I have to confess one of my darkest secrets….I love pork. The”other white meat” and me have had a long and torrid love affair ever since I gnawed on my first chinese spare rib, massaging my toothless gums when I was a toddler. Pork chops, ham, ribs, sausage, and bacon are such staples in my diet that I develop withdrawal symptoms without a daily dose of swine. Other foods I cannot live without are all forms of beef, chicken (preferably fried) and all seafood. I also worship most cheeses, milk, yogurt and ice cream.
This is why I am in awe and amazement by the person who elects to become a vegan. A vegan (pronounced vee-gan) is someone who chooses to avoid using or consuming anything having to do with animal products. This includes my extensive list above and ALSO eggs, all products made with eggs (like most cookies and cakes), all forms of dairy, leather, wool, down, feathers and all products that may have been tested on animals.
That devotion and discipline to willingly deny oneself arguably the most amazing sensory pleasures around truly astounds me. I can live without many things but a world without meat, seafood and cheese, not to mention my Manolo Blahnik’s (leather) is a world I would not want to exist in.
Clearly vegans have their reasons and I am quite certain that those justifications are noble. Opponents of animal cruelty and the adverse effects of the environment from the cultivation of these animals are truly admirable causes. I completely sympathize with their adherence to a lifestyle that is anti factory farming, anti animal testing and against the detrimental and exploitive uses of land for animal farming. I understand, I get it.
However, what I don’t really get is when some vegans impose their views and beliefs on others.
I recently read about a summer wedding in the Style Section of the New York Times. The beautiful couple had their ceremony on the veranda of a Florida hotel overlooking the ocean. The bride and groom exchanged their vows outside in front of their hot and sweaty friends and family. The wedding was in July, in Florida and outside in a shade less but beautiful patio. After roasting in the hot sun for approximately 1 hour, the sweat-drenched guests toasted the happy couple with sparkling water and celebrated their union at the “alcohol- free and vegan reception”. Huh???
A friend of mine who was in attendance stressed to ,”but it was beautiful!!!” When I raised a doubtful eyebrow to her she sheepishly admitted, “but the liquor and real food was in my hotel room”.
As a mother of 2 young children, I can’t tell you how many times, I have had to bring a “special” snack for the random vegan child who was unable to eat brownies, cupcakes or even goldfish crackers because those products contained eggs.
Today on the cover of the New York Post, a convicted child molesting rabbi is causing an uproar because of his demands to be served special “kosher” meals in prison. Now although kosher and veganism are completely different, the point remains that forcing ones religious or social beliefs about food on others is indigestible to me. I mean this rabbi is a convicted child molester. He is currently under investigation on additional child molestation charges! This poor excuse for a human being is in jail! Is it me or does ones self-induced dietary restrictions supersede the norm even in prison???
As a proud lover of all foods, I simply don’t these understand veganism, nor quite frankly do I want to try. Keep your tofu on your side of the fence and I will keep my bacon on my side.
Chow for now!