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The Diary of Anne Ku


8 May 2000 Monday, warm, humid, cloudy, some sun

There was only one non-meat dish on the menu.  I wanted to order the special of the day: a sizzling fillet steak.  Instead, I ordered the unsavoury vegetarian lasagne with creamy sauce.  It sat on my plate like a lump of white futon.  Meanwhile, I looked at my colleagues' plates as they cut into the juicy flesh of steak. 

"Delicious!" they oozed, as my mouth watered.

One colleague finished the steak and left the mushrooms and spinach.  I was so desperate, after managing reluctantly consuming only half of my lasagne, that I wanted to eat his left-overs.  I would have ordered that dish, without a second thought, had I not been reading the book Why You Don't Need Meat.

Years ago, I invited a vegetarian friend of mine to a party I was having.  I anguished for days wondering what I would cook.  I painstakingly made some salads and stir-fried vegetables.  But to my disappointment, she didn't even show up.  All that effort wasted, I had thought!

Two years ago, I met a healthy-looking, handsome man named Roger.  He turned out to be vegetarian.  Believing that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, I set about cooking vegetarian.  After a few stir-fries, I ran out of ideas.  Then I stocked up my bookshelves with vegetarian cookbooks.   However, secretly I ate meat when I was alone.  When I went round the world recently, I pigged out big time - for I felt deprived of my culture.  The Chinese, as some say, would eat any four-legged thing that moved, except for tables and chairs.   Whenever Roger and I went out to a restaurant, I would purposefully use the "V" word - a whisper to the waiter - so as not to embarrass him.  I was sure all my friends felt sorry for him.  So much sacrifice, I thought.  Still I admired him for sticking to his principles and being a party pooper.

This book, however, made me question the way I was brought up.  We don't need meat after all.  Maybe fish.  It didn't say anything about fish.  My father always insisted on fish once a week, to prevent grey hairs.   As a result, he didn't grey until he retired.  So I will continue to eat fish, until I read the book: WHY YOU DON'T NEED FISH.