Archive for the ‘Rant’ category

The Offensive Vegan

August 14th, 2011

This post was originally written 8/8/11. I waited a few days before posting to be sure it was how I still felt. It is. It’s a little rough as I typed it up quickly as the ideas were fresh in my mind. Many will not agree with some of these statements, vegans included. Whether you agree or disagree I still appreciate you taking the time to read.

I can’t count the number of times someone has taken issue with me being vegan. It happens quite regularly. Most often it occurs when I tell someone I’m vegan only when offered something to eat. I’ll politely decline and then I’m asked “Why? Do you not like (fill in animal product)?” I’ll reply “No, I’m vegan.” Most people know what what vegan means when I tell them. After all, Oprah, bless her money-filled little heart, taught the soccer moms everything they needed to know in order to be a perfect vegan right down to what processed plastic food to buy so little Jimmy would like dinner**. Still, I sometimes get the blank gaze of confusion like I just proclaimed to be from the planet Garzepon. “Duh, what is vegan?” After explaining that I don’t drink milk, eat cheese, eat eggs or any animal product including meat the obligatory “But you eat chicken, right?” or “Fish is OK, right?”  You see, people can’t grasp the idea of going without the cholesterol laden foods they’ve come to love and in turn they can’t imagine anyone else doing without.  So, naturally they believe, though you state emphatically you consume nothing from the animal world, that you’ll indeed eat chicken or fish because, let’s face it, those aren’t really animals, are they? Well, at least they clearly aren’t considered such by these brainiacs.

Today I was working at a local business while an employee had lunch nearby. She went on about how she enjoyed the McDonald’s she was pushing into her face like a person stuffing an already overstuffed suitcase. She asked me if I had tried something that was apparently a new item at the Poison Arches. When I told her no she jumped to insist I go right away and try this dreamy concoction. Then upon telling her that I’m a vegan I was quickly met with, “That’s not healthy! You need the vitamins in meat!” I need the vitamins in meat? Not wanting to quickly lose a client based on my diet and arguing about it while making the money they pay I decided to just let her talk. Listening attentively, the non-intelligence that ensued from the woman’s mouth ranged from the original, “Those sharp teeth are for meat.” to, “I bet you have no energy.” At that point I politely invited her on a 100+ mile bike ride with me and asked if she’s tried P90X. I told her I have more energy now than at anytime in the 28 years I consumed animal meat.  No excuses from her or explanations of my high energy. I asked her to explain, she couldn’t. You see I get these arguments all the time. None of her statements were new and neither was the last thing out of her mouth: “The bible says…” I don’t know what she was going to state from her bible as at that moment I finished my work and interrupted her to say have a nice day and then leave.  I wasn’t about to give her my thoughts on what she was surely about to spout as religion and work never mix well. I clearly offended her by choosing to abstain from the consumption of animal products.  It is not the first time I’ve had this experience with someone and it is sure to not be the last.

If you’re a vegan chances are you’ve been in this situation before. You may have handled it differently. I get it so often I try not to carry out the argument. I’ll inform them, if they seem open to the discussion, that since being vegan I don’t get sick nearly as often. I have more energy that I ever did. I pay more attention to what I eat and how I prepare what I eat now than before being vegan and in turn I eat healthier. Do I get enough protein? 90-120 grams a day, thank you. Yes, I keep up! Do you? No? Then why the hell are you asking me if I get enough and how would you know that I don’t or, even better, that YOU get enough?

Here’s how it is with me: I don’t preach the vegan mantra 24/7. I’m not the guy walking up to you with VEGAN tattooed on his forehead asking you to please put down the cheeseburger because the cows love you. If you want to eat that slab of beef then fine, that’s your choice. But DO NOT tell me my choice to be vegan is wrong. DO NOT tell me my decision to not fill my body with poisons will be a decision that will kill me. DO NOT sit gorging yourself on your pus-burger and tell me that I’m not getting the proper nutrients. You sound like the fat idiot drone the cattelman’s association has grown your lazy ass to be. They would be proud of you.  Send them a picture.

I’m sure some vegans aren’t happy with me. I don’t go gung ho, all out vegan like I’m a PETA die-hard. I’m sure there are some meat-eaters that may be reading this ready to jump and tell me where I’m wrong similar to what Ms. Big-Mac-Is-Clogging-My-Bowel wanted to try to point out. Go on and try but remember, you’re doing it because you feel guilty. Yes, it’s true. Deny. Deny all you want but in the end you will be the one in a nursing home hooked to an oxygen machine with a colostomy bag at 60 years old. I’ll be the one biking down A1A in the sunshine. But I’ll think about you lying there. Yeah, you should have put the Whopper down.

