July 4, 2010.
One morning a few weeks ago, my Mum calls.
“I have to tell you something” she says.
“What?” I say.
“I’ve gone veg” she says.
To backtrack, my Mum has always loved animals, but she’s never been a vegetarian. When she was young, her family always had dogs, and when I was growing up, we always had dogs too. She’s the kind of person who will pull over by the side of the road and take an injured animal who’s been hit by a car to the vet. She does this even though she tends to faint at the sight of blood or injury. She breaks out in a rash at the sight or touch of a dead fish.
She was born in Glasgow during WWII. Not many veggies to be had in Scotland at that time. She spent a lifetime cooking meals for my dad, my sister, and me. When my sister and I became vegetarians at 17, she supported our choice and cooked delicious vegetarian food for us. When I became vegan, she rolled with that too. She learned to make vegan cupcakes and homemade falafel.
I thought it would be no time before she became vegetarian herself, but I was wrong. And it didn’t help when I brought home a copy of the animal rights documentary Earthlings to watch together. She couldn’t stomach watching it.
Now she’s almost 70 and she’s decided to make a change.
She says “I think I was always a closet vegetarian”.
“So why change now?” I ask.
“It’s all those things about the animals that you post on Facebook” she says.
Mum’s come out of the closet.