More vegan stuff

Vegan-friendly salad on offer tonight in the Members’ tearoom is Fennel, Celery, Apricot and Coriander in vinaigrette… a perfectly vile sounding combination.

I need to speak to the catering authorities before our big day. We’re having a lunch in Parliament on November 3rd with various vegan politicians and celebs and supporters to celebrate World Vegan Day and if I have my way it will be a celery and fennel free zone, if for no other reason than because I don’t like them. And they’re not allowed to offer melon for starters or fruit salad for dessert because that’s what they give to vegans on every day that isn’t World Vegan Day.

World Vegan Day is officially on the Monday, November 1st, so a good opportunity to push the Meat Free Monday campaign… Loads of good info on the site, particularly on the environmental case for eating less meat. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but Caroline Lucas, John Leech and I wrote to the House of Commons authorities a little while ago, asking if they’d introduce Meat Free Mondays across the parliamentary estate – and got exactly the reply I was expecting. I suspect the written version was far more polite than what was said when they first opened our letter!

The other thing to watch out for it on November 12th, when the Sustainable Livestock Bill will be debated in Parliament. Technical description = “A Bill to require the Secretary of State to improve the sustainability of the production, processing, marketing, manufacturing, distribution and consumption of products derived to any substantial extent from livestock; and for connected purposes.”

It’s a Private Members’ Bill, and will no doubt be subject to plenty of filibustering from some of the more neanderthal Tories… For it to proceed to the next stage, i.e. being discussed in Committee, at least 100 MPs have to turn up on the day (it’s a Friday, so many of them will be in their constituencies) and, obviously, if a majority then votes for it. Details here on lobbying your MP…

Postscript: In my bid to find a suitable song title for this post I Googled ‘salad’ and ‘lyrics’ (yes, despite my encyclopaedic knowledge of obscure song titles, I do that sometimes when stuck for inspiration). Apparently there’s an Emmylou Harris song called ‘Every Grain of Salad’. Which would be a pretty good blog title if it did really exist.

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  • Samuel McLaughlin  On October 18, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I don’t agree with meat-free Mondays. It seems a bit illiberal to tell people they can’t eat meat. It’s like banning fruit, vegetables and other vegan food on one day of the week.

  • kerrymccarthy  On October 18, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    No it’s not, because people who eat meat can also eat veggie/ vegan food.

  • thebristolblogger  On October 19, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Forcing Tory and Lib Dem MPs to eat brown rice and lentils on Mondays sounds like a deserving cause.

    Can we also force then to wear Guatemalan fairly traded clothes, Che Guevara t-shirts and beads?

  • citizenr  On October 19, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Actually I’m rather impressed with that vegan salad, at least it’s imaginative! My office canteen struggle with the concept of vegetarian let alone vegan. I once ordered a gluten free meal for a colleague. When we got to the canteen the ladies told me it was a jacket potato. But they had sold it to someone else.

  • Edward Spalton  On October 19, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I am reminded of the late Jennifer Paterson, the cook of “Two Fat Ladies” fame. She was highly irritated by vegetarians/vegans.

    “When they visit you” she said “You go to some trouble to make something nice and suitable for them”.

    When you visit them, they never say “Here’s a nice steak, we’ve done for you”

    Perhaps there’s something against that sort of treatment in Harriet Harman’s demented equality laws.

    Carnivores of the World, Unite!

  • kerrymccarthy  On October 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    *Deep breath* (How many times have I had this argument over the years?) That’s because most vegetarians would find it a) offensive/ repulsive and b) against their principles to cook someone meat. If I was buying someone dinner, in a restaurant, I wouldn’t expect them to avoid meat just because I was paying.

    Politeness works both ways – just as I wouldn’t start pulling faces and telling people their choice of meal is disgusting, it would be nice if people appreciated you might not want them talking at great length about how juicy and delicious their steak is.

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