Why Nigella Lawson Says She Can't Give Up Meat

There are many reasons why Nigella Lawson is loved by so many. Vogue describes her as the only person outside of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who is recognizable by her first name. Yet, she manages to take an hour or two a day to send notes to fans on social media: "It would seem like such an act of extraordinary lack of graciousness not to respond to people who are cooking your own recipes; also, it just makes me happy," she told the publication.

Because joy and pleasure in food is such a big part of Lawson's philosophy, it shouldn't come as a surprise that she gave veganism a good old-fashioned try, but chose to abandon it after a two-week effort. She admits that while she loves her veg, she also enjoys meat, although she doesn't have to eat very much of it. Lawson said: "I followed a vegan diet for two weeks ... but I felt I needed eggs suddenly. I felt very run down, and I'm low iron anyway. So I needed it" (via The Times).

Lawson also raises a point which she knows might be controversial with those who have adopted the vegan lifestyle: "I want to eat proper food, because I feel that we have the teeth for meat and so it's natural for us to want to eat it. I know it's an argument that vegans disagree with, so I respect that position, but I feel I'm not ready." 

Going vegan isn't easy

But Nigella Lawson added later, via Twitter, that she understood how important the movement was, even if it didn't suit her, saying: "I actually completely get the point of veganism, and while I admire those who can follow a vegan diet, I don't see the point in making going vegan the only commendable change." 

Lawson's decision to abandon her foray into veganism comes as no surprise, especially since she has never hidden the fact that takes her food very seriously. As she herself once put it: "I want to maximize my enjoyment, not just eat for the sake of it. When I eat chocolate I linger over each square, deciding which I will let melt slowly in my mouth" (via Hello Magazine). 

But by the same token, Serious Eats' Chief Culinary Advisor and New York Times food columnist J. Kenji López-Alt has also tried to minimize his meat intake. His advice? "Take it at whatever pace works best for you, and think about the reasons why you want to decrease your meat intake. Also, don't beat yourself up if you're trying to quit eating meat but give in to the occasional hamburger craving. We all do the best we can, and simply thinking about it is a great first step," López-Alt said (via Joro).

Two chefs, two valid personal views on food. Together, Nigella Lawson and Kenji López-Alt demonstrate that food choices aren't a one-sized-fits-all proposition, and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.