Monday, September 10, 2012

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Vegetarianism

Bloomsbury, £6.99
   During the last two weeks, I've been reading my way through Gideon Defoe's hilarious Pirates series 'The Pirates!' in adventures with Scientists, Moby Dick, Communists, Napoleon, and the Romantics. Due to just a few little references here and there, the books are not really suitable for children, but these (mostly extraneous) parts were removed in the screenplay, and the first book in the series was recently made into a great animated movie by Aardman Animations (of Wallace and Gromit fame). 
Bloomsbury, £6.99
   The Pirates in question roam the seas not really doing any pirating, in their not-very-good-at-all ship, with a Pirate Captain who knows nothing about the sea and sailing, but whose wisdom and general magnificence are well-known to his devoted crew. Said crew consists of the pirate with a scarf, the albino pirate, the pirate in red, the pirate with a monobrow, and Jennifer. The Pirate Captain's main preoccupation is with his luxuriant beard, while the pirate crew spend their time discussing the best thing to do with a drunken pirate (soak him in a barrel until he grows flippers, put a plaster on his back), comparing people to fonts, comparing people to types of trees, and deciding what clouds look like. In order to decide which pirate gets to tell his anecdote first, the Pirate Captain has drawn up a list of topics - any story with mention of ham gets ten points, one with mention of nudity gets seven points, one with murder gets five points, and so on. And yes, that does seem like assigning strangely high entertainment value to ham. But not to these pirates. They positively live for ham. One of the Pirate Captain's most precious possessions is a prize ham which he keeps in a display case in his office, and a pirate feast is considered incomplete without a ham. 
Still from the 2012 film from Aardman Animations
   Now, thrilling as all this undoubtedly is, it so happens that ham is one thing that is absolutely turning my stomach at the moment. About two months ago, I joined a gym and, as part of my general healthy turnaround, revamped my diet to include a lot more protein and veg, and less bread. A couple of weeks of protein (eggs, tuna, lean meat, supplements) at each meal has been enough to mostly turn me off meat. I made lovely lamb chops last night, could only manage two bites, and instead made do with my lovely peas and spring onion mash. Is this the start of some half-arsed sort of vegetarianism? I have to say I fancy the idea at the moment. I'm sure I could get my protein from my eggs, beans, nuts, and supplements. Besides, all I've been reading lately is about how environmentally-unfriendly meat-eating is when it comes to land use and water consumption, so maybe it's just as well. I'll make do with reading about ham instead of eating it.

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