CLICK ABOVE TO PLAY MUSIC
Music – “I Can Eat It All [A Music Video]” from Remotely Controlled by Mark Lowry. Released: 1996
I have always been curious about “vegans” and what they eat. The notion of being vegetarian is pretty clear, but “vegan” seems to be shrouded in mystery to me. For those who read my posts religiously, you might recall my January 14th, 2014 post “Any Locavore, Freegan, Flexitarians out There?” In my cookbook collection, I have numerous vegetarian cookbooks, and a few vegan cookbooks including “Vegan World Fusion Cuisine“, “The Candle Cafe Cookbook“, “How it all Vegan!” and “La Dolce Vegan!”
My understanding is that a vegetarian eats no meat, fish or poultry. A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats vegetables, eggs, and dairy products but not meat. A lacto vegetarian does not consume meat and eggs, but will eat dairy products.
A vegan, however, does not consume nor use in any fashion, any animal based products, which would include not only the flesh of animals, but products such as milk, honey, eggs, caviar (who could afford it anyhow?!), animal hides and the like.
The Vegan Society, in 1979, amended their definition of veganism as:
“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
I find it an admirable aspiration, however, one that, although I deplore animal cruelty and contribute to several animal support groups and charitable organizations, and although I enjoy vegetables, I have never been able to make the leap from an omnivorous diet to a vegetarian or vegan one. Mind you, I haven’t tried very hard either. Old habits are hard to change.
But, what is most peculiar to me is that there are so many recipes in cookbooks and on the internet, for vegan meals, yet many of them seem to want to “emulate” the very products they eschew! For example, why eat “mock chicken” or faux “steak” or “fish” if you wouldn’t consider eating a real chicken, a piece of beef or a fish?
Why eat products that resemble eggs, or ham, yet aren’t? Why would a vegan want to partake of “sausages” or “cheeseburgers”, or “meatloaf”, made from vegetable sources, but resemble their real animal counterparts?
Could it be that some vegans are really closet carnivores, but won’t admit it, or are easing themselves into veganism from their lurid carnivorous past?
I welcome comments from readers to assist me in explaining this odd conundrum. After all, if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a duck, right? But not necessarily so, in the world of veganism!