Exactly one week today, as i was sitting in the sun, along came a girl called Nicola. Sporting a golden face and a head-dress made from road kill pheasant feathers, she sat down and invited us to investigate her basket of treats. After preparing her a plate of tofu, nuts and beetroot i began to look at the objects before me. I was impressed by the craftsmanship and creativity. Her passion for recycling, aesthetics and the macabre. Discussion took us to veganism, art, taxidermy, and back again, both of us being vegans and artists.
There was one piece i especially liked. A small pale pink pendent containing what looked like a tiny foot. Nicola shared that she attempted to stuff a friends hamster, Eric, but the results weren’t fantastic. Instead of keeping the little fella in once piece, one body she chopped off his feet and hands and made them into pendents.
I feel quite privileged to be wearing one of Eric’s feet, his back left i think. A mini memorial to someones’s beloved pet and a beautiful exchange. People keep saying to me, “That’s original”, my response being, ” Actually, it’s one of four”!
I was introduced to this dish in Gokarn, during my first six month trip to India in 2001. Shanker, a great friend who managed the beach side guest house cooked it for me one evening after the sunset.
Gokarn is a tiny holy town, south of Goa and auspicious to Hindus; a dip in the sea is good luck for one’s father and the sea washes away sins. It’s a town i fell in love with. I ended up staying for four months! I have since returned almost twenty times and whenever i do i eat Beetroot Curry.
The food in the photograph was cooked by Nela, Shankers wife, at their home in 2012.
Bunch fresh beetroot
2 fresh green chilies – Chopped finely
3 cloves of garlic
1 red onion
1 inch of ginger
1 green pepper – Sliced
1 half of fresh coconut or dedicated – Grated
Fresh coriander – Chopped
1 tomato – Chopped
1 tsp Salt
1 tbs sunflower oil
1 cup of water
2 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
Half tsp Asafoetida or Turmeric
2 tsp Garam Masala
Peel and grate beetroot and leave to one side. Grate ginger and garlic or grind into a paste. Chop onion, pepper, tomato, chilies and prepare coconut. Basically everything needs to be ready to go into the pan fast.
Heat oil on high heat and add black mustard seeds until they crackle. Add cumin , chili and onion and fry until soft. Add ginger/garlic and fry for one minute. Do not burn. Add asafoetida or turmeric and the sliced tomato and green pepper. Fry for three minutes. Ad salt.
Add beetroot, coconut and a little water. Cover and cook until beetroot is cooked. Around 10 minutes. keep stirring. Serve with fresh coriander and home made chapatti.
A poet. Yes with a King Charles spaniel and up-lighters.
Market stalls and wondering dick heads at chav night.
Sun a March born miracle.
Now gone split glimmer of bright light. Motorway,
Anticipation and cherish like yesterday pluss.
I see them again. Tiny sheep, furry birdies,
As one would expect as we approach crucifixion o’clock.
Barr Barr white sheep, have you any thoughts,
Or is it just my vegan ego thinking for you.
Fur on green a pleasure to see,
A feeling of cute,
As long as i forget their purpose,
The meaning of sheep.
Future dots of death in nature,
Bloody fruits, unfortunately.
I have been a vegetarian now for almost twenty years. I would never disrespect people for eating animals, however we as the human race need to make some changes to the way we eat. Earth is suffering not only because of greed and convenience but because of an unhealthy obsession or lust for meat. The Chinese’s obsession with pork, the American obsession with the burger, the British obsession with fish and chips. More forests continue to be destroyed to make way for cattle, more farmers are going out of business due to the supermarkets ridiculous buying prices and the recession hit west’s need for cheap food. It can not go on for very much longer, as this horse meat fiasco demonstrates.
A friend of mine sent me the video link below. Out of all of the clips i have seen in the past, this one seems to be the most powerful. Its exquisitely shot and displays the journey from life to consumption, and the effects that can have on the body. The film is not gory but it is disturbing, if you actually see what is happening.
I am a healthy human and i have not eaten meat, fish, eggs, milk ( apart from the odd bite of chocolate at times of desperation and peanut coatings unknowingly!!! ), cheese, (apart from one bite after at least ten years, in Burma, last new years eve) cream and other dairy products.
Systems are in place and manufactures seem happy to, ” Use every bit of the animal ” which is added into washing up liquids, soap, cosmetics, alcohol, toothpaste, pens, glue, everything, infecting so many aspects of the conscientious, vegetarian existence.
There is no need to kill these poor beasts. There is no need to farm them in totally unnatural ways on mass, no need to cull forests, no need to have a separation between cruelty and death and life killed for our pleasure. Our disgusting, superior, egotistical eating habits. You don’t eat your dogs, your parents or your friends. You greave, mourn and lay to rest.
Humans have a conscience, no? Humans love life, no? Humans love animals, no? Humans can see beyond their nose’s and ego’s and tummies, no? People who can’t see past their own greed continue to reproduce and pass this desensitized view of life on to their children. Chicken nuggets for lunch kids?
In my book life is life. All should be treated fairly. One species should not feel they have a right to murder anything else. Especially when there are other things to eat. Imagine yourself on the conveyor belt.
Granted there are thankfully many people who share my view, BUT NOT ENOUGH. Nations which were once vegetarian are now demanding more flesh. It is seen by many as middle class, privileged and good. A sign of progression. It’s putting more demands on earth, and more demands on chain.
This is a plea for help. It’s a statement continuing the argument that all life should be treated with respect. That living things should be loved and nourished and cared for. Life is life. Souls are souls. All that breathe have one.
Eating hidden flesh,
Hurling until the blood rises to the skin.
Your mistake has cost you two days and two hundred pounds,
Its cost me twenty years without death.
Hidden amoncst beans and roots,
The screen commits a thousand sins.
Your mistake draws tears past the surface, and out,
My twenty years without death.