Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 584

5 13 J ANUARY 202 2 NEWS&VI EWS WEEK 2: DOING WITHOUT DAIRY When you love pasta as much as my children do, eating veggiemeals is no big deal. Take away the parmesan, however, and it’s a di erent story. Without that dollop of soured creamon soups, or grated Cheddar on pulses, I’mnot sure they’d eat these things. But after redmeat, dairy is the next biggest carbon culprit. Figures reveal that cheese creates more CO2 per kilo than pork or chicken. “Most of the emissions from cheese are related to the farmand the cows, which producemethane, but it also takes a lot of milk to produce a little cheese,” says Professor LorraineWhitmarsh, director of the UK’s Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations. I’ve always wanted to give veganisma go, so with the promise of vegan ice cream, we embark on a week of vegan familymeals. The first discovery is that it’s not easy to transition overnight. We still have eggs to use up and a big chunk of parmesan in the fridge. When we try a pasta dish with a vegan version, this is not forgotten. My 10-year-old says he can smell it fromhis bedroom. But lots of things do go well. Wemake a delicious Jamie Oliver veggie chilli that we load onto nachos and don’t evenmiss the soured cream. We discover we prefer the plant-basedMovingMountains hot dogs to classic meat ones. I realise that I turn to staples like fish fingers out of habit. My family is just as happy with seitan slices or LindaMcCartney’s sausages. The kids love oat milk, but I prefer the real deal inmy tea. While I’mhappy to reduce our dairy intake, I’mnot ready to give it up. If nothing else, going veganmademe realise how easy it is to be vegetarian. My year of living sustainably ANNA SHEPARD MY WEEK Alvin Hall A friend and I always have our ‘annual lunch’ over the Christmas-NewYear period. It’s the only time that we actually make a plan to see each other. This year, we added a new friend and, because of the surge in Covid, we replaced our lunch with a conference call. All of us have admitted to having Zoom fatigue, so we didn’t need to see each other on screen to enjoy the company. We spent much of the hour catching up on the details of our lives – some good, some not so good. We laughed a lot – all open, frank, and honest – even noting how ridiculous we had sometimes been in certain situations. As we talked, one question lingered inmymind, so I asked each of us to answer it: what have we learned about ourselves during the pandemic that we will use tomake the upcoming year and years better? The new friend stated confidently the lesson she had learned in a succinct phrase: “Let go and let God take control.” I sensed that this has become a reassuringmantra for her. Having grown up in a fundamentalist Christianworld, I know this language, I know thismindset. This is her way of dealing with the deaths, the uncertainty, and her lack of control during the pandemic. My second friend noted that we had all gone through ‘universal trauma’. This was her lesson. She continued by quoting other two- and three-word phrases –most adding more adjectives before the word trauma or substituting another word for trauma. It seemed that these sound-bite descriptions soothed her. They help her categorise her feelings and connect them to a larger universal feeling she believes exists. Her words were all rational, logical andmeasured, but her tone of voice revealed something di erent: frustration, even anger. She wants her life to return ‘to what it used to be’ before the pandemic. Since our conversation, I findmyself wondering, why the focus on this ‘before’? I didn’t hear her say what she had learned that would be useful for the future. I started explaining what I had learned by saying that I felt very lucky. When I was growing up, my parents repeatedly and firmly toldme andmy siblings that we had to always learn the wisdomof life’s good times and bad times and then carry that wisdom into the future. That wisdom is the key tomaking things better. I explained that I learned somuch fromother people about being flexible and not lettingmy fears overwhelm me. The pandemic promptedme to take long walk-and-talks with friends to stay in touch. Others I know beganmeeting friends and neighbours regularly – far more often than before, but outside and socially distanced – or began shopping for friends who felt especially vulnerable. It seems likely that this behavior will carry forward, to the future ‘after’. Even when people we knew died of Covid, friends and I didn’t let it cause us to shut ourselves away in worry, sadness, anger, or worry. Wemourned and then continued to live – definitely not in the same way we had in the past, but in often di erent ways that remain filled with camaraderie, care, laughter andmutual respect. I was surprised when, at the end of our chat, my friends suggested that these words would be our mutual resolution for 2022, but each living and sharing it in their own way. “We will be carrying the wisdom forward,” one said. As we chuckled in agreement, I thought my parents andmy grandparents would be pleased. Good and bad times give us wisdom we can carry forward Illustration by: Olivia Waller/Folioart Illustration: Amelia Flower/Foliart