The fortnight of the end of February and beginning of March are crowded with birthdays - Pisces, my father, my brother in law, one of my brothers, and two nephews. My father's was yesterday and we had a family dinner. Since Virgo and I decided to become vegetarian a little over a year ago the family have been having great difficulty in catering for us - or more specifically me because I have such a complicated diet for medical reasons - but last night, with a potluck meal, all but one turned up with a vegetarian dish, all delicious. Since yet another family member announced last night that he has given up meat I suspect this will be the norm from now on.
I had wanted to give up eating meat for a long time before we took the plunge. I was very unhappy about the treatment of food animals and felt a hypocrite for being prepared to eat meat but knowing if someone else didn't kill it I wouldn't do it myself. At the same time it seemed too difficult to cater for in a family of meat eaters especially when my diet already requires so many exclusions. I had compromised by making at least four main meals a week vegetarian but Virgo's decision meant it was easier to go to the next step. There have been side benefits apart from the moral ones. The past year has been one of my healthiest in a decade and while I can't be certain it's not eating meat I'm hoping it will continue. I caught far fewer viruses and consequently actually achieved much more. My only problem was iron deficiency and this has happened to me on a regular basis for years so I doubt it has anything to do with my diet.
Now we have more birthdays to look forward to. Pisces' is next weekend and since he's working the whole of the long weekend I'm not sure what we can do. Maybe Virgo and I will take him out for a meal if either of them aren't working at the same time. Shifts that involve all weekend work are a real pain. Most social lives are arranged around Saturday nights and Sundays and I can't remember the last time we were able to go on a picnic with friends or family or even visit for a Sunday lunch as a family unit. The government trumpets about full employment but so many people are working weird hours or cobbling together two or more part-time or casual jobs just to survive. I'd like to see governments caring a bit more about the social consequences of this life style where often married couples and families don't see each other for more than a few minutes a day let alone keeping in contact with their extended family.
I will now step down from my soap box.