I’ve mostly not been eating meat for the last four months. I have various personal reasons for the decision. I will eat meat occasionally, but only when it’s too inconvenient to do anything about it.
There are a few Italian restaurants in Sheffield that do £5 dishes at lunchtime. I was a little short on time, and ordered a vegetarian ‘crespelle’, or pancake. Somehow the waiter mistook ‘vegetarian’ for ‘chicken’, and brought me that instead.
There wasn’t really time to change it.
‘Sod it,’ I thought. ‘Eat the chicken’.
When I started avoiding meat, I thought that things like this would be like meaty treats. I thought that on the inside I’d be like ‘Yessssss! Meat meat MEAT MEAT!’
It just hasn’t turned out like that. Every time I eat meat now, I mostly feel underwhelmed by it. Like I’d rather have not had it.
It’s made me question how much our tastes change as a result of the things we do.
A few weeks earlier we were driving home, when heavy metal music came on the radio. I don’t hate metal music, but it isn’t my bag. Not what I’d choose to play.
It got me thinking, where do our music tastes comes from? Are they entirely a product of your upbringing?
My own music tastes have evolved in recent years. I’m now equally likely to go to a classical music concert as I am to an all-night techno rave. Inside, there’s 60% of me that wants to be sophisticated and mature. And 40% of me that wants to go to a dirty rave, to listen to extremely banging repetitive music.
The commonality among all the music I listen to, is no vocals. I’m terrible at picking out the lyrics in a song. For some reason I just can’t focus on them, so I take them out all together. I hate pop music, and don’t think I could ever learn to love any genre of music that relies heavily on vocals.
In 2009 I spent six months in South America, which I thought would soften my hatred of salsa. If anything it did the opposite. I hate salsa more than ever, especially when I’m forced to dance to it.
Where do all these tastes and opinions come from? I’ve come to believe you’re 30% a product of your early upbringing, and 70% entirely changeable. I don’t think I’ll ever like Salsa music – that’s in the 30%. But I never thought that my love of meat could change.
If you harbour plans to do more of your own writing, you need to figure out whether writing belongs in your 30%, or in your 70%. If you pick up some skills and commit to a regular writing schedule, does your enjoyment of writing go up or down?
You may be surprised by the answer.