As January comes to an end, much to the relief, no doubt, of people who like to blame arbitrary measures of time for all the ills in the world, I am given pause to reflect on how little I would have achieved had I made any New Year Resolutions. Fortunately I did not, so any lack of personal development on my part is far more to do with the status quo than any specific time-sensitive failings.
Of the many lifestyle changes I did not adopt this month, I reserve special mention for veganism. Veganuary is a concept that enjoys a fairly large following and veganism on the whole appears to be far more popular than ever it was. The reasons for adopting this lifestyle are myriad, but potentially include health benefits, financial incentives and environmentalism among the factors which are driving people to give up animal products.
On a personal level, I enjoy eating meat, but I’ve been married to an ‘almost vegetarian’ for close to twelve years (Mrs Proclaims occasionally eats fish so would therefore be dubbed a pescatarian by those in the know) so I don’t consume as much meat as I might and it wouldn’t actually be that much of a hardship to give it up.
I would find it much harder to give up dairy products though. A world without ice-cream is one I’m not sure I’d ever want to live in, I’ve yet to find a substitute for butter that makes toast worth contemplating and chocolate is quite often the only reason I am able to navigate my working day.
But I might find cheese the most difficult of all to give up. I really like cheese in all its many forms. Yesterday evening I was enjoying a soft blue cheese which was, according to the packaging, a ‘blue Brie’. This heavenly concoction combined the creamy texture of the soft French cheese with the more pungent delights of a Stilton or a Roquefort. I am very much a fan of blue Bries.
But it occurred to me that were I to make this claim out loud I might well be misunderstood and a benefactor might instead decide to furnish me with blueberries.
I don’t mind blueberries, but they would hardly satisfy my craving for coagulated milk protein.
Still, it would be worse for Mrs Proclaims, who detests cheese of all kinds but is partial to small pulpy fruit, were she to be presented with blue Brie rather than blueberries.
I don’t know if there is point to this musing, other than to raise awareness of the potential dangers of homophones. Irrespective of which side of the blueberry/blue Brie divide you sit on.
But I’m fast becoming convinced that those dangers are very real.