I have hesitated to write this in a public forum but after many internal discussions I decided to go ahead and see what happens.
I turned to a pescatarian diet when I was 21, this was driven by a desire to try and eat more healthily. I was existing on sausages, bacon, pork pies and all manner of processed meat and looking back I felt awful. I also, I now realise, that I had an eating disorder I became extremely strict on what and how much of anything I put in my body. My weight plummeted from 10 stone down to 7 stone but I felt awesome, I found exercise (my gym going is another story but I gave that up when I was told that women didn't belong in the gym), which I did in the safety of my own home.
After 6 months whilst at a car boot sale I smelt bacon, yes it did smell good and yes I did have a bacon sandwich but after eating it I decided that whilst I enjoyed it, for me it was not worth the cost of a life so at that point I gave up eating fish too. Back in the day a vegetarian diet was extremely difficult to follow and to be honest it just made my eating disorder worse, I became more strict about what I would and would not eat without any real knowledge of nutrition but I was 21 so I knew it all, right?
I followed this diet for the next 20ish years, gaining more knowledge and insights every single day. I read books, I educated myself and thought I was doing okay. Then my life when "tits up" my relationship broke down (this was a really good thing as it was an awful relationship) and I moved to Bury St Edmunds. My life was in complete turmoil and I did eat meat for a short while but it made me feel sick and extremely uncomfortable.
It culminated one day in me watching a video online (I'm not mentioning the name as it is horrific and the images are still with me even now, more than 6 years later), it is 90 minutes long and it took me all day to get through it. I cried every single second of the video, even Jake was concerned about me (and he was living in the teenage dark side at that time so I was the hated Mother!). I decided then and there that I was never going to put any animal product inside my body ever again. Once again, I was diving headlong into something I had no knowledge about but damn it I was going to do this, I was not going to be responsible for any other animal's suffering.
I have followed a plant based diet ever since, note that I do not use the word vegan which I'll come to. I followed this diet for the animals but after researching, reading books, watching more videos and becoming far more informed than the average person it became apparent that we can live a much more healthy existence by following a plant based diet. I use this term and not vegan because veganism is a way of life and doesn't necessarily mean following a healthy diet, whereas following a plant based diet is usually more healthy and certainly more conscious of what we put in our bodies. I am not against veganism at all, I believe each to their own and I applaud anyone who does not put any animal product in their body and vegans go that step further by looking at their complete lifestyle and really do stop all animal products entering their life. I do follow a vegan lifestyle as much as I can but I have been told on many occasions that I am not vegan enough to be vegan which suits me as I don't like labels I am Catherine Moriarty, plain and simple.
So, back to the plant based diet, I educated myself and learnt about healthy nutrition, I don't claim to know everything but I know more than the average person (I think). There is a lack of nutrition education out there and we are all left to our own devices, the government doesn't help as they keep changing their mind so I make my own decisions based on what I have learnt from a whole variety of sources.
What I offer at Moriarty's is a place where people who are already living the vegan/plant based lifestyle have a safe haven to be. I also believe that Moriarty's offers everyone a place where they can experiment and try new things, if they don't like it, that's great it's not a problem and I welcome all constructive criticism I do not, however, welcome rudeness. I don't care if you come from a family of dairy farmers (as was pointed out to me a couple of days ago) well you know so do I. My uncle is a farmer and I adore him, he is the most gentle person I think I know and he is doing what he does because he believes in it and we have never had a cross word between us, he does his thing and I do mine. If you don't like what I do and you want your "normal" milk then this is something we don't offer, it is "baby, bovine, growth formula" designed to make baby cows grow big and strong and is not for us humans.
These are obviously my views, they are not necessarily the views of any of my team, none of them follow a plant based diet but they are totally onboard with me and for this I truly appreciate each and every one of them.
I am also not a trained chef, I am completely self taught I don't offer fancy food, I wouldn't know where to start, it is basic, easy to prepare and cook. You also won't see falafel or avocado on toast on my menus, everywhere offers these and for me, it shows a complete lack of imagination. I want to eat something different when I go out so I take a bit of a risk with the food offerings at Moriarty's. It irks me that places offering the usual foods (by that I mean the standard animal products) only pay lip service to customers who choose to eat plant based food and they actually think we are quite stupid for not wanting to eat meat or dairy so they offer a substandard menu just to get us through the door. Well I don't want avocado on toast, I can do this at home as well as any restaurant (in my humble opinion) as for falafel don't get me started, it's a great food but crikey let's be imaginative please, people.
Down in the Baskerville Bar, our beverages contain no animal products in either their ingredients or the process. If there is a drink that we have not yet managed to source free of animal products then this will be highlighted as we try to source an alternative (not ideal but I can't enforce drink makers to change their products). We use our imagination and ingenuity to create our wonderful cocktails free of animal products and they are the best cocktails for miles around along with the very best service too!
I am going to start shouting about what we do! With the current pandemic we are facing yet again caused by the way we process animals in our food chain, I believe that change is coming and whilst I don't think the world will become vegan I do believe that we have to look at reducing our consumption of animal products there are too many of us in this world to feed us the amount of animal products safely. We are all responsible for our world, let's make it a better place to be, less suffering more fun please.
I look forward to the day when we can throw the doors open again with tables and chairs filled with our wonderful customers.
The title is a quote by Hippocrates!