Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Aubergine and I

I'll admit, I haven't known a lot of vegans in my life, nor ovo-lacto vegetarians. I chalk that up to the fact that I've always lived in a climate that's extremely discouraging to vegetable growth for about 9 months of the year. Fresh fruits and vegetables are just a bit pricey to make an entire meal of, you know? When you're this chilly, you need a few extra calories. Fats. Personally I think I'd need to eat a truckload of fruits and vegetables in a day in order to fulfill my basic requirements for fuel. And I'd be flippin' grouchy about it.

But lately, vegan/vegetarians have been cropping up (ooh - good one, eh?) in my life with startling frequency. It's probably the circles I'm running in; massage therapists, acupuncturists, etc. Folks who already show a pronounced leaning toward DIY health.

If you want to be a vegetarian, or even a vegan, sure, I'm fine with that. It's sure as hell not a local diet, and I don't buy that it's a healthier one (especially veganism), but whatever. If you've got the money to support that habit, go for it. There are worse vices.

But you know what I've noticed about vegans in particular? This isn't a scientific study or anything, just my wool-gathering. One thing I've noticed is that all of the vegans I know are absolutely OBSESSED about food. They think about food day and night. They talk about food constantly. Every conversation gets hijacked by food issues. The other thing is, that all the vegans and wanna-be vegans I know have been sexually abused.

I'm suspecting it's just another way of expressing control, like anorexia. If you have something in your life, like food, that you can obsess about, totally control, and makes you feel like a a holy martyr who's purer than the unwashed rabble, it's easier to cope with the reality that actually the world isn't an in-control place. Stuff happens all the time, and a lot of it, well, we just have to suck it up and make the best of it.

Just a thought. I'm sure there are all kinds of people who would declare themselves an exception to my generalization, but I still think there's something there. A vegan diet, even moreso than an ovo-lacto diet, requires so much maintenance and attention that it seems like it can overrun an entire life.

Something else I've been hearing with more frequency lately is how much more "karmically sound" a vegetarian or vegan diet is.

Oh please. Let me tell you about all the little animals that get killed in the fields while big tractors harvest your quinoa. Let's talk about the human cost of the petroleum required to get the food from seed to table. Let's talk about the possibility that plants scream when you cut them down. And then you can tell me again about your superior karma.

Gack. Ain't no innocents. Not me, not you.

Sorry. This morning I seem to be out of patience. I think a coyote ate my little Maggie-cat yesterday. Dammit. I wish I could convince the coyotes to adopt a vegetarian diet.


Deb said...

Sorry about your cat! How many replacements would you like me to ship to you? ;)

I don't think I know any vegans personally, but I think you're on to something about the control aspect. Maybe it's an expression of obsessive compulsive tendencies.

Mary Anne said...

Interesting theory. I was a vegetarian for a good 10 years, out of resistance to factory-farmed meat, but I was more than happy to eat homegrown or hunted or run-over-on-the-road meat. Now that I 1)have a diabetic hubby who can't live on starch, 2) live in a place that has large ungulates, and 3) own a rifle, vegetarianism is right on out. I've only known a couple of vegans -- one definitely took the moral high ground (and judging by the scars on her arms, I'd say she had a bit of a troubled past), and the other (who is all of 12 or so) has an extraordinarily tender heart when it comes to critters.

As for the coyote, I think you're plumb SOL.

CG said...

I find that the expectation that I should not fix meat, just what is in my regular diet, when there are vegetarians around, but that they would never consider, say, grilling me a steak when I'm over at their house, to be rude. And yes, the control issues are huge.

Alecto's Mum said...

Alecto sent me. I love it! But I wish vegans and vegetarian's were harmless. Sadly, I'm in an ag state (OH) which is being targeted by a very big, very, very wealthy vegetarian army, HSUS, that want's to shut all meat production down. As well as owning dogs, horses, etc. So help me, I think we're looking at an animal free future if more people don't stand up and say "NO".

Alecto's Mum

eyemkmootoo said...

I was enjoying this beer until I started thinking about barley farmers running over small creatures with agricultural equipment and screaming hop bines.

Kate said...

Not sure about the abused part, but definitely the control part, and attention seeking too. I think the attention seeking is the appeal for teenage girls who go vegan and the animal rights thing a convenient excuse.
And I don't believe that it's a healthy lifestyle in the long term either.
That's sad about the little cat.

clairesgarden said...

sorry about the wee cat.
I am a vegetarian, my daughter isn't, my cats aren't. I've had dogs in the past, they weren't either. its up to the person and I started it because I was disgusted at some farming practices. I know a lot of farmers do not do what I saw but still it upset me too much. and that's 30 years ago.

Madcap said...


I just spent half an hour constructing detailed answers to everyone's comments, and Blogger ate it! Cannibalism!

I'm sorry, I don't have time to do that again today (studying for my exam tomorrow), but thank you so much to everyone who commented. I'll be back on Monday, and have another go at it.

And welcome to Alecto's Mum! Always nice to see a new face.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Mercutio said...

I love killing fish, especially trout and crappie.
Although I do have my preferred methods, mind you, and I'm not likely to enact some great trout genocide.
I always thought my karma was getting burned off while I was waiting for them to bite.

Kate said...

Wordpress eats stuff too. I've lost entire posts. Probably floating out in the ether, or sitting somewhere with lost socks and pens.

Good luck on the exam.



Madcap said...

Hello again!

Maggie came home! I guess she was just out on some feline rite of spring initiation, because she reappeared 3 days later! The coyotes are denied, hallelujah...

About the vegetarianism - I really didn't intend to get in anyone's face about this, or imply that there aren't good reasons to follow a vegetarian-ish diet. It's more the dogmatickal aspect of VEGANISM that gets up my nose, the preaching from a moral high-ground that I don't believe exists. And the trouble that they put the rest of us to, trying to accommodate. It's easy enough for me to serve someone the salad, scalloped potatoes, fried rice, or what-have-you, and I'm not offended if they don't eat the steak, but veganism is so far beyond the norm of almost any standard diet that it becomes a gymnastic endeavour. And it's hardly comfortable for the assembled company to have one in the midst picking at a naked salad because of a fanatical morality.

Anyway, that's all I have left to say on the subject. I appreciate all the voices chiming in!