You’d think, with a husband and a daughter to badger about good diet, that the Health Fascist would have enough on her plate, so to speak.
But no. Recently, she has taken to scrutinising the dog’s calorific intake too.
Our dog is a mutt of indeterminate lineage and indiscriminate eating habits. Only the other day, she ate some knitting wool and a sachet of organic fertiliser.
The Health Fascist picked up the bag of dry dog food the vet had recommended.
“Look at this,” said the Health Fascist. “It’s hasn’t got any meat in it at all, just something called ‘meal and animal derivatives’.”
Derivatives, eh? Aren’t they the things that got us into the whole financial mess, I say.
She ignores me as she would a neighbour’s child who was picking its nose.
“Oils and fats,” she continues, “various sugars. This stuff is poison.”
The Health Fascist likes to refer to the corn flakes study which found that there was more nutritional value in the box than in the cereal itself.
Perthaps she’d be better off eating the bag, I suggest.
“Don’t be stupid. It’s plastic,” she replies. I’d forgotten that plastic was up there with Hitler, Stalin and Mao. It “leaches” into your food and water, apparently.
The Health Fascist retreats to Google. After a while, there is a snort of triumph. “I’ve got it,” she says. “She’s got to have Lily’s Kitchen Proper Food for Dogs.”
It’s organic, of course. And expensive. And hard to get. You don’t go to a pet store to buy it, but to the health shop. However, the label is cute. “The slow-cooked lamb hotpot looks nice,” says the Health Fascist.
The dog loves it. And why wouldn’t she, at that price. Just occasionally, I think of putting the Beef Dinner into the spaghetti bolognaise. And, with Christmas around the corner, the Homestyle Chicken and Turkey Casserole looks tempting.