Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Sunday, January 23, 2005
The Vegan Experiment--Meal One
Whole wheat pasta with spinach, olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, and this "Parma!" stuff made from walnuts and yeast. Applesauce. Sugar-free soy milk, cappuccino flavored.

I had tried to find tofu at three different small grocery/convenience stores in Hyde Park--the Maroon Mart, University Market, and Harper Foods--and was unsuccessful. At University Market I encountered a deli clerk who didn't know what tofu was, which reminded me that veganism is a classist exercise. Pretty much anyone at any income level can become an ovo-lacto vegetarian, or even a lacto-vegetarian--eggs, milk, and cheese are inexpensive when compared to meat--but the myriad protein substitutes required for a healthy vegan diet are expensive, and not covered by food stamp programs.

I was discussing this with a vegetarian friend* when preparing the above meal, and he asked if I was going to be vegan for a long time. When I replied, "only until Thursday", he then launched into his Rant on Vegans, the core of which is "Vegans are sanctimonious and want to convert everybody"; offshoots include "Vegans claim that they invented vegetarianism in Berkeley" and "They're out Gandhi-ing Gandhi". Admittedly, the vegans I met with this morning do seem infused with a missionary-esque zeal... but I shall withhold further judgement until dinner on Monday.

*Who shall remain nameless, as he may show up for free food during Vegan Week.

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