Nice smelling poo

Dear Auntie, _ I'm a vegetarian who is fed up having to justify why I don't eat anything with a face on it. And it's the environmentalists who are also meat eaters who seem the most personally affronted by my choices. Do you have any suggestions how I can deal with this? _ Chickpea not chicken lover, Totnes

April 2, 2008 · 2 min read

Dear Chickpea lover,

As a life-long vegetarian with an otherwise unblemished record (don’t mention the pies) tragically ruined by a tapas bar croquette when Auntie was a little the worse from the riojca, Auntie sympathises. She understands the anguish induced by well meaning individuals claiming ‘it’s only fish so it doesn’t count’. A fish might not score highly on IQ tests but it’s still not a vegetable.

At one point Auntie even flirted with the extreme (chickenless) wing of the animal rights movement. Or maybe that should be Auntie just flirted – but that’s another story. Anyway, she gave up years ago bothering about what anyone thought of her food choices.

But as she sees this has really got your goat, Auntie advises you to go on the attack. After all, they are just projecting their own guilt onto you. So get yourself some pub ammo and numb them into submission with facts about why meat is murdering the planet.

Seventy per cent of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over for animal grazing. The UK gives livestock enough food to feed 250 million people. Twenty vegetarians can live off the land requirements of one meat eater. Farmed animals rank second in causing global warming. And if that’s not enough, meat eaters’ poo smells awful.

If all else fails, start making mooing noises and drooling from the mouth; the meat eaters could be doing it for real in

a few years time.

Email your questions to:

The crack pipe of peace

Dear Auntie _ War, famine, economic depression and global warming - the idea that 'another world is possible' seems remoter than ever. Will we ever have a just and peaceful world? _ Desperate for peace, Preston

Learning by number

Dear Auntie _ At one of the Gaza protests in London, Stop the War put the number of protesters at around 100,000 but the police insisted it was only 20,000. Can Auntie reassure me that the Met has a scientific methodology for estimating crowd numbers? _ Numberless in London

No hope

Dear Auntie, All my left-wing friends seem to be overjoyed about Obama winning the US election, holding real hope that he will bring change, that he'll stop the wars, and that he'll somehow make America all cuddly and nice. But haven't we been here before? I'm getting flashbacks to the expectations people had of politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, and how quickly they betrayed us. Is it terrible that I think Obama will be just more of the same? Hopeless, London

Both feet not in the grave

Dear Auntie, Having reached 50, I've become invisible. It's the only explanation of why people look right through me. I'm ignored in shops and at bus stops; and getting served at the bar is an endurance test, as men and younger women always take priority. I have a lifetime of experience as an activist, but these days there's always a 'Darren' or 'Ryan' whose opinion matters more. I'd go as far as saying they don't even hear me speak! It seems white hair and wrinkles are taken as an early indication of Alzheimer's. But I'm not ready to go gently into the night and as Auntie looks of a similar age, does she have any advice? The invisible woman, London

Do what I say, not what I inhale

Dear Auntie, _ My daughter is starting to ask awkward questions such as 'Mum, did you take drugs when you were young?' I don't want to lie but I don't want her to venture down the same route. What do I tell her? _ Amy in London

Money matters

Dear Auntie, I just learnt that my father, whom I haven't seen in years, plans to leave me a very large pile of dosh in his will. As this is the ill-gotten gains of his work as a Ministry of Defence fat-cat contractor, I know it was made at the expense of others' suffering. Does Auntie think I should keep or give it away? Almost filthy rich, London

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