Book Review: The Lion in the Allotment
I’ve been a vegetarian for the past twenty eight years and I must admit that during this time I’ve never struggled to whip up dishes that offer variety and flavour in my kitchen, but venturing out for a meal has often been hit or miss.
I must say that vegetarian options are improving when dining out. There are still occasions when I get presented with a microwave, soggy lasagne with a wilted side salad, but on the whole I have been presented with some very creative vegetarian meals of late.
Indeed, the days when my request for a vegetarian menu have been met by me being asked if I eat chicken or fish are now becoming very rare and on the whole chefs and restaurants are becoming more vegetarian friendly and eating out is now becoming less of a game of culinary roulette for me.
Although my vegetarian eating out challenge is getting easier, I now face a new challenge: a corpse crunching husband. Yes, there is a bear in my vegetarian pantry. My wonderful husband, Rob, eats just about anything, meat, fish and vegetarian, in fact I’m struggling to recall a time when I’ve seen anything left on his plate. Apart from Rob my household is completely vegetarian, but we manage along very well and it is certain
I asked Rob, in the course of writing this article how he finds living with a vegetarian, his answer was ‘interesting’, after a bit of a discussion, he explained that since living with a vegetarian his diet has become more varied and that it has given him opportunity to try foods and dishes he wouldn’t have normally sampled.
We have devised a routine that allows Rob to enjoy a steak now and again and me to maintain a vegetarian friendly kitchen. We now have a set of dedicated saucepans and chopping boards for meaty things, but on the whole Rob eats veggie options with the rest of us.
When I was approached by Ben Cijffers, to review his book ‘A Lion in the Allotment; a Carnivore’s Guide to Living with a Vegetarian’, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to read another households experience of harmonious carnivore and vegetarian living.
Cijffers witty little book is testimony that vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters can coexist peacefully. Based on the author’s experience as a carnivore who married a staunch non-meat eater, great little read equips anyone to live in harmony with those who don’t share their dietary choices.
The author perfectly describes it as a “life-changing vegetarian accident”; falling in love with a woman who doesn’t eat meat. As a man used to loading up his plate with choice cuts of meat, Cijffers set out on a mission to make the relationship work while honoring their wildly-different dietary lifestyles.
As a long-term vegetarian I found this book to be a very entertaining and true reflection of bringing a lion into an allotment or as I term it having a carnivorous bear in my pantry. I think this is a great little book and that it would prove a great guide for couples starting out and adapting to their different culinary direction when living under the same roof. Well done to the author, I feel that this is a book that has been needed for a long time.
‘The Lion in the Allotment’, is a mixture entertaining stories, practical tips and recipes and gives the message that diet should not stand in the way of love.
With practical and informative sections on domestic arrangements, cooking, fridge etiquette, nutrition, eating out and more, this is an indispensable guide for anyone living in a mixed carnivorous/vegetarian household.