Want to be a Nexus Correspondent in 2021?
Waikato Students' Union Logo

The Accidental Vegetarian – Lockdown Tales

I have become an accidental vegetarian. I didn’t plan it. Or maybe more precisely, I didn’t plan not to be one and so now I am. Like many, on the day of the announcement of the most recent lockdown, I shot away from work to calmly and rationally buy whatever I felt like eating for dinner that night. On the way there I called home to find out the stock levels of toilet paper. It turned out to be a futile call. There was no toilet paper left at the supermarket. Not that it matters, having spent significant parts of my life living in third world countries or homeless you learn that TP is not that important. Actually, the old bog roll is kind of disgusting when you learn how things are done in Vietnam. You should go and find out for yourselves.


What I felt like for dinner that night turned out to be salad. A lot of it. Most of it pre-wrapped in a babushka doll of plastic packaging. I have some regrets about that but when lockdown ends I’ll go diving and fish a bunch of shit out of the ocean to salve my conscience. It was also frozen berries and smoothie ingredients, a loaf of bread, a bucket of milk, and that was it. I’d forgotten my reusable shopping bags and there were no baskets anywhere so I had everything stacked under my left arm. I dropped a bag of salad and while rearranging to free up my grabbing hand, a kid picked it up and hoisted it on top of my pile. “Thanks bro” I uttered and shuffled out of the aisle. 


I got out of the supermarket as the hordes arrived and were forced to line up outside in the rain. Then I shovelled everything into my car and went and ate McDonalds for dinner. I figured it’d be the last crack for a while. I didn’t finish it. And that was the last meat I ate. I didn’t realise I had been subsisting on green things until right now and decided to write at length about it. Even with this new knowledge, I refuse to leave the house to rectify that fact or for any other reason (except to run the river trails). Why would I? I have a garden and a bread maker, a huge stack of books and terrible internet connection. I am incredibly fortunate. Life is good here in the bubble. It might be the new diet. It might be the running. It might be the amazing book I am devouring alongside my salad (Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – you should read it). Or it might be having time to stop and reflect on life and it’s fragility. Whatever the case, I am enjoying the shit out of the enforced downtime. You should too. And if you don’t think you can, you should go and read the Stoics. Find joy. Failing that, find peace. Take it easy.