb.’

‘No, you see, I erm… Roast lamb, you say?’


‘Mint sauce too?’ 

‘Yeah, lots.’  

‘Charlotte, sweetie, uncle’s memory is terrible lately. What’s the address again?’


15 Responses

  1. Hahaha! Loved it as much as I hate soya, tofu and all those yukky vegetarian cardboard/plastic pretendy meat replacements…
    I love vegetables and I often eat meatless meals… But I do like meat, poultry and fish…
    I cannot remember turning my nose at anything at all but I have not travelled eastward yet …

    A healthy diet is a balanced diet made up of whatever one wants to eat but always in moderation…

    Battered tofu escalope? Marcos, I understand now why you are ready to start a revolt!
    Try it with a bit of mint sauce…;o)

  2. Oh you do appear to know the recipe for making me happy. And no, I am not talking about the mint sauce.

  3. Oh, Monkee, I worry about you… how can you even contemplate trying to stop smoking AND quit eating meat all in the same period? Why not take a course with Ray Mears instead and learn to hunt and prepare your own meat. Then you can have your meat and eat it.

  4. oh god, you obviously haven’t read the post (eons back) about when Q and i took todd to the zoo. as Q has spent quite some time living in africa along with the masaai he has eaten quite a few different animals …

    most of the zoo in fact. todd was so upset!

  5. Cut the meat out slowly, stop eating one thing first then another. There is no law that says you have to never ever eat meat again. I was a vegetarian for years until I came to Italy and got treated like a freak. I eventually was convinced to try a bit of chicken and did…then I was told it was rabbit!

  6. I am a good bean-girl cook!
    I will send you recipes!

    yummy ones~!

  7. Aw, cute! Sorry to be about your dietary debacles. Beans and other pulses are another alternative to tofu, as Sophie suggests. The question to ask yourself and other members of your household is how much wind you are prepared to put up with in the name of ethical eating…

  8. We once gave up red meat for 6 months. And we hated it!
    We’d revolt now and get it over and done with 🙂
    Sunday roasts…ahhh..

  9. Ethical meat is an option: the free-range organic kind (or line-caught, non-endangered if it swims). Tastes better too, so I’m told, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve been a veggie since before ethical meat was invented. Can’t be doing with pretend meat, though; I eat lots of veggies, cheese, yogurt, eggs (free-range organic of course), some beans, grains, etc; so many yummy things you can make from them that yukky pretend meat seems unnecessary.

  10. enidd was a vegetarian for ten years, so all those people who say she’s got mad cow disease are liars.

    she went back to the meat though. it started with a single prawn, which was the thin end of a long, slippery minefield.

  11. That post, combined with the picture in your banner, makes me worry.

    That is all.

  12. Have you considered only eating roadkill?

  13. Edvard: Eat a burger, please. A former animal of some kind.
    They are going to arrest you for prying addresses out of small children on the phone. I think they arrest you for glancing at small children now.

  14. You make me giggle too. A lot! I agree with LJ… And you have a cat, right? Oh my. Please… Don’t even think of “churrasquinho de gato” as a last resort!

  15. Don’t give up smoking AND meat…just eat smoked meats!! (Though in moderation…smoked foods have been proven to have high levels of carcinogens. Which reminds me…how’s the quitting smoking going?)

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