I can’t help feeling guilty about being a vegetarian

Floral tributes left outside Manchester Town Hall

CHERYL GIBBS: I’m scared at how a feeling of fear is now part of life

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I can be a real pain in the neck sometimes. I know this because I’ve had 22 years of people telling me.

Now I’m not trying to pretend that I’m 22 – sadly, I think those days are well and truly over. What I mean is I’ve been a vegetarian for that long.

You’d think that, in this day and age, being a veggie would be easy. But I’m telling you that little has changed since I first became one at the tender age of seven (I think I’ve told you before I was a pretty strong-minded child).

Yes, there are definitely more options at the supermarket. These days there is even a vegetarian alternative to fish – which in my opinion is just plain wrong!

But the experience of going to a restaurant is still pretty much the same as it always was.

The obligatory ‘tomato and basil pasta’ is still there on the menu as an option for vegetarians. So inventive! Come on all you chefs, surely you can do a bit better than that?

Another thing that hasn’t changed is the inconvenience caused to people who want to invite Matt and I round for dinner – hence the ‘pain in the neck’comments.

As we approach the weekend, I still feel the same amount of guilt about going round to someone’s house for a meal that I’ve always done.

We have a group of ‘bank holiday friends’ – who, as the name suggests, tend to catch up on bank holidays.

But now we’ve decided to break with tradition and meet up this weekend at the home of Laura and Aaron.

They’ve kindly offered to cook us all a meal. But because there’s a veggie in the group (me), poor Laura is having to make a meat lasagne for everyone else and a vegetarian version just for moi.

And I can’t help feeling bad about it.

Apart from the extra amount of time and preparation that has to go into cooking separately for a veggie (and you can’t mix the utensils or cutlery you know, it all has to be separate) it’s blinkin’ expensive!

Maybe that’s the reason why we don’t get invited to people’s houses very often. They just don’t want the hassle of catering for a veggie.

So I’m guessing that the next time we’ll see the bank holiday crowd will be in a pub, not any of their houses.

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