January is generally regarded as the most depressing month of the year. DonQui, however, rarely has too much trouble with it, probably because he never bothers to set any New Year’s resolutions which might curtail his enjoyment of life. Indeed he is writing this now in a pub with a nice pint beside him after just having devoured a rather good beef burger and fries.
Today’s papers brought the news of David Bowie’s death alongside the usual depressing stuff from the Middle East and the evil antics of religious nut-cases world wide. If this is not bad enough DonQui comes across an article describing a new movement designed by puritanical spoil-sports to ensure we expunge even more fun from our lives.
Alongside the ghastly proposition of dry January (staying off booze rather than stopping the rain) comes the even worse idea of veganuary. This latest moralising fad proposes that we should become vegans for the month of January allegedly to improve our health and save a few cute cuddly animals.
Now DonQui’s view of a proper vegetarian option is similar to that of a good French restaurant — choose fish or poultry as an alternative to meat. He has known a few vegetarians in his life and he may have seen a vegan or two passing along in the street looking gaunt, joyless and as if they were in need of a proper meal to give them a bit of colour. Hitler was a vegetarian while Churchill freely enjoyed many vices— meat, alcohol and tobacco amongst them. DonQui is in no doubt of which man he looks up to.
There have been days when DonQui has not eaten any meat but this was because a nice mushroom risotto might have taken his fancy rather than a conscious desire to avoid animal products on moral or health grounds.
If the puritans had their way, not only would we all be more miserable but the livestock would be too — or they might not exist at all.
The cute piglet in the veganuary advert would not go to market if the moralists gain the ascendancy. He would be killed and incinerated as the farmer could not afford to keep him alive just to decorate the countryside. This is what happens to hundreds of thousands of male calves each year in the UK since for some reason Brits are squeamish about eating veal and the animal rights brigade destroyed the export industry. With no market the male calves are simply destroyed and thrown away.
Although DonQui may be a simple creature he struggles to see how this could be considered a moral outcome or a good for our planet’s dwindling resources.
So as he consumes a second pint DonQui resolves to continue to drink alcohol, eat meat and generally to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The January blues be damned!