It was at a certain central London landmark that my non-meat-eating mother ordered asparagus soup. Just in case some clown should have decided that today's flavour was asparagus and blood, she asked the man behind the counter if the asparagus soup was vegetarian.

"Uh, yes."

So she ordered some, and ate it. She didn't seem to be enjoying it, but the reason only became clear when, at the bottom of the opaque substance, some pink chunks were found. Doubly disturbing was the fact that, although pink, said chunks had recognisably once formed part of a chicken, or a chicken's close relative. Understandably, we complained, and got free puddings.

In a cafe attached to the main theatre in Reims, France, my equally non-meat-eating father ordered an onion pie. The main ingredient (apart from the expected eggs and pastry) proved to be bacon.