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I have an apology to make. Seven months ago, in this very column, I was spewing some drivel about the importance of healthy foods and exercise and lean proteins and blah, blah, blah. Seven months might as well be seven decades – a lot has changed since then. A lot of people have gotten sick.
Have you ever found yourself staring longingly at an empty plate at Nana’s house? Has your stomach gurgled the whole night through heading into Black Friday? Did your Grandpa ask if you’re still not eating meat before setting a plate of chicken dumplings in your lap, not realizing that chicken is in fact meat?
It was a little more than two years ago, and I was looking at Twitter as all burned-out journalists are wont to do. I follow a cavalcade of accounts spanning the political and culinary spectrum, and if memory serves, a video of a calf appeared on my feed. It was happy and frolicking in a field of grass.
I have a confession: I haven’t been a good little capitalist lately. Especially when it comes to ordering food at sit-down restaurants. Call it frugality. Call it paranoia. Call it whatever you want – fact is, I was perfectly OK standing on the sidelines while others kept local restaurants afloat.
Let’s cut the bologna and get down to brass tacks here: Fast food is great. That’s right – I, a better-than-thou, free-spirited, meat-boycotting vegan love fast food. I’m OK with admitting it, and you should be, too.
Have you checked on your vegan friend lately? Try looking on cloud nine, just down the road from El Dorado, a few miles past the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Odds are, they’re still there – in paradise. Why?
When’s the last time you reached for an apple instead of chocolate for that midnight snack? Substituted a head of cauliflower for chicken breast? A veggie burger for cow?
I get it – it’s difficult to think about a diet in times like these. Especially one that relies and thrives on the type of shelf-stable commodities that have recently become caloric gold.
Give a vegan a tofu scramble, and you feed them for a day (or a couple of hours, if we’re being honest). But teach a vegan to tofu scramble, and you feed them for a lifetime.
Odds are you’ve seen them. But not their faces – usually not their faces. In parks, on sidewalks. Outside events. In the middle of a crowd. On the tail end of a box of chicken nuggets thrown swiftly from a passing car, followed by a slur of insults.
The first question I hear when I tell people I’m vegan is usually “why” – and, yes, the stereotype is true. I tell
Like an 18th century sailor mapping out a series of Caribbean islands on a rum-running escapade, vegans and vegetarians will often ping-pong around a city bouncing from store to store in search of their preferred plant-based fix. A true first world problem.
Like hundreds of thousands of Americans who’ve taken the plunge, I became vegan for animals and the environment, not my own health. In fact, in the year since – after a decade being vegetarian – I think I’ve gained weight. But I’ve also come to terms with my diet’s shortcomings.