Okay, so I am being a bit facetious. As the title of this blog implies, I eat nearly anything that does not walk, fly, crawl, swim, slither or slide across the land, water or air. For that matter, I do not eat the products of such: eggs, milk, etc. My one exception that proves the rule is honey.
I’ve found that contrary to common belief, a vegan eats a much greater variety of food than do most omnivores and carnivores. We also consume a larger amount of concentrated protein. Many Olympic athletes also ascribe to the vegan/vegetarian diet due to the increased stamina it provides over that of other diets. (One such study can be found at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0826/is_n3_v8/ai_12182748/ . But that is not the focus of this blog.
One of the most difficult things for a vegan is eating out or at a friends’ home. It is not that there is a lack of consciousness regarding those who choose such a diet, it is that there is little comprehension of what effects even a slight amount of animal fat causes a vegan.
Take, for instance, a large restaurant change offers a black-bean burger as a replacement for their beef burger for their diet conscious customers. This is a wonderful recent addition to many menus. However, if it is fried on the same grill on which a meat product was previously cooked, often the residues from the meat get soaked up into the vegetable patty.
The problem occurs in the digestive tract of the vegan. As they do not have the enzymes necessary to digest the animal products, this quickly results in a severe case of the ‘Runs’, often before the meal is finished. This can also be the case when an animal (or fish) stock is used in soups and sauces or even with potatoes cooked in the same fryer as chicken or fish.
Then there are the many dishes where meat products are added as a seasoning or garnish. Potato salad, vegetables, green salad, macaroni salad, vegetable soup, etc. all can contain meat.
I have been told to ‘Just take the meat out and it will be vegetarian.’ That does not work as the residues send my system into an overdrive rejection. No, it is not a psychosomatic response. Even when I am completely unaware of animal products in my food, my body responds in the same manner.
My belief is that you should eat whatever you desire. I am not on a crusade and in my books, most characters are omnivores. However, I do take issue with the manner in which most of animals we consume are treated. Their quality of life is abysmal and, add to that the hormones, drugs, and even cannibal feeds they receive, it is surprising that more of us are not sick.
What I like the least is that we do not honor the creatures that provide sustenance for us. Most people never hunt, slaughter or prepare the animals that they eat. There is no real connection to the klo of the creature. In fact, many people do not want to know how their food was raised, killed, butchered and stored as it would detract from their consumptive pleasure.
I do not limit the quality of life argument to the animal kingdom. I also believe that organic, natural, non-bioengineered, raised without the use of pesticides fruits, grains, vegetables and nuts are the ultimate, healthy diet. But if one does choose to consume animals, it should be done with full knowledge of their sacrifice and with rèterís.