In the end I just care what my family puts in our bodies. No processed foods. No junk. No poisons. No pesticides. No cruelty. I also care about animals. Oh, I guess I’m not manly enough because I care for the little animals. I care for them because I have the human quality of compassion. It covers all living creatures. Practice it and it might make you feel a little better about yourself.

**Mentioning Oprah is typically done with massive amounts of disdain and sarcasm. Here it is no different.

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Varied Vegan Chatter

January 28th, 2011

Over time I gather thoughts. Some I tell myself I’ll write about and some I think why bother. Most of these thoughts never have enough behind them to warrant a lengthy post for the site so I toss them aside and forget it. What I’ve decided to do is throw those all into one post. There won’t be much to go on but jump in the comments and complete my thoughts. I’m counting on you.

I’ve been on the fake meat bandwagon once in my vegan/vegetarian life. It was early on, of course, as most people who do get into that habit of eating with convenience in mind. I’ve not so recently put that aside. Fake meats are, to me, for transitioning vegetarians. They lend the familiarity of what once once the edible mainstay but as a vegan I have moved on to fresher foods. That’s not to say I don’t eat some here and there and you’ll likely see reviews for them pop up on this site. They are what they are, a transition food and that’s fine.

While on the subject of fake meats Just a mention that one of my biggest dining-out peeves is a vegan or vegetarian restaurant that relies on fake meats to fill their menu. How about the veggies, guys? I don’t want to pretend to chew pork or chicken/chick’n/chic’n, no matter how many letters you remove form the word, when I’m paying $15 to eat at your restaurant. If you can’t prepare fresh vegetables, and I don’t mean prepared in some gourmet-style, just simple fresh vegetables, then you have no place running a vegetarian dining establishment.

I have been noticing Earth Balance soy milks at Whole Foods for a few months. I’ve even bought the milks regularly but it wasn’t until recently that I noticed the absence of Silk products in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods. I asked about the disappearance and was told that Whole Foods had decided to stop carrying Silk due to the changes Dean Foods had made to the product line. Specifically, the dropped “Organic” from the standard packaging and came out with a new package design and marketed the Organic line again though with a higher price tag. There was no marking on the original package to signify it was no longer organic less the absence of the organic seal. Shady? Greedy? Shysters? No big deal?

For the past few months I’ve been doing P90X. I completed the first 90 days and immediately started a second 90 days which, at this point, I’m at day 60. I’ve had tremendous results losing some weight and finding muscles I never though I had. I have discovered that Tony Horton, creator of the series, is vegetarian and is now working on a vegan diet plan for his next workout series. Vegan P90X works!

“Flexitarian” is just omnivore disguised in a fancy catch phrase that makes advertising pop and sounds trendy. You know how people love trendy.

As the father of a vegan 5 year old I ‘ve often wanted to hear from other parents of vegan children. If you fall into that description drop something in the comments about your experiences. I would love to hear from you.

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The Fact I Am Vegan

April 27th, 2010

I am vegan.
I don’t do it out of contempt for you or your hamburger.
I do not desire to take your right to eat a hamburger away from you.
I do not threaten your livelihood.
I am doing this for the benefit of my health, any animal and the Earth.
If you feel you cannot be around me because of the fact I am vegan that is your issue, not mine.
Making jokes about tofu only makes you look idiotic.
No, I actually don’t have urges to eat meat occasionally.
Being vegan is not just about the food I eat.

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No, You’re Not Vegetarian

April 14th, 2009

Not Vegan

“I’m a vegetarian but I eat fish.”

“I’m a vegan, but I eat beef for the protein.”

Those are two of the most inane comments I have heard.  Follow me closely on this, if you eat animal flesh you are NOT a vegetarian.  If you eat animal flesh or any animal product you are not vegan.  Calling yourself such when the term is false is just a ploy to make yourself look like you have a desire to belong to a group that you don’t.

Don’t get confused, I don’t care what you eat as you shouldn’t care what I eat but to call yourself something that clearly doesn’t apply just makes you look foolish ,and yes, I do laugh at you after I walk away when you make one of those statements.  If you want to eat fish and no other animal derived meat that is fine and your choice, just don’t apply the term “vegetarian” to your diet.  If you want to eschew all forms of animal products except animal derived cheese from your diet don’t call yourself vegan, you’re not one.

I’ll go as far to apply the same to those who eat cheese filled with animal rennet, you’re not a vegetarian.  Some will disagree, fine, but to eat the stomach scrapings of a calf/lamb/etc. is not in the definition of vegetarian.  That’s not arguable.

So to those who want to engage in a discussion of how you have been vegan for so many years and how you eat chicken once a week just for the “variety”, don’t engage in a discussion of how you are vegan, because you’re not.

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