This entry addresses something that is always on my mind. Soul Veggies is a site meant to accommodate all eaters of all types. Though content is heavily vegetarian, you will see comments here and there from time to time about how to adjust to either vegan or meatatarian diets. There is no room for snobbery or rigidity on this site, it is for feeding the soul! These words will sound controversial to the average vegetarian who may be reading it. Let the rant begin!
“I’m a level 5 vegan, I wont eat anything that casts a shadow”- Jesse “tree hugger” from the Simpsons
This episode always sticks in my mind as it hilariously pokes fun at elements from a subculture that I seemingly belong to from time to time, (plus it is the episode with phish in it. lol.) If you haven’t seen it that is totally okay, (although you should because it’s awesome). The point is that there are people out there who say and think ridiculous bullshit like that all the time.
I have had many conversations with friends of all diets (meatatarian, veggie, vegan, vegaquarian) who at some point have all felt ostracized by someone who felt morally or some other type of superiority because of the food that they ate. What this attitude usually does is make others closed off to certain dietary choices, and also creates a snobbery within a culture that should be so open. The same goes with the opposite, a meatatarian shunning a pescatarian, veggie or vegan lifestyle.
What it does is create misinformation, misunderstanding and miscomunication. What we should be doing collectively is focusing on helping each other, and creating positive change through our choices as best we can.
Let’s look at the facts. We all know that industrial meat production is one of the biggest causes of environmental degradation, not to mention disgusting, disrespectful and cruel. But as Mark Bittman says (in this amazing ted talks video), knowing this even he himself will still always eat meat. http://www.ted.com/talks/mark_bittman_on_what_s_wrong_with_what_we_eat.html. It is just that he will be choosy about where it comes from, and integrate that into a heavier plant based diet.
I went vegetarian as a teenager and at the time both my mom and brother were also vegetarian. Now as the availability of sustainable, organic, non factory farmed meat becomes more accessible, my family (other than myself) has since then returned to a meatatarian diet. My amazing partner is also a meatatarian. I started learning to cook meat dishes in order to introduce him to quality sustainable meat choices, instead of fast food, or industrial meat.
The other thing I learned about vegetarianism, veganism ect., is that in the western world it is a privileged choice. While living and travelling abroad I discovered that options don’t always exist due to either scarcity, or to cultural difference. In South Korea “vegetarian” dishes often contain spam, a slight oversight don’t you think? lol. I began integrating seafood products into my diet in order to be able to eat the foods of the places i was travelling to. I have since then decided to open my mind and stomach to the odd fish sauce here and there, or occasionally at a family dinner a piece of wild caught seachoice salmon.
Rigidity and close mindedness can be dangerous to creating positive change in the collective consciousness. I found that when i started to understand food choices as being just that, there are many ways and things we can all choose to eat that can affect positive change.
So lets see what might happen if you choose to cook someone a sustainable steak instead of giving them a mouthful of negativity. The local butcher shop is then supported and helps sustain the community, someone just made another choice to not consume industrialized meat, the person is happy because they get to eat a steak, and it tastes better than any other steak before. Yep sounds better to me.
So now you know why I feel the need to accommodate all eating choices. But again the site is called soul veggies, so yep, heavily vegetarian content, but big on comfort and tastiness for all.
Thanks for reading!