V is for Veggie…or Veal

A real fillet compliments of Aladdin, Dahab.

I have been a card-carrying (sometimes unfaithful) vegetarian for about six years now.

It’s not about ethics. It’s about my body. It doesn’t enjoy the meat. To be accurate, my mouth loves the meat. The rest of my body simply disapproves of this love affair. It is my adventure-seeking soul that sometimes gets stuck in the middle.

But wherever in the world my body lands, it loses the argument of what I should eat, leaving my mouth and mind to revel in the tantalizing tastes of travel.

I sat with my friend Goh in Tokyo, Japan as he pulled sushi off a revolving platform being constantly refilled with masterfully designed morsels. ‘Eat this,’ he would say grabbing something at random. And being a good little touristing guinea pig, I would oblige.

I was only told what I was eating after it was in my mouth. ‘That was tuna… That was octopus… That was baby seal; thought you’d enjoy that one, Newfie.’ And on it went – one of my best, belly-bursting evenings in Southeast Asia.

My mother actually never said not to play with my food.

In Australia, I ate Kangaroo steak. In Ecuador, I ate ceviche. In Churchill, Manitoba, I ate Thanksgiving turkey. And in Egypt, I ate pigeon.

I think pigeons are rats with wings. They scare me with their flapping and their disease and the like. A pigeon pooped on my head once – a perfect soft serve ice cream cone shape. And because I don’t like the word hate, I will say that from the depths of my soul I fundamentally dislike pigeons.

So why eat it? Well mostly because it was on the menu – and I had never seen a pigeon on a menu before. But also because (at the high risk of offending animals lovers) I was pleased to be the indirect, direct cause of one’s demise.

The conclusion of this murderous culinary adventure? It tasted like chicken.

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