I am a quitter (of meat, poultry and seafood)

April 07, 2013


The other day while cooking with Dad Pham, I learned that my dad was a certified life saver back in the day. Our best conversations are had in our kitchen where we both avoid talking about the cooking because as soon as he tells me how I should be doing something, I get all, 'You're not my mother! You can't tell me what to do!'

It was in the kitchen that I came out as a vegetarian to Dad. I shouldn't make light of coming out but I had dinner with one of my queer friends last week and her date thought I came out as gay to Dad because of the snippets she heard of my story. Seriously, it's scary telling a 67 year old Vietnamese man you're choosing to not eat meat when he was deprived of it as a prisoner of war and when it's a treat for most people in his poor home country. But Dad Pham supported me wholeheartedly and became a vegetarian too for almost a minute then remembered he's a 67 year old Vietnamese man and went back to his meaty diet.

If Mum Pham were alive she'd be very annoyed to know that I'm now a fussy eater. She raised us to eat anything and everything. It was a source of pride for her that us Pham kids can eat all the gross, disgusting and stinky Vietnamese dishes and dipping sauces. But animal cruelty has and will always upset me.

I've thought about becoming a vegetarian for years with a defeatist attitude. Then one night after having a telepathic conversation with a mosquito who was bullying me because it knew I was a pushover with animals and took advantage, I realised it was time to make the change. I am now a lacto-ovo vegetarian - meaning I'll have eggs and dairy. I'm sorry dairy cows and 'free range' hens and bumble bees for that matter - your quality of life upsets me too and I do think about you often...I'll see how I go as a vegetarian first. Don't want to bite off more than I chew... despite what the photo above shows.

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