Important Notice

Special captions are available for the humor-impaired.


Saturday, February 12, 2005

It's Probably Tofu

This is the second time in my life I have lived on the west coast, three if you consider the entire American land mass, but I won’t count my Latin American residence in this discussion. I have noticed that the west coast breeds a lot more people who feel their way of thinking is somehow ‘alternative.’ A lot of people out here will ask me what my ‘sign’ is and they are actually serious about it. They feel they are somehow more ‘aware.’ I won’t even touch that one. I have noticed—and maybe I am wrong on this—that there are a lot more vegetarians out here than on the east coast.

On the west coast you run into a lot of people who say they won’t eat anything with a face. A face-free diet seems even sillier to me than it sounds (and it sounds pretty silly). What about clams and mussels? What if we could genetically create a pig without a face? I’ll be that would be delicious. I have some restrictions in my diet. I absolutely refuse to eat anything with a social security number, even if they have a fake number they bought from a guy called Hector “el bigote.”

If you have ever been to the huge Asian grocery store in Seattle you soon realize that in China they eat absolutely everything under the sun. I like to think back to when man was foraging for food and got to the point of starvation that drove him to eat a dried jellyfish. Does a jellyfish have a face? If jellyfish do have faces I’ll bet there is an entire aisle at the Chinese market devoted to dried jellyfish faces. I’ve seen weirder things at the Asian grocery store. Follow an older Chinese woman around the store and you’ll see her calmly put stuff in her basket that would put that Fear Factor show to shame.

And then there are vegans: no meat, no dairy, no fish, no faces, no legs, no body parts whatsoever . Traveling as a vegan must be particularly tiresome. It is like having some grave physical handicap. For a lot of vegans their diet seems to be a big part of their identity—for some it is their identity. You are what you eat, as they say.

Trying to find acceptable vegan fare in Europe must be a dawn to dusk quest. I’ll bet that Neanderthal man spent less time foraging for food. “I can’t visit the Louvre; I have to find a vegan restaurant in Paris.” Good luck vegans, and don’t expect Europeans to understand your food aversions, or eating disorder, or whatever it is you have. Europe is pretty far from the hip west coast.

What I find curious about vegetarians is that they are always trying to disguise their food to look and taste like meat: veggie dogs, tofu sausage, tofu cheese, tofu ribs, etc. I don’t ever recall meat eaters making sculptures out of hamburger to make it look like broccoli or cauliflower.

I don’t believe that vegetarianism is all that healthy, as I believe that a balanced diet is essential. From the crazy studies that doctors come up with I don’t think anyone truly knows what is the optimal diet for Homo Sapiens. It seems to me that we need a lot of variety and meat definitely is a component of that variety. I recognize my own hypocrisy when it comes to my diet. I just finished lecturing on the lack of sustainability of suburban life and SUV’s, yet my diet is the moral equivalent of a Hummer made out of bacon and cheese driving on a four lane highway paved with steak.

I’ll be the first to admit that my own diet is a bit of a disaster. I have been blessed with a white trash, cast iron constitution that seems to run best when fueled with lots of pork, booze, and coffee which are all essential elements of the newly-revised food pyramid. A food pyramid seems inaccurate when describing my diet as a pyramid conjures up an image of stability and strength. My diet is more like a kid’s tree fort, made with rotten planks, rusty nails, and built on a very precarious branch. My dietary tree house may not be too safe but it’s been a lot of fun and it tastes great.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you can't say something nice, say it here.