Living and loving in the age of asparagus Or – Mary Katherine Ham to Alicia Silverstone: Go Hunting, October 3rd, 2007 by Kevin E. Dayhoff
Although I have spent a large portion of my life as a vegetarian; as I grew older and life got particularly hectic, I gave it up – for now anyway. Who knows, tomorrow, I may go back. Whatever.
A number of years ago, as I was attempting to reason with an unreasonable person and losing miserably, a colleague said to me:
“You know what your problem is?”
“Ugh.” I really did not need advice at that particular moment; however, I prized his friendship and sheepishly asked: “What?”
“It’s a dog eat dog world out there, and you’re a vegetarian!”
We solved that by going out to a sub shop where I gave up the anorexic bliss of salads and voraciously scarfed down a cheese-steak sandwich.
It was a road to Damascus experience
I still lose miserably with folks who accept narcissistic fiction as fact, however, I am bigger now, and I figure that if I am to eaten alive, I might as well give folks a flavorful super-sized meal.
Then again, to be candid, I was never good at being a vegetarian. I never stopped eating animal crackers and every once and awhile at Moms, I’d dive into a steak – and I can rarely remember missing turkey at Thanksgiving.
I have a number of colleagues and some family members who are, at the moment, practicing vegetarians – and I respect that choice. Besides, I really like vegetables. Then there are folks who don’t like vegetables or are otherwise broccoli intolerant. To them I say, ya really ought to “give peas a chance.”
A member of my family, who is an avid vegetarian, recently gave some seafood a try. Bold.
Then again, writing for the Washington Post, Joel Achenbach says that:
“Certain kinds of seafood, such as lobster, clams, and crabs, are honorary forms of meat, but a small filet of a low-fat white fish should be viewed as essentially a vegetable. Raw oysters are manfood, as is any fish served with the head on and the mouth gaping in horror.
Me, I could live off of Dr. Pepper, coffee and grits. Hey, don’t knock the cooking with Dr. Pepper book. There are some great recipes in there.
I never tried the “vegan” approach. I often wondered how the term came about. When I was quite young I had a great deal of confusion over the term “vegetarian.” If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?
Mr. Achenbach calls to our attention a savior for vegans, who every once in awhile, go Jonesing for a milkshake – “soy cows.”
In the column he was initially singing the praises of his new “Fabulator 5000.”
What is a “Fabulator 5000?” I am so glad you asked. I was fascinated about this development since I am still using the Fabulator model No. 1953.
I’ll let Mr. Achenbach ‘splain:
“I love my new food printer, the Fabulator 5000, which makes the previous food printers look not just clunky but positively medieval. There’s no more click-and-point nonsense on the screen, no more waiting five or six interminable minutes for the food to print. You just tell the Fab 5 what you want. The food comes out in about three or four seconds, complete with garnish and a complementary wine.”
Oh, the “soy cows?” Apparently Mr. Achenbach recently “took the kids … to Homewood Farm to see a good old-fashioned agricultural enterprise…”
“I got a look at the new soy cows, grazing in the large field just north of the orchard. The USDA apparently felt that soy milk could be produced much more efficiently if it came from cows made of soy. These cows are so green they nearly blend into the landscape. They say the soy milk is a lot better tasting (not as beany, somehow) than the stuff derived from plants, and the soy burgers are more tender. But you’ve probably read about how the soy cows dry up badly in drought conditions — they literally wilt — and even catch fire. Bored teenagers have been blamed for setting some of the cow fires.”
There is much to be appreciated by the vegetarian lifestyle; nevertheless my goal was to not be evangelical about it all.
But – and ya know there was going to be a “but” in here soon – I’ve never been fond of PETA’s Strindbergian gloom and bleakness approach to advocacy.
When I was a practicing vegetarian, invariably, some folks would suggest some linkage to me, a vegetarian, with PETA’s in-your-face humorless lactose intolerant militancy which often seems more oriented to being obnoxious and annoying than being compelling a persuasive to what is otherwise, a perfectly fine lifestyle.
At a local government – social event, a local elected official’s wife was horrified that I was a vegetarian. “How can a big strapping former Marine be a vegetarian,” she gasped.
I solved that in quick order. She was a dog lover and the owner of a huge St. Bernard. I mean huge – about the size of a water buffalo.
I asked her if she had ever eaten dog. When I was in the Marines, a South
Vietnamese ranger once cooked-up a mess of dog.
It tasted like chicken.
I suggested to my scowling friend that her St. Bernard could feed an entire
village… And one wonders why I lost my last election?
Recently Alicia Silverstone did an ad for PETA that has garnered a garnered a great deal of attention. I can’t believe that it is winning over any converts to vegetarianism, but it has attracted attention to PETA.
Whether it is really the sort of attention that an advocacy organization wants is a bigger issue for which there is not right or wrong, it just isn’t my cup of tea.
Nevertheless, in age of so much strife and discord, I yearn for a time when peas will rule the planets, and love won’t be such a fuss. I long for the dawn of the age of asparagus.
Enter stage right, Mary Katherine Ham. Ms. Ham has done a spoof on the Ms. Silverstone ad that is a real crack-up.
Please enjoy it:
No animals were hurt in the writing of this column.
Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster Maryland USA.
His columns and articles appear in the Baltimore Sun
And the Carroll County Times
Labels: Dayhoff writing essays, Dayhoff writing essays Food, Food Vegetarianism, Food Vegetarianism PETA, Humor