Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Musings: Real Food vs Imaginary Food

I have a scientific mind so I've pondered the 'are aliens real?' or 'is Bigfoot real?' questions thru my life but until I became a plant based eater.. I never had to question whether or not my food actually existed.

Meat eaters love to ask 'is that real food or vegan food?'

Um.. I don't eat imaginary food. If I did... I'd be real dead.

I find it sort of funny when someone asks if something is vegan because if they are a meat eater, they usually won't eat it. Perhaps they think they will catch some sort of vegan cootie or maybe they are afraid that it might actually taste good. I don't know. I, of course, never have to ask 'is that vegan?' because there are very few circumstances in which there would be vegan food available that I hadn't been responsible for actually bringing. (insert sigh here)

Do meat eaters think vegans are magic? Do we create our food from strange alien technology? I've come to my own conclusion - that many meat eaters haven't ever seen a vegetable or a bean or a grain other than white rice so when they come face to face with quinoa, brussels sprouts and mung beans.. they wonder if it's CGI.

I think maybe meat eaters think because there are processed vegan foods available like burgers, sausage, bacon, chik'n and crumbles, that vegans want foods made available that taste like their animal counterparts. We don't and the foods don't actually taste like animals.. most vegans would find that pretty disgusting.  Meat eaters call our foods 'fake' but the word 'burger' to me means food pressed into a round shape and eaten on a bun.

However, some vegans want the convenience of those things that resemble the animal foods we may know from before we went plant based. For some vegans, it's easier to take a pre-formed veggie burger to a cookout than pack a bowl of pasta. It's less stressful for a vegan kid to have a veggie hot dog at a birthday party where everyone else has an animal hot dog. It's easier to throw  a couple slices of veggie bacon on a BLT than to make some tempeh bacon from scratch. It's easier to grab a Tofurky deli slice sandwich when you're short on time.

Some vegans use processed foods once in awhile but the majority of vegans don't even eat things like Boca Chik'n Nuggets or Morningstar Farms Corn Dogs (they aren't even vegan, actually). Many vegans don't eat tofu, and the ones that do are not eating tofu in the quantities that meat eaters would have you believe. I don't know any vegans that live on just tofu. Tofu is beans, by the way. It isn't made of plastic or whatever it is meat eaters think it's made from.

I find it sort of odd how people believe what I eat is somehow strange or gross.

I eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods. I eat a few minimally processed foods. I eat things that grow from the earth - on trees, in fields. My foods are nourishing and good. I eat foods that fight and prevent disease. My foods taste amazing and fill me up. They are full of vitamins and minerals and fiber. I eat a varied diet. Most of the foods I eat have one ingredient and when I combine them into meals, I have delicious meals free from saturated fat, cholesterol, preservatives, additives, dyes or artificial ingredients. My food isn't expensive.

I don't torture or kill. I don't eat muscles, veins, blood or organs. I don't make anything suffer in order to nourish me. I do not cause the imprisoning of other beings. I eat almost nothing that is created in a factory. My food doesn't contain chemicals or hormones. My foods don't cause or advance disease. My foods weren't created in a lab. I can pronounce the names of the foods I eat. I'm not eating some one's mother or some one's baby.

For real.

